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Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park, located in northern Rwanda, has two claims to fame: it is Africa’s oldest national park and contains a third of the world’s mountain gorilla population. The high-altitude rainforests provide lush bamboo stalks for 12 habituated gorilla families.

Because there's a maximum of 8 trekkers per group, visitors are ensured a great, immersive experience with these incredible creatures. The time it takes to reach the gorilla family varies; most treks will require 2 to 3 hours hiking each way. Once the group reaches their gorilla family, they have an hour to spend time with them. Though gorilla permits are more expensive here than Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the terrain is less grueling in Volcanoes. Therefore, one only needs to be in reasonable condition to gorilla trek here. The best time to see the gorillas here are during the dry seasons (June to October and December to March).

Other wildlife within Volcanoes National Park includes blue monkey, black-fronted duiker, bushbuck, giant forest hog, African civet, genet, and buffalo. Golden monkeys, a rare, playful subspecies of blue-monkeys, are also located within the national park. The Rwenzori turaco and the forest francolin are among the more than 100 bird species recorded here.

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