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Rwanda: +250 (0) 252 502 452
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This is one of the best areas for tracking Jane Goodall’s gorillas and the Virunga Lodge in Rwanda makes it comfortable and easy with well-trained local guides and drivers. Located in the heart of a Rwandan community, they are constantly giving back to the locals through schools, electricity and other local improvements. The gorillas were on the verge of extinction until tourism made them worthy of saving as an economic resource for the country. The genocide museum is also worth a visit. Rwandans are incredible people and the museum offers insight into one of the swiftest genocides in the history of the world. You won’t be able to help but walk away in awe of a country fighting its way back from historical horrors.
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.