Volcanoes National park Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park.

One of the most popular travel destinations in Africa is Rwanda, sometimes known as “the land of a thousand hills”. The East African nation is a modest piece of beauty, home to a variety of primates and fauna, as well as highly attractive and welcoming people.

The oldest national park in Africa, Volcanoes National Park, also known as Parc National des Volcano, was first created in 1925 as a mountain gorilla conservation area. It was quite modest at first but was quickly increased to its current size of around 160 km2 and divided along the border between Rwanda and the Congo. The park is currently a well-known starting place for safaris in Rwanda, the most well-known of which being Rwanda gorilla trekking.

The Karisoke Research Center in the park, which Dian Fossey founded after her team was forced to leave the Congo in 1967 due to security concerns, is where the majority of the world’s current information regarding gorilla families comes from. American zoologist Dian Fossey devoted her life to studying and defending the park’s mountain gorillas from poachers.

Tragically, she was murdered there in 1985, and she was buried there. More than 100 employees are now employed by the Center, which is still engaged in activism and research. You may walk there in two hours from the tourist information center if you’re curious to learn more about the Center and meet some of the experts there.

Attractions and activities in Volcanoes National Park.

Mountain Gorillas

Despite the fact that Mountain Gorilla tracking excursions are the park’s most well-known attraction, visitors may engage in a variety of other activities thanks to the area’s soaring mountains and rich, diversified fauna.

One of the attractions of a Rwanda safari is the opportunity to go gorilla trekking in the Parc National des Volcans. For a price of USD 1500, visitors to the national park may go gorilla tracking. The optimum time to go gorilla trekking is between June and September when it’s peak season, however it may be done all year depending on when people book. All tourists who want to hike must get gorilla trekking permits, and only people over the age of 18 are allowed to trek. The park’s offices in Kinigi start tracking activity from 7 am, therefore visitors are recommended to come on time.

Golden Monkey Trekking.

Golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park is a thrilling and challenging experience. There are two habituated groups of Golden monkeys in the national park that visitors can visit. Both of these groups have 80 members, and monitoring activities start at 7am for both. Golden monkey trekking permits cost $100, and this charge is valid in both Rwanda and Uganda.

Hike to Dian Fossey’s Tomb.

Travelers may take a trek to Dian Fossey’s mausoleum at Volcanoes National Park and also visit the Karisoke Research Center, both of which are inside the park. For additional details, please see our page on Dian Fossey. Each participant must pay US$75 for this activity.

Birds/ Birdwatching in Volcanoes National Park

Because it is home to over 300 different bird species, some of which are unique to the Albertine Rift, Volcanoes National Park is frequently referred to as a birder’s paradise. A variety of bird species, including the African green broadbill, Kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori Batis, red-faced wood warbler, paradise flycatcher, long-crested eagle, grey-throated tit, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, strange weaver, and handsome francolin, can be seen in the Volcanoes National Park’s bamboo, alpine, grassland, and bushland vegetation.

Mountain Climbing.

Five of the nine Virunga volcanoes can be found in the Mountains and Volcanoes National Park: Mount Muhabura (4127 meters above sea level), Mount Gahinga (3474 meters above sea level), Mount Sabyinyo (3634 meters above sea level), Mount Bisoke (3711 meters above sea level), and Mount Karisimbi (4507 meters above sea level).

Visit Musanze Caves

The Musanze caverns were created by volcanic explosion and are located in Volcanoes National Park. The two-kilometer-long Musanze caverns are located beneath a cliff that is wide enough for people to enter and have walkways and steps leading within.

Visit Ibyi’wacu Village.

You will visit the Ibyi’wacu cultural group during the cultural encounter, which is located in Musanze hamlet outside of Volcanoes National Park. Visitors may participate in community walks at Ibyi’wacu Cultural Village where they can learn how to make beer from bananas, cook regional foods, learn hunting techniques, weave mats, tour traditional homesteads, and take part in cultural dances, among other activities.

The park provides tourists with entertainment in the forms of dances, theatre, music, and storytelling, among other things. Among other things, visitors may visit the king’s palace to witness how ancient rulers operated, traditional healers who once utilized herbs to treat various illnesses, and Batwa pygmies who lived in the forest before it was designated a national park. You may discover more about Rwandan culture with the Ibyi’wacu cultural tour, which will make your safari in the Volcanoes National Park more intriguing.

When is the best time to visit Volcanoes National Park?

Volcanoes National Park is open all year round, however the months of June through September and December through February are the greatest for travel because of the dry weather. Peak season, or the dry season, is when Volcanoes National Park experiences its lowest rainfall.

Because of this, activities like trekking to see gorillas, golden monkeys, and mountains are successful because the trails are passable and not muddy and slippery as they are during the wet/rainy season.

The rainy season, also known as the low season, occurs from March to May and October to November, when the forest experiences severe rainfall, making trekking difficult. However, the rainy season is a good time for bird watching in the park since there will be lots of fruits and food for the birds, allowing bird watchers to see a variety of bird species as well as migrating birds.

How to get to Volcanoes National Park.

The Volcanoes National Park is located in northeastern Rwanda and is accessible by road and air.

When traveling to Volcanoes National Park by air, you will fly to Kigali International Airport and then connect to Kinigi park headquarters by road, which takes around 2 hours.

If you wish to go gorilla trekking in both Uganda and Rwanda, you may take a road trip to Volcanoes National Park from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda. When visiting Volcanoes National Park from Uganda, take a 3 to 5-hour journey from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park across the Cyanika border to the park headquarters in Kinigi.

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