This weekend I am going to commune with the gorillas and I have never been more excited. Rwanda is one of the few places in the world that are home to mountain gorillas. They live in the Parc National Des Volcans in the southwest corner of the country, which spreads into Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The way it works for tourists is you buy a "gorilla permit" through a tour company or at the Rwanda Development Board (which is what I did). I will not tell you how much I paid because it is an obscene amount but hey, when's the next chance I'll get to hang out with gorillas in the wild? Plus these permit purchases are a big part of Rwanda's economy so I can at least feel good that I'm putting money back into this lovely country.
Tomorrow afternoon I'll take a bus two hours west to a town called Musanze. I found a super cheap guest house to stay in for two nights and have to be at the park entrance at 7am sharp on Saturday morning. Apparently they are really strict about this and if you're late they give your permit away....no "monkey" business (sorry, I had to). I've been doing a bit of recon and learned there are seven gorilla families who call Rwanda home:
- Amahoro (which also happens to be the name of my guest house)
- Group 13
Check out the description of the families here. It's seriously worth reading because apparently gorillas have soap opera-esque lives: "...a family of 11, Umubano were originally Amahoro members but broke off after the dominant silverback was challenged by Charles, now the leader of Umubano."
One of the other volunteers was supposed to come with me but he decided to bail at the last minute (wah, wah) so looks like I'll be having a romantic weekend solo. Can't wait to make you all jealous with my gorilla pics!