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Discover the World’s Great Apes

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Many people around the world do not much about Rwanda other than the genocide of 1994. Nonetheless, the sad history of the genocide is past Rwanda as a country as it has a lot of things to offer to people who may want to know about. Rwanda has become one of the top African tourism destinations. Millions of travelers come to Rwanda to enjoy its attractions and rich culture. This east African country is a marvel to experience as it has very amazing natural beauties being molded with very nice climate and world class accommodation facilities and restaurants to stay and dine respectively.

Out of the several attractions in Rwanda, the great apes stand out most. Rwanda has the mountain gorillas and the chimpanzees which are part of the ape family. In a layman’s language, apes are animals without a tail have a two pairs of limbs with protruding digits at the needing of the limbs and have better developed brains than any other animals in the world. These are the closest relatives of mankind. These animals have about 95% DNA similar to mankind as they have similar immune, respiratory, digestion and nervous systems. The only existing in the world are human, chimpanzees, gorillas, gibbons, orangutans and bonobos and luckily enough Rwanda is one of those few countries with some apes other than humans in the world namely the gorillas and chimpanzees

Other than humans, apes inhabit in areas with dense forests and Rwanda has chunk of montane forests allover and this makes it the best place for the gorillas and the chimpanzees to inhabit. The gorillas in Rwanda are found in the Ruhengeri province in volcanoes national park of Virunga ranges northeast at the border of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda. Rwanda has one of the gorilla four subspecies of gorillas and that is the mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas are endangered species of animals under the red list of International Union of Conversation for Nature (IUCN). Mountain gorillas are about 900 left in the world and Rwanda has a third of them of 320 individuals. Rwanda has made it possible for the world to come and discover and explore these terrific apes by gazetting them in Volcanoes National Park.

There are exciting gorilla trekking tours are organized for people to watch the gorillas in their natural setting. Gorilla trekking involves walking through the montane and bamboo forests of the park searching for the gorillas. It takes 2-6 hours for the trackers to find the gorillas since these animals keep on moving from one place to another to look for food and shelter they never settle in one place for more than a day.  It is a nervous cracking moment to meet the gorillas in their natural setting as the silverback makes an a suspicious eye contact with you (the gorilla track) and at times get the tracker bamboozled what the hell it is thinking. The trackers watch the gorillas forage, play around and relate intelligently with each other through their gorilla language which always leaves the trackers bemused. The trackers also have an opportunity of taking some epic pictures of gorillas in the world. Gorilla trekking gives man a chance to come very close to nature as interacting with the gorillas in a 7 meter distance is the closest man can ever get to a wild animal in the wild.

The chimpanzees in Rwanda are found in Nyungwe forest in the Southwest of Rwanda at the border of Burundi. The chimpanzees are the closest relatives of mankind with a 98.8% DNA similarity. These small apes are so intelligent and they have the ability to use tools to help them in their daily activities. The chimpanzees use tree branches to gather food and also to build their shelter and at times use stones to protect themselves from their enemies. These small apes are amazing to watch as they play around jumping from one tree to another. Chimpanzee trekking activity is the only eco tourism activity that comes next to gorilla trekking in terms of blowing the tourists’ minds.

It is always a good feeling to learn something new in life so come to Rwanda to discover the great apes on gorilla and chimpanzee trekking tour safaris. The gorilla and chimpanzee permits come at an affordable rate of USD 1500$ and USD 90$ respectively.

Linda Barbara

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