Volcanoes National Park | Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Experience
Located in the northwest region of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is Rwanda’s most popular safari destination, the best place for mountain gorilla trekking, and home to the endangered mountain gorilla. Volcanoes Park is part of the Greater Virunga Conservation Area (VCA), along with Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Both parks (members of the Virunga Reserve) border the Volcanoes Park, which is also part of only 4 national parks in the world that are home to endangered mountain gorillas.
How Big is Volcanoes National Park?
Volcanoes Park covers an area of 160 square kilometers and consists of 5 volcanoes that are part of the Virunga Mountains, from which the park takes its name. Volcanoes in Virunga National Park include Karisimbi, Bisok, Sabinyo, Gachinga, and Muhabra. Volcanoes National Park is rich in mountain ecosystems, including evergreen bamboo forests, open grasslands, swamps, and bad fields. Volcanoes Park is known as the base for American zoologist Diana Fossey and her research on mountain gorilla conservation.
Dian Fossey has dedicated her life to the protection of mountain gorillas and opened a research center during her work where she studied gorillas for 18 years until she was killed by an unknown person. Dean Fossey’s work is featured in the internationally acclaimed film Gorilla in the Fog, filmed in Volcanoes National Park. Mountain gorillas are a major tourist attraction in Volcanoes Park and these gorillas include both wild and domesticated gorillas. This is a typical gorilla trek during a mountain gorilla trek that lives in a group led by a dominant silverback. Mountain gorilla populations in Volcanoes Park include the Amahoro, Hirwa, Bwenge, Titus, Karisimbi, Susa A, Uganda, Umbano, Agashya, and Kwitonda gorilla populations.
Wildlife Adventures in Volcanoes National Park
In addition to mountain gorillas, Volcanoes Park is also home to other forest animals such as elephants, giant wild boars, duikers, spotted hyenas, jungle deer, water buffalo, jungle pigs, and primates such as golden monkeys. The dense forests of Virunga National Park are home to over 200 species of birds, including those endemics to the Albertine Rift Valley, including Grauer’s Reed Warbler, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori Two-necked Black Thrush, Handsome Franklin, Strange Weaver, Crimson-Wing, Collared Apalis, Red-faced Warbler and Archer’s Earthrobin to name a few.
What to Do in Volcanoes National Park?
Mountain Gorilla Trekking Experience
Mountain gorilla trekking is an extraordinary safari experience and the popular Rwanda safari is offered in Volcanoes National Park, which is home to a large number of mountain gorillas found on mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda. The mountain gorillas in Volcanoes Park include both wild and domesticated mountain gorillas, the common gorillas that trekked on the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Trek.
Resident mountain gorillas undergo an adaptation process during which they are trained to be less aggressive towards the presence of humans, mountain gorillas live in groups in Volcanoes National Park, including Amahoro, Hirwa, Bwenge, Titus, Karisimbi, Susa A, Uganda, Umbano, Agashya – and Kwitonda groups of gorillas.
Mountain gorilla trekking in the volcano starts as early as 07:00, and during the briefing at the park headquarters, the guide will introduce you to the rules and regulations in the presence of the gorilla. This activity takes about 5-6 days, including an hour in front of the mountain gorillas. You can take photos in front of the mountain gorilla as long as the light is off.
Golden Monkey Tracking
Golden monkeys are another primate found in Volcanoes National Park and were encountered on a monkey trek in Volcanoes Park. This activity is very similar to the mountain gorilla trek, the only difference is that it is designed to meet the golden monkeys, which starts as early as.
Golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park are divided into two groups/large groups of golden monkeys used to walk, 80 in total, living in the park’s bamboo forest. On the Golden Monkey Trek, you will meet golden monkeys among the bamboo shoots, and in their company, you can enjoy their fun playing on the bamboo and collecting bamboo shoots. You can also take beautiful pictures.
