With my family, had a trip in Africa early this year 2016. Initially, our plan was to visit Tanzania and Kenya as well as Zanzibar. However, my husband read somewhere that an African Safari is incomplete without gorilla tracking in either Uganda and Rwanda.
We picked interest in this adding a 3 day Rwanda gorilla trekking tour on our African safari. You will ask me why I chose Rwanda over Uganda? This was simply because, we found it much easier to connect from Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) to Kigali (Rwanda) and back as Air Rwanda flies frequently over this route unlike connecting between Entebbe (Uganda) and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania).
We arrived at Kigali International Airport in the evening, warmly welcomed by William, a tour guide from African Jungle Adventures Limited. We were transferred to Five to Five Hotel in kigali where we had dinner and relaxation while waiting to start our 3 day gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park).
The next day started with breakfast at Five to Five hotel, then a briefing from William, afterwhich we had a city tour in Kigali where we visited Gisozi genocide memorial museum, Camp Kigali, the Red Rocks art / cultural center, local market, lunch and drove to Volcanoes National Park in the northern part of the country. We were so exhausted, check into Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, had welcome juice, dinner and overnight in our cottages.
The next day was for gorilla trekking, the highlight of our safari in Africa! We got up early for breakfast, then assembled at the Park headquarters in Kinigi for registration, briefing about gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park and assigned to a gorilla group in your ability to track. We asked for Susa group, regarded to be the biggest and hardest to track…….. hehehe
According to your guide, Susa is one of the famous Gorilla groups in Parc National Des Volcans. It is also known as the group of Dian Fossey from 1967 to 1985. This is the most popular family with previously 42 members before the split. In 2008 the group of 42 individuals split into 2 as it had become so large.
The breakaway group was later known as Susa B or Karisimbi group. Susa a group is well known for it’s playful twins of Byishimo & Impano and was named after the Susa River that drains through their home range. The family today has 33 members with 2 silverbacks found on the lower slopes of the volcanic Karisimbi mountain.
Today the Susa Group at one time was over 40 members but like many families had a family feud and split. Today there are about 28 Susa Gorilla Family Members.
Susa family is composed of 3 silverbacks and there is also Poppy who is believed to a member of the Susa family when Dian Fossey studied them – he was born in 1976
The Susa Gorilla Family is one of the furthest groups with the longest distance hiked by visitors, and high level of physical fitness is highly recommended. The trek with the Susa Group can often take all day and its one of the most sought out groups by Visitors to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
It was 8 hours hike to Susa family and back, very hectic but so much adventurous! We had to relax at our lodge located on the edges of Volcanoes N.P
On day 3, we tracked the rare golden monkeys before transferring back to Kigali for our on-ward flight to Zanzibar. All of us accepted that Rwanda is a must visit destination in Africa, with beautiful and friendly people, unique culture,majestic rolling hills and the rare mountain gorillas.