Rwanda: Gorilla Trekking in Virunga Ranked Top Touristic Experience

Photo: Ellen DeGeneres
Portia surprised her wife Ellen with the Gift of a Lifetime: The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund that will support the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund's permanent home in Rwanda.

Gorilla trekking in the Virunga National Park has been named among the top tour and travel experiences by World's Best Travel Bucket List Experiences, a renowned travel website.

In compiling the list, the outlet sought inputs from over 800 leading travel agencies and professionals.

Gorilla trekking featured in the 8th position out of about 3,000 experiences globally.

The website noted that Gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park is largely thrilling as tourists get to interact with the primates in their natural habitats.

"You will walk through stunning jungles dripping in wildlife and through mountainous valleys where the stillness imbues you with a glorious stillness.

"But the magic when you step through a glade and find yourself in the presence of gorillas is indescribable. In their natural habitat, these majestic creatures will implant the most precious memories in your mind as you get to watch infants affectionately cuddle their parents or see the silverback male command the attention of the tribe of gorillas," the citation read in part.

This is not the first time that Rwanda's tourism attractions have featured prominently in global rankings and publications.

Among those that have featured and ranked Rwanda prominently in recent years include Wanderlust, a top British travel magazine, in recognition of the diverse attractions, New York Times Travel Show, Bloomberg and CNN among others.

Wildlife and environmental conservation efforts have seen the Gorillas population in the Virunga mountains increase significantly over the recent years.

Conservation efforts have seen the population of the endangered rare mountain gorillas has grown by 26.6 per cent.

There are an estimated 400 gorillas in the Virungas with the total global population of gorillas is estimated at about 800.

The conservation initiatives and efforts are also increasingly attracting support from across the globe.

Famous American television personality and actor, Ellen DeGeneres is the latest to join in the conservation efforts and recently announced that she will soon set up a facility in Rwanda for Dian Fossey's work to help protect the critically endangered mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains.

The local tourism sector has been on a growth curve in recent years with stakeholders working to ensure diversity in attractions.

Among ways they have worked to create the diversity has been through re-introducing the 'Big Five' into the local ecosystem especially following inclusion of Rhinos and Lions.

The sector is the country's leading source of foreign exchange earnings and was expected to rake in $ 440M in revenue in 2017.

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