Listed as 3 Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is one of the best birding destinations in Rwanda, the park is dominated by lush forests and is home to more than 200 species of birds that can be seen in the park’s birding tours.
Birds you will enjoy watching on your Rwanda Birding Tour in Volcanoes National Park include African Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl, Brown Wagtail, Brown-necked Parakeet, Doherty’s Thorn, Dusky Red-winged Bird, Dusky Turtle Dove, Grauer’s Marsh Warbler, Beautiful Franklin, Langdon’s Crimson, red-faced woodcock, Ruwenzori round, Ruwenzori batis, Ruwenzori Double Collared Sunbird, Ruwenzori Nighthawk, Ruwenzori turaco, Scarlet Malachite Sunbird, Strange Weaver, etc.
Tour of Diana Fossey’s Grave
The Dian Fossey Tomb Tour is a fascinating historical walking tour of the Dian Fossey Tomb to gain insight into the life of American zoologist Dian Fossey while exploring Volcanoes National Park and its mountain gorillas. Diana Fossey, who devoted her life to the study and conservation of mountain gorillas, was attacked by unidentified people believed to be insurgents during her stay at the Karisimbi Research Center, which ended in 1985, taking her life. After her death, she was buried among mountain gorillas in a cemetery that housed about 20 gorillas that died of natural causes or at the hands of poachers.
Dian Fossey Tomb Tour takes about 1-2 hours to travel through thick forest to Diana Fossey Tomb and you can see forest creatures like forest elephants, water buffaloes, wild boars, and many birds during this trek. mountain hikes
Mountain Trekking in Volcanoes National Park is an extraordinary Rwandan safari adventure in two volcanoes, Mount Bisoke and Mount Karisimbi.
Hike on Bisoke Mountain
Mt Bisoke is an impressive volcano with a beautiful crater lake on top and the trek to the top of Mt Bisoke is a 1-day activity that takes about 6 hours including a 2-hour descent. You will begin your trek up Mount Bisoke at the Rwanda Development Board headquarters in Volcanoes National Park. When you reach the top of the volcano, you have a fantastic view of the crater lake and the rest of the volcanoes of the Virunga chain of volcanoes.
Trekking to Mount Karisimbi
Mount Karisimbi is the highest volcano of the Virunga volcanoes, at 4,507 meters above sea level, the fifth highest peak on the African continent. Mount Karisimbi, located on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, takes its name from the local slang “Amasimbi”, meaning “white mantle”. The Karisimbi Hills trek takes a total of 2 days. This trek offers sightings of various birds like Grauer’s Warbler, Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori Double Collared Sunbird, Handsome Franklin, and large primates like Orangutans and Golden Monkeys.
Rwanda Volcanoes National Park Cultural Tour is offered at Iby’Iwacu (Gorilla Guardian Village), an initiative of local people who were previously involved in mountain gorilla poaching and currently focus on gorilla conservation. The village of Iby’Iwacu was established by Edwin Sabuhoro as a caretaker of Volcanoes National Park with the desire to turn gorilla poachers into conservationists.
On the Cultural Tour of Iby’Iwacu Village, you can take part in cultural dances, brew local alcohol, the royal drama of a king’s coronation, and more, giving you an insight into the life of local people in Rwanda. How to get to Volcanoes Park
Volcanoes National Park is a 2-hour drive from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. The road is a common mode of transport to reach the park. If you are using road transport, it is recommended to use a 4×4 wheeled vehicle. Domestic flights from Kigali International Airport to the park are provided by Akagera Aviation by helicopter.
A range of accommodation options are available during a Rwanda safari in Volcanoes Park, including luxury/premium, mid-range, and budget accommodation, including Bisate Lodge, Kwitonda Lodge, Virunga lodge, Sabinyo silverback lodge, One & Only Gorilla Nest, Le bamboo gorilla lodge, Mountain Gorilla View lodge, Kinigi Hotel, Muhabura Hotel, Garden Place Hotel, and many others