People come to Ruhengeri for the gorillas. \u00a0That's really all there is to do here but seeing the gorillas was the highlight of my trip. \u00a0We arrived the night before and stayed at Red Rocks. \u00a0We were up early to have breakfast and make our lunches before heading out at 7am.\r\n\r\nWe arrived at the meeting point at 8am and were welcomed with tea and coffee and traditional dancers performing while our guides checked us in and they put us into groups.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAfter the performance it was onto the main event! \u00a0Our group of seven people were going to see the Titus group - descendants of Titus the orphaned gorilla who was part of Dian Fossey's original research group (he passed away in 2009). \u00a0Our guide's name was Eugene and he had been a guide for 16 years. \u00a0I asked him if he had ever not seen the gorillas when he had gone out and he said no. \u00a0We were off to a good start with Eugene.\r\n\r\n\r\nAfter the traditional dance and drums we got back into our 4x4 and headed about 20-30 minutes down the road. This is where we would start our hike through the rural fields and farms to the Volcanoes National Park. We were put into one of the easier groups so we had a one and a half hour hike to the entrance of the park.\r\n\r\nWe then hiked about half an hour into the forest with our tracker. \u00a0The trackers go out first thing in the morning to find the gorillas and know where they are. \u00a0They radio the guides and tell them where to go. \u00a0Once you reach the tracker you must leave all of your stuff except your camera there. \u00a0I was the first one in following the guide and next thing you know I was face to face with a gorilla. \u00a0I turned to the guide and was pointing going there's a gorilla right there and he was like yeah, I know. \u00a0I was not expecting to be that close by any means.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nSo we're snapping away photos and you can see the branches and bamboo moving all around. \u00a0As we turn the corner we saw this mother and her baby. \u00a0The Titus family is actually a family of 12 gorillas with two silverbacks - Kubaka and Pato. \u00a0Kubaka is the dominate male and Pato is second in command.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThe baby gorilla was up to no good the whole time and really trying to test his mother. \u00a0He picked up a bamboo stick and tried to come at me. \u00a0Luckily he had a long stick and couldn't get at me through all of the foliage in the forest. \u00a0He was really fun to watch as he would play and eat and roll around on the ground.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nEveryone has one hour with the gorillas. \u00a0The gorillas are only visited once a day for 60 minutes. \u00a0I wouldn't say the gorillas are use to having visitors but more that they are completely unfussed by you being there while they rest and eat.\r\n\r\nThis picture of Kubaka was taken moments before he charged me. \u00a0Our guide was cutting down some foliage and Kubaka didn't like him cutting down his food source so he charged us. \u00a0Can't say I blame him! Our guide would make sounds like a gorilla to tell them everything is alright. \u00a0It was amazing to see how fast he could move towards us and watching his face get angry was just as amazing as it was scary.\r\n\r\nI don't think you can recommend this experience enough. \u00a0The main reason people may not do it is the cost. \u00a0It is $750 usd to see the mountain gorillas. \u00a0Rwanda has 500 mountain gorillas of the 900 left in the world so just over half. \u00a0The experience is extremely organised and you can tell their main priority is to protect the gorillas and ensure the visitors have a chance to see them. \u00a0This experience brings much needed funds and jobs to the area. \u00a0Even the farmers whose fields we traipsed through on the way to Volcanoes National Park are compensated and the government has a large education program to help locals understand the value of these animals to not only their country but to everyone.