Straddling Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC, the Virunga Volcanoes are one of the most stirring sights in East Africa. You are ‘so high up that you shiver more than you sweat’, wrote Dian Fossey. The rugged chain of eight peaks rise as high as 15,000 feet in places, and five of these are protected within Rwanda. The base of each is covered with thick rainforest, which gives way to montane grassland and alpine moorland higher up.
Few experiences can match that of coming face to face with the gentle eyes of a Mountain Gorilla as it chomps on bamboo shoots; in fact, it is probably one of Africa’s indisputable travel highlights. There are eight habituated groups within Volcanoes National Park – each as delightfully chaotic and memorable as the rest, though the hikes to reach them can vary significantly. Trekking through the foothills of the Virungas, also look out for the rare Golden Monkeys, a plethora of colourful birds, and the scent of the elusive Buffalo and Elephant.
• Mountain gorilla tracking
• Ascent of 4507 meter-high Karisimbi
• Stunning views the eight volcanoes
• Visit the cluster of crater lakes in the region
• Visit to Dian Fossey’s tomb & the adjacent gorilla cemetery
• Trek to see the (near-endemic) Golden monkeys