In February 1994, I went to Rwanda to see the gorillas, the same ones as in Diane Fossey's Gorillas in the Mist. There was a group of 10 people and we had been planning this for a long time but it was more exciting than we could have imagined. We flew from New York via Paris to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, which is a small town of about 150,00 people nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains and is very very pretty, beautiful flowers, millions of butterflies, very little traffic/. We stayed at the hotel Meridien for two nights (a nice hotel, with swimming pool tennis. etc. and costs about $100 a night) while our guide made arrangements with the Rwandan guide, as all groups are strictly monitored by the national Widelife authority and can only be the same size as the gorilla family they are going to see!!. Then we left and travelled for four hours by bus towards the North, Kisenyi and the Parc National des Volcans, where the gorillas live.
We walked (climbed) over bamboo, uphill for two hours and just as I was beginning to give up, there they were, a gorilla family. We quickly sat down and were very silent as they do not like any kind of confrontation, and we watched them for three hours. it was absolutely fascinating, they are really like humans in their interaction, children playing, mothers looking after babies and males doing those all important chest thumpings!!
It is an experience not to be missed, although due to the political situation it is now best to check with the State Department before planning a trip there.