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The Majestic Primates Of Rwanda

Rwanda Gorilla Safaris

Rwanda also known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills” has a variety of areas of tropical rain forest which are home to a number of very rarely seen primate species and other uncommon and interesting wildlife.

Of these primates in the forested areas of the country, the most endangered are the mountain gorilla, golden monkey, and chimpanzee… all of which can be seen on a Rwanda safari tour.

Rwanda’s mountain Gorillas inhabit the forests of Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcans), which is situated in the northwestern province of the country.

Volcanoes National Park is one of the most famous places in the world,  and obviously the best place to go for Gorilla Safaris in Rwanda to spend time with these rare apes in their natural habitat.

Mountain Gorillas

Rwanda tracking safaris

Mountain Gorillas are listed as one of the most endangered species on the planet earth.  And these gentle apes can only be found in the forested mountains of east and central Africa, mainly inhabiting in the Virunga Conservation Region that stretches between the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda, as well as in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.


The Virunga region encompassing of three national parks including Virunga National Park in the Congo, Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Volcanoes National Park is home to more than 480 Gorillas; more than any of the other parks in the area.  The park is also home to a remarkable ten habituated mountain Gorilla families, as well as an additional seven families that are non-habituated for research purposes.

Mountain Gorillas usually spend their days moving from one place to another looking for fresh plant leaves, wild fruits and bamboo shoots to feed on, as well as looking for new places to build shelters to rest during the night.

Each mountain Gorilla group is always led by a dominant giant male Gorilla most known as a silverback.  A fully-grown male mountain Gorilla (silverback) can weigh up to 200 pounds, strong enough to take down a fully-grown human in case he is provoked.

Habituated mountain Gorillas are generally very peaceful and gentle and will not charge at anyone unless provoked or feel threatened by someone.

Visitors to Africa who are in looking of a Rwanda Gorilla tracking safari adventure will head to Volcanoes National Park where they will be divided into groups of eight and allocated a guide.

The search for mountain gorillas can take up to eight hours of hiking through dense forests and once you reach a gorilla group you’re allowed up to an hour to observe, learn, and take photos.

While mountain Gorillas are highly endangered, Gorilla trekking tourism is very rewarding to conservation efforts, as the finances collected from tourism industry is reverted to a number of conservation programs geared towards research, payment and upskilling rangers and guides, and the support of the communities around the national game parks.

Golden Monkeys

Primate trekking safaris

Golden monkeys are also very rare primates that can only be seen in the Virunga Volcanoes region of Central Africa.  And being a part of the Virunga Conservation Area, Volcanoes National Park has a number of golden monkeys.

There are 30 plus golden monkeys in the game park and they also feed on plant leaves, wild fruits and bamboo shoots.

Just as their name sounds, golden monkeys are covered with golden fur.  Trekking to see these primates is also a great trekking experience in Rwanda, and on this trail visitors are also able to encounter a number of other wildlife species, especially when it comes to birds.


Chimpanzees can be best tracked in Rwanda by visiting Nyungwe Forest National Park, which is situated in the southwestern region of the country.  Just like the mountain Gorillas and golden monkeys, chimpanzees are found of living in groups comprised of close relatives.

Chimpanzees are very flexible animals and are often on the move from one tree to another.  This makes chimpanzee tracking very adventurous because to get close to them you have to try to keep to their pace as you move through the thick African jungle.

Some people are under the impression that a primate tracking experience is near impossible, but they’re wrong!

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