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Charlotte Beauvoisin Sue Watt Ian Redmond OBE

Walking With Gorillas

How to see East Africa's gentle giants

There’s something undoubtedly fascinating about our giant cousins, the magnificent mountain gorillas of Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s partially down to their sheer size — you can’t fail to be impressed by a creature that colossal. But there’s something deeper, more endearing. The combination of awesome strength with profound gentleness; the depth of their social bonds; their harmony with their environment; their vulnerability and their struggle to survive.

Perhaps our fascination comes from us seeing in them what we wish we saw in ourselves?

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One of Africa's last-known tourist destinations, tiny Rwanda gets a fraction of the visitors of neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania -- but not for long. Tucked just below Uganda, it sits on the Albertine Rift which divides the Congo and Nile water catchment areas. This makes it one of Africa's most biodiverse regions. And unlike many other African countries, you can drive across it in a matter of hours. The result? A host of exceptional wildlife experiences within very close proximity.

Many people know about mountain gorillas, and Rwanda is one of the best places to see them. But there's also the Akagera National Park, home to all the big five. And Nyungwe Forest, a unique ecosystem where you can spot chimps, trek to waterfalls and cross a 70-metre high walking suspension bridge. Once you've had your fill of adventure, you can relax on the shores of spectacular Lake Kivu. It's one of Africa's most picturesque lakes with hardly a tourist around. For now.

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  • Kigali


    Rwanda’s bustling capital sprawls across several valleys and hillsides, bookended by towering mountains...Read more
  • Nyungwe National Park

    Nyungwe National Park

    One of Africa’s oldest rainforests, Nyungwe National Park is home to around 500 chimpanzees and 12 other primate species...Read more
  • Akagera National Park

    Akagera National Park

    The savannah plains of Akagera National Park on Rwanda’s border with Tanzania are the perfect place for a Big Five safari...Read more
  • Karisoke Research Camp

    ...Read more
  • Volcanoes National Park

    Volcanoes National Park

    Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda and named for the chain of dormant volcanoes that make up the Virunga Massif (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura), Volcanoes National Park is home to endangered mountain gorillas, rare golden monkeys and more than 200 bird species...Read more

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda

Up close with the elusive mountain gorilla
Approx. 3 days
Kigali (1 days) → Volcanoes National Park (2)
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Gorillas and the Big Five

Safaris and gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Approx. 8 days
Kigali (1 days) → Akagera National Park (4) → Volcanoes National Park (3)
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Rwanda’s Complete Wildlife Experience

Gorillas, chimpanzees and the Big Five
Approx. 10 days
Kigali (1 days) → Akagera National Park (3) → Volcanoes National Park (3) → Nyungwe National Park (3)
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Things to do in Rwanda

Our recommended experiences and activities

Remember Rwanda's past

Remember Rwanda's past

Kwibuka, which means “remember” in Kinyarwanda, is a series of events every April in commemoration of the 1994 genocide.

Where to go in Rwanda

Our recommended places

Why Horizon Guides?

Expert travel guide

Expert travel guides

Our guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for reliable and impartial travel advice.

Authentic experiences

Authentic experiences

We curate exceptional trips in underrated places, organised by the very best tour operators who live and breathe their destinations and are passionate about authentic, responsible tourism.

Give back to mother nature

Give back to mother nature

We'll plant 50 trees for every trip booked via the Horizon Guides site in partnership with the International Tree Foundation, who carry out sustainable community forestry projects in Africa.