Taking a guided nature/ forest walk is yet another amazing way that you can get to watch the different attractions living in and around the volcanoes national park. In a group and together with your ranger guide, you walk deep into the jungle and spend some time searching for other species that may interest you like the tree species, other vegetation, and the wildlife that live in the forest. You can expect more primates other than the gorillas, there are different species of monkeys but the most interesting to the tourists are the golden monkeys and that is why there are troops of the habituated golden monkeys which will give a completely different experience compared to gorilla tracking.
Golden monkeys prefer to stay at the lower levels of the bamboo forests therefore you don’t have to walk for long here you find them which is not the case with gorilla tracking adventure which requires a lot of time since they sometimes move up in upper zones on the mountains. When you meet them, you will be amazed by their beauty and as the name suggests, they have that shiny reddish-gold color on their backs therefore they perfectly blend in with the golden color of the bamboo stems. Nature walks also gives you an enhanced knowledge about the ecosystem.
Nature walks are so perfect for bird watching. Bird watching requires that slow movement so that you can spot even the few bird species hiding in the tree branches and you will definitely miss seeing them during the primates watching trek. You can always take as many pictures of the wildlife, the vegetation cover and lots of other attractions as you will find them.
What to wear and carry for a nature walk
Forest walk require the same preparation as the primates watching experience for example.
Hiking boots are the best shoes because the jungle is usually wet and muddy as well as slippery and simple shoes will make movement very tough.
Trousers and long sleeves will protect you from being pricked by thorns or broken tree branches which cause bleeding. There are some dangerous plants like the stinging nettle to which may cause you a lot of discomfort if they touch your skin.
Carry your drinking water because you might need it. Packed food too if you will be out there for long hours but always remember to keep the empty bottles and all the rubbish with you because littering is unacceptable. To have a successful forest walk, the rangers’ rules have to be followed to avoid encountering any problems while in the jungle.
Other places that you must visit include the Dian Fossey tomb hike and may be the popular Karisoke Research Centre at Karisoke which is in a place between Karisimbi and Visoke thus the name Karisoke. She was a primatologist and anthropologist who spent a lot of her time ensuring mountain gorilla conservation.
Her anti poaching campaign led to the arrest of so many which is most likely why she was murdered. December 27th 1985, she was found in her tent lying in the pool of her own blood. She was put to rest at her site in Karisoke in a gorilla graveyard, close to so many gorillas that had been killed by the poachers.
This Diani Fossey hike is an amazing combination of intellectual, physical and emotional experience for tourists because it’s very inspiring to get to learn about her and her work towards saving gorillas.
During the hike, you will move through that thick volcanoes national park forests and so you need to be relatively physically fit and patient. The Dian fossey tour begins in the morning therefore your driver will drive you from the headquarter to where the trail begins. From there, together with your ranger you will begin the walk along the fairly steep slopes to the research centre where you will also find Dian’s grave and this walk takes about 2 or 1 and a half hour. You will enjoy the scenery as you hike, will see different primates, lots of bird species, fog hogs, among attractions.
Hiking to the Dian Fossey grave is considered an act of honor to her for all the amazing work that she did during her stay in Rwanda. All her effort towards gorilla conservation is probably the reason why mountain gorillas still exist in Volcanoes national park. You can go visit her tomb probably the day after the amazing gorilla hike in the great Volcanoes Forest.