About Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park has become very famous for mountain gorilla tracking safaris and lately no visit to the country is complete without visiting these majestic primates.
Volcanoes National Park is the Rwandan lies within the Virunga Mountains that straddle the borders of Rwanda, Uganda, and the DRC. The massif covers a huge area of over 8,000km², encompassing other volcanoes six active and three extinct volcanoes. Gorillas, of course, pay no heed to borders and are known to cross between the countries. It should be noted that most habituated groups (10) are found in Volcanoes National Park. The Virunga massif is home to around half of the world’s precious mountain gorillas – some 400 of them – making Rwanda probably the best place in Africa for a gorilla trekking safari.
Location of Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park (French: Parc National des Volcans) seats in northwestern Rwanda and borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The national park is a haven for the mountain gorilla. The park has five volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo), which are covered in rain forest and bamboo.
What to do at Volcanoes National Park
Mountain Gorilla Tracking
Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda is the main activity that attracts tourists into the country. The mountain gorillas are critically endangered, with fewer than 900 left in the wild worldwide.
You need to come and see these gentle giants in their natural habitat, because it is memorable and a lifetime experience.
Trekkers are usually accompanied by trained Tour Guides who are well-informed about all the wildlife in the park and will lend a hand along the trek. They could carry your daypack or offer you a helping hand if you got stuck in the mud.
Mountain Hiking Adventures
Mount Bisoke stands at 3,700 meters above sea level, with a deep crater lake on the top. It is situated in Volcanoes National Park part of the Virunga mountains. Hiking Mount Bisoke does not require prior hiking experience, you only need to be physically fit, due to the high elevation and length of the climb.
The whole hiking takes five to seven hours depending on your speed and the frequency of stops.
When you get to the top of Mount Bisoke, you will be able to have a beautiful view of the other five volcanoes and the beautiful Twin Lakes.
Adventurous Hike to Dian Fossey Tombs
The late Dian Fossey lived and was buried in Volcanoes National Pak after being killed by the poachers that she had protected the gorillas against
Dian Fossey was an American primatologist who spent about two decades in the park, studying the mountain gorillas and doing extensive research about them. A biopic of her life in the forest was made into a movie in the eighties, titled Gorillas in the Mist.
She was murdered by poachers in 1985. Her grave is nestled between the beautiful volcanic peaks of Bisoke and Karisimbi, near Karisoke Research Center where she had settled and was doing research from.
As you are hiking the mountain, you may be lucky enough to see elephants, buffalo, primates like golden monkeys among others.
Golden Monkey Tracking
Virunga Mountains harbor the beautiful golden monkeys along with side gorillas and other primates.
Tracking the beautiful golden monkeys is another popular tourist activity in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. A glimpse of these creatures is considered to be a wonderful lifetime experience.
Most visitors book a 3-day gorilla tour package, to experience the golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park. Like gorilla tracking, this activity starts in the morning with a briefing at Kinigi Park Headquarters.
However, golden monkey tracking is less strenuous than to gorilla trekking, so you’ll be finished by around midday.