In 29 years, Tito Rutaremara, a seasoned Rwandan politician and one of the founders of Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), has not been in Volcanoes National Park since 1991 during the liberation war, and even then, he had no “heart” for gorillas at the time.
Only recently, at 76, did he decide to go for gorilla tracking. He visited Sabyinyo gorilla family in the midst of Virunga Forest. He spent two days in one of the hotels in Musanze at the foothills of Virunga Mountains.
“When we arrived, we were briefed by a group of tour guides on the dos don’ts in the forest and started trekking. It was of course tiring for me given my age, but very exciting,” he narrated.
Mr Rutaremara is now the chairman of Rwanda Elderly Advisory Forum whose responsibility is to advise on the country’s most pressing issues. The forum reports to the president. He also served as the Chief Ombudsman and as a senator.
Old eyes, new insights
“I was thrilled how Rwanda is blessed with amazing nature. I was not aware until now,” he told The EastAfrican.
He decided to visit gorillas now that prices are lower and tourism needs domestic tourists now more than ever.