Probably Mountain gorillas are the most captivating creatures in the wild. The lucky chance of being close up to them attracts millions of tourists to Africa annually – Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda (the only three countries in Africa where mountain gorillas are found).
Trekking the endangered mountain gorillas is a one-of-a-kind experience and a more unique thing of trekking mountain gorillas in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park is the opportunity of visiting the only orphanage for mountain gorillas in the entire world, Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage – which is set close to Mikeno Lodge.
All guests at Mikeno Lodge are guaranteed a visit to this unique Gorilla Orphanage Centre – Sekwenkwe.
Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Centre is named after the great silver back gorilla, Senkwekwe, who led Rugendo gorilla family during a great massacre of some members in 2007 by rebel forces hiding in the park.
The idea of the gorilla orphanage centre, which is within proximity to Mikeno Lodge, came up when two orphaned gorillas (Ndakasi and Ndezi) who survived the massacre were rescued and there was no ideal place to take proper care of them.
A resolution was made to set up a centre to cater for young mountain gorillas that have lost their parents due to poaching, animal trafficking or fighting between government forces and rebels in the park area.
Under the leadership of Andre Bauma and the management of Virunga National Park, the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage provides an uncommon opportunity for primate enthusiasts to contribute directly to a worthwhile conservation effort while also spotting mountain gorillas interrelate closely with humans.
The Gorilla Doctors and caretaker staff at the centre offer protection as well as raising the orphans. Gorilla Doctors is a squad of veterinary doctors working on several Gorilla conservation projects in Africa, such as treating mountain gorillas in the wild, among others.
Meanwhile, besides the mountain gorillas, the Senkwekwe Center also offers a helping hand in rehabilitating young Eastern lowland gorillas by removing them away from traffickers, treating them for a given period and then transferring them to the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) center for orphaned lowland gorillas. The Senkwekwe mountain gorilla sanctuary has also earned praise for its community outreach and educational activities near the center.
Therefore, in case you make it back from your gorilla trekking safari excursion in a timely fashion, you should really opt to visit the world’s only mountain gorilla orphanage, which is set into the grounds of the Mikeno Lodge.
Access to the orphanage is normally reserved for guests at the Mikeno Lodge – for whom it is free – but it may be possible to request a visit even if you’re not a guest here; simply ask your tour operator to contact the Virunga National Park, which is also headquartered here.
A visit to Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage centre gives a chance to closely have an unforgettable interaction with these mountain gorillas whose behaviors are a bit different from those in the wild. Bookings for your visit to Senkwekwe are normally made at Mikeno lodge.