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Gorilla Trekking, Volcanoes National Park

Mountain gorillas are critically-endangered, with only about 1000 in the wild. They can be found only in Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo. Trekking with these gentle giants is a thrilling wildlife experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life!

Where: Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is arguably the top place to see wild mountain gorillas (it is also the most expensive).

When: Gorilla trekking is year-round. The dry seasons from December to early February and June to September offer the most comfortable trekking. The rainy season is more difficult, but photographing gorillas drenched with water can be rewarding.

Photography: Depending on the gorilla family you are assigned to, the trek to find the gorillas can range from moderately difficult to extremely difficult (park officials will try to take into account your fitness level when assigning people to groups). Once your group finds the gorillas, you have only one hour before you have to leave. It may not seem like much, but time will seem to slow down when you are in the presence of gorillas! A short telephoto zoom lens and even a normal range zoom are ideal, as you are often quite close to the gorillas. Hand-holding or using a monopod will be your best options for photography. Overcast conditions are ideal, as bright light will create glare and hot spots in your photos.

Learn more: You can find more information about gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park, including information on reliable tour operators, here. © Ian Plant

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