A trip to visit our (long) lost relatives is bringing many Kiwis to Uganda, and especially to Rwanda, often as a side trip from a safari in either Kenya or Tanzania. There are regular inexpensive flights from Nairobi, Arusha or Dar Es Salaam into Kigali and Entebbe, and a mountain gorilla trek can usually be achieved in as little as 3 or 4 days, or up to a week if you are keen to combine with chimpanzee trekking also for the ultimate primate experience.
You do have to plan ahead though – gorilla trekking permits, while expensive at USD$750 currently (payable up front and non-refundable!) are sold out months in advance for popular times of the year like June-August, as numbers of trekkers are strictly controlled.
Our clients often tell us that this one hour spent with the ‘relatives’ is the most mind-blowing moment of their entire time in Africa, and worth every cent. Who knows, you might even get a cuddle from a giant male (it has happened!)- just remember not to look him in the eye!
Rwandan people, despite their tragic recent history, are renowned as being among the friendliest in the world and clients tell us they enjoyed their time in the gracious and leafy capital city of Kigali almost as much as their time with the gorillas. Go on, give it a try!