I recently returned from an amazing bucket-list trip to Rwanda, where I tracked mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park, explored the chilled city of Kigali and swam in Lake Kivu, overlooking the mountains of the DRC on the opposite shore.
Gorilla tracking had been on my bucket list for a long time, and I was super excited about the trip so there was room for a bit of disappointment (I had built it up somewhat). It ended up being the best wildlife experience of my life, totally exceeding my expectations. I stood within metres of a 200-kilogram silverback called Urugamba, and locked eyes with a gorgeous three-month-old baby cradled in her mother’s arms. In a word, it was incredible. For more on gorilla tracking, read my other blog.
What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with Rwanda – a beautiful, inspiring country that’s come a long way from the horror of 1994′s genocide. There’s a lot more to the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ than mountain gorillas – rare golden monkeys, birds and other wildlife in the Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe Forest, lush landscapes, misty tea plantations, unspoilt beaches in Gisenyi on Lake Kivu, and warm and friendly people who have found a way to move forward from the horror of the genocide and make Rwanda one of Africa’s economic and political success stories.
I went to Rwanda on a package trip with Getaway Adventures. A four-day package to Rwanda, including flights, accommodation and the $750 gorilla permit is R23 000. For more on the trip, and to book for next year click here.