Ruhengeri ¨C a small town in northwestern Rwanda which is the base for travelers to view the highly endangered mountain gorillas at the Volcanoes National Park on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The gorilla permit now costs US$500 and it allows only for 1 hour of gorilla viewing. Many travel agencies quote between US$1000 and US$3000 including hotel and 4WD transport. If one uses public transport and hitch on national park vehicles plus staying at budget hotel, the total cost would amount to US$600 to 700. Even then, I think this is horrendously expensive compared to a Galapagos cruise or an East African safari where one sees more creatures for a much longer period of time. I decided to give the gorillas a miss.
Even then, I visited the national park office and snapped a few photos. The town of Ruhengeri is surrounded by spectacular volcanoes and tea plantation. Unfortunately, there is too much cloud that day (it¡¯s raining season!) which shrouded what could have been a fantastic view.