I enjoyed a mesmerizing journey through the Great Western Rift Valley in Uganda and Rwanda when I had the pleasure of the once-in-a-lifetime experience of gorilla tracking. Tracking mountain gorillas through these lush forests requires patience and stamina, as it can take some time to reach the gorillas, but seeing them is well worth any exertion; an awe-inspiring and phenomenal experience.
The journey itself through the forest can be tough in places but the guides are very considerate and always manage to find the easiest route through the dense trees and unique afromontane forest. If you like, you can also hire a porter for the day whom will accompany you and help you with your equipment. Whatever you do, don’t forget your camera but don’t forget to put it down for a while either!
The people in the local villages are very open to tourists and the benefits that tourism brings them; many of them sell local curios and souvenirs that can be bought for friends at home, each one of them unique. There are a number of local community projects that I was able to visit as well, making it a really immersive visit to these vibrant countries.
I stayed with Volcanoes Safaris. They employ local guides and lodge staff and the traditional African hospitality I found in the villages was also evident in the lodges. It was a fantastic opportunity and experience to be able to connect with the local people, their culture, their way of life and the mountain gorillas in the forests.
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