Written by: Gale Ball
At the start of January 2016, our family of five went on a 3-day gorilla trek with Africa Geographic Travel.
Obviously, the gorillas were the reason to visit and I still remember the moment when, after climbing for about an hour, the guide stopped me and said: “Sshhh… someone is watching you!”
I turned my head and froze.
There, almost touching me face-to-face, was the first gorilla, just sitting quietly behind a small bush. As we made eye contact, it took all my strength not to reach out and hug him! I couldn’t believe how close we got. For the first 10 minutes, we didn’t have any cameras out as we were all completely blown away by the experience.
However, there is so much more to Rwanda than we ever expected – picturesque views around every corner, a sad past that should be retold in order for history not to repeat itself, Dian Fossey’s legacy to help save endangered mountain gorillas, and big game safaris as well. It is yet another truly amazing country in the wonderful African continent.
There were just so many memorable moments on our trip! Obviously seeing the gorillas was an unreal experience that I will never forget, but staying on Lake Kivu after meeting the gorillas was also a highlight, as was just seeing the continuous hills and valleys of beautiful Rwanda. Visiting the genocide memorial and church was also a must-see, although very sad.
Our guide for the trip was superb! He spoke English well, was very knowledgeable, and his service was excellent. He went out of his way to accommodate our request to visit the World Vision office to drop off a present, and he took different routes to and from the gorillas to accommodate our desire to see as much of Rwanda as possible.
Our gorilla trekking guide was also excellent; he was not only passionate about gorillas but he was also very knowledgeable and most helpful. He understood our age requirements and need to see a gorilla group that was closer to the base of the mountain, and he also organised our porters and chose those who could assist us with the climb.
After only one day of returning to Australia, we had already recommended Africa Geographic to friends!
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