Volcanoes National Park is home to the mountain gorilla. The 48-square-mile (125-km2) park supports several vegetation zones, from lush bamboo stands to luxuriant mountain forest to Afro-alpine. From 8,500 to 11,000 feet (2,590 to 3,350 m), primary forest is dominated by hagenia trees growing 30-60 feet (9-18 m) in height. Hagenia have twisted trunks and low branches covered with lichen, out of which epiphytic orchids, moss and ferns often grow. Volcanoes National Park borders both Virunga National Park in the Congo and the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Other wildlife in the park includes the golden monkey (a rare subspecies of blue monkey), black-fronted duiker (very common), bushbuck and buffalo. Over 90 species of birds have been recorded, including spectacular mountain turacos (the Rwenzori turaco is the most common) and forest francolin. Your viewing of the gorillas will be limited to a maximum of only one hour. One must be prepared for a strenuous hike of four to six hours. A small water bottle is a good idea, especially if the trek turns out to be strenuous. There will be some bottles of mineral water in your vehicle for you to take with you.
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