Facts about Volcanoes National Park; First of all, Volcanoes National Park first gazetted as a national park in 1925 and one of the oldest national park on the African continent. More so, it was gazetted as a national park in order to protect mountain gorillas from poachers.  However, Volcanoes National Park over the years gained popular due to the facts that it is one of only three habitats of the large, hairy and strong endangered Mountain Gorillas in the entire world. This is the reason why Gorilla Trekking Safaris to this destination is becoming a tremendously fast on ‘’Rwanda Tourism Activity’’.

Gorilla Trekking Bwindi vs Volcanoes National Park

Fact about Volcanoes National Park 

Volcanoes National Park Rwanda is one of the three Rwanda National Park and is Rwanda’s top most visited park because of being a home to these unique and beautiful creatures. Furthermore, the park is referred to as ‘’parc National des Vulcans’’ in the French language. This world popular national park lies in the Musanze town in the north-western provinces of Rwanda.

The park also boasts as a birding paradise and plant species. More so, is one of the four inhabitants in three countries to see these endangered great Mountain gorilla in the world; other places are Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park both located in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Volcanoes National Park is bordered with Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The park is comprised of 5 out of the 8 volcanoes of the Virunga volcano region and these include; Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Karisimbi, Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura and Mount Bisoke.

Facts About Volcanoes National Park
Gorilla Tours in Volcanoes N.P

In year 1929, the park was extended from Rwanda into Congo. But before the national park was originally called Albert National Park after King Albert 1, which was managed by the Belgian Colonialist government at this time, Facts About Volcanoes National Park

Then later in the year of 1960’s, Volcanoes National Park was divided between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo thus following their gain to independence. Due to this case, it greatly leads to the reduction of the park’s half size thus giving rise to the birth of Virunga National Park in the Congo.

In general, Volcanoes National Park covers an area of about 160 square kilometers of rain forest and bamboo, a home to over 178 bird species and 13 are endemic species and 16 sub-species are found in the Virunga Conservation Area and foothills of Rwenzori Mountains. However, the park is acted as a researching site for the popular American primatologists and conservationist Dian Fossey in 1967. Her scientist research in the park which was carried out far back in 1966 when prominent Dian Fossey began studying   about mountain gorillas within the park which impacted a lot on Rwanda Tourism Hub. But unfortunately   she was murdered by the poachers and she was buried at a grave site found within the park.

The park is a home to diversity of mammal species especially the primates such as vervet, white and black colobus monkeys, mountain gorillas, spotted hyenas, forest elephants, buffaloes and giant hogs as well as bird species many more.

Early 1990’s, volcanoes National Park later became a battle front for the Rwanda Civil war ‘’genocide war ‘’ which not only affected people’s living in Rwanda and also lead to reduction of tourism system in the area till 1999.

In 2005, we see Rwanda Government intruding the baby naming ceremony for baby naming ceremony for baby gorillas called ‘’Kwita Iziina. All was done to a bid to revamp tourism and conservation activities conducted in Volcanoes National Park. The ceremony for naming baby gorilla had to be introduced annually and involves the participation of both the local community and visitors as well.

Fortunately, Volcanoes National Park’s headquarters are based in Kinigi which is a small village that lies in the town of Musanze which formerly called Ruhengeri. More so, the park’s meeting center lies in Kinigi where one can buy gorilla trekking permits and same place where briefing of tourists about dos and don’ts of gorillas can be done.

Take note; Tourists who intends to carryout gorillas or golden monkey trekking in the park should make their own bookings of trekking permits. Of which we recommend you 3 to 6 months in advance in order to avoid any inconveniences most especially during the peak season between June and September to guarantee availability of permits.

Rwanda Gorilla Permits costs USD1,500 per person per trek and in Uganda Gorilla permit bought at USD700 per person per trek.

Things to Do and See in Volcanoes National Park

Here are adventurous activities tourists can engage in and these includes;

Gorilla Trekking;

Gorilla trekking activities is the Rwanda’s highlