Live Chat
Go Back

The 8 incredibly unique holidays you need to take in 2018


Stylist, Stylist Team


Meet mountain gorillas face to face in Rwanda

“As adrenalin-spiking animal encounters go, one of the most memorable adventures out there has to be hacking through the bamboo rainforest of the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda, to come face to face with a silverback gorilla in the wild. Stay at Virunga Lodge, a luxury safari lodge on the site where Dian Fossey (of Gorillas In The Mist fame) set up her first conservation camp.

Visitor numbers in Virunga are strictly kept at eight humans to each gorilla family per day, making tracking the gorillas intimate and refreshingly uncrowded. It almost feels like you’re a family of humans going over to your gorilla cousins’ for tea. Cousins who could rip your face off at any given moment.

Fortunately, these gorillas have all been carefully ‘habituated’ (gradually acclimatised to human presence by wardens over years before tourists are introduced), a process pioneered by Fossey. And it’s gratifying to feel that the gorillas are gloriously untroubled by our squeaks of delight and the occasional shutter flash. They just keep on chewing bamboo, scratching around, doing their thing, and being totally awesome.

When Fossey began her research in 1967, the mountain gorilla population consisted of an estimated 240 primates. Happily, it’s now risen to 900, but meeting the mountain gorillas is still a powerful reminder of just how fragile the world really is. The pulse-racing experience of seeking out these mighty apes through bamboo forests in the shadow of the dramatic, mist-shrouded Virunga volcanos is as thrilling as it is humbling.”

Stay: Virunga Lodge

Ten individual luxury bandas (traditional-style huts) look out over mountains and lakes, while unashamedly vivid local fabrics are used to add a blaze of colour. Everyone gets their own fireplace, while laundry and boot-cleaning are gratis. And the romance factor is off the charts.

Booking Enquiry

To make a booking, please complete this form or click here to chat to one of our sales consultants via our live chat. Alternatively, send us an email on [email protected].
To protect gorillas from disease, no children under 15 years are allowed to go gorilla tracking. For guests booking a stay at Virunga Lodge, please note that the minimum age limit for children at Virunga Lodge is 12 years.
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, analyse site traffic and personalise content. Read about how we use cookies and how you can control them by checking our privacy policy. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.

Safari Activities

Chimpanzee Tracking

Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.

Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.