Extraordinary Adventures with Gorillas

Hannah Champion

07 Aug 2013

Gorilla trekking & the Gorilla Doctors

Our Rwanda Gorilla Trekking trips were recently featured in Essential Travel Magazine, in an article written by Clayton Truscott aptly named, ‘Experience the World of Adventure Travel’ and while on the subject, we thought it would be nice to share what it’s really like to experience gorillas in the wild. 

No other wildlife encounters little can match the awe-inspiring experience that is mountain gorilla trekking. As face-to-face encounters only takes place in very select locations in East Africa and involve animals quite literally on the brink of extinction, gorilla trekking is considered a life-changing experience; a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To have a gorilla brush past you, to have a gorilla touch your leg is an encounter that I will never forget. To be in their natural habitat, to see their families interacting in the mountains – wow! What an amazingly unbelievable experience, something that will live long in my memory.

It’s very important to work with a travel company that understands the ethical responsibilities of this kind of wildlife encounter and how to manage how it works in practice, on the ground, especially with regards to vital elements such as which lodges and guides to work with.

Having experienced, accountable guides allows guests to enjoy this most memorable of adventures at a safe distance to both the gorillas and humans. It is key that it is only limited to 1 hour per day so that the gorillas can enjoy their lives as naturally as possible. It is also important that the gorillas do not catch human diseases. Having a limited number of permits is essential to make sure that the national park is not overrun by guests, spoiling the very reason for going and causing distress to the gorillas.

Natural World Safaris support the wonderful work of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, with its headquarters in Ruhengeri. It is here, to ensure their healthy future, that a huge amount of time and effort is put into caring for these critically endangered primates. Guests can pay USD$500 per group (donated directly into the project) to spend time with the staff learning about how the gorillas are monitored, how life-saving medical care is provided; how health studies are conducted and how veterinary medicine and ecosystem health is taught. The tour around centre is with one of the doctors where they will watch a presentation about gorilla conservation. As a company we also make direct donations to the project.

If you would like to talk to us about any other natural world adventures (we can take you to all the places featured in the article) please contact us using the button below.

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