Rwanda is well known as a primate safari destination. It is renowned not just for its Mountain Gorillas but also for many other species of primate including Colobus Monkeys, Golden Monkeys and Chimpanzees.
Volcanoes National Park is world famous for its rich biodiversity and of course, its Mountain Gorillas. It was the first National Park to be created in Africa in the magnificent Virunga Mountains. Situated on the border of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda the park consist of six Volcanoes and a dense expanse of mountain forest. It's one of only three places in the world where you may meet these majestic mammals. The trekking in Rwanda can be less strenuous than other countries and the bamboo forests are easier to hike in and provide better photography opportunites opposed to denser forest found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.
Nyungwe National Park located in south west Rwanda is one of the worlds most beautiful and pristine mountain forests. Home to over 400 habituated chimpanzees and 12 other primate species including the Black & White Colobus Monkey, it's also a birders paradise with over 300 species, including 16 endemics.
Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is often described as a "life changing" experience. With only an estimated 800 gorillas left in the world, seeing these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a very special experience.
Gorillas make their homes in and amongst the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. A trek in the mountains can last anywhere from just 30 minutes to over 4 hours depending on the family allocated to your group and their location. You will be introduced by your expert trackers and guides to one of the fully habituated families of Mountain Gorillas and be able to stay with them for one awe-inspiring hour, often crouching just a few feet away, whilst the Gorillas go about their daily lives.
Porters are available to carry your bags and cameras as well as assisting you with your footing along the trek.
Aside from the Mountain Gorillas, Rwanda is home to an array of other primates.
Golden Monkeys - Although the Gorillas steal the show, the endemic Golden Monkeys found in the rainforests of the Virunga Mountains are striking, playful primates and due to the large habituated groups, the quality of sightings is superb.
Chimpanzees - Ngungwe Forest is home to over 400 chimpanzees. Chimp trekking can be done year-round and a fairly straightforward hike through the forest will often lead you to these fascinating creatures.
Black & White Colobus Monkeys - These charismatic creatures found in Nyungwe Forest take up the final place in Rwanda's Big-4 primate species. They live in sizeable groups making an encounter with Colobus Monkeys higher than anywhere else in Africa.
Other Primates - Other species found in Rwanda's national parks include Red Tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Owl Faced Monkeys, Baboons, Vervet Monkeys and Bushbabies amongst others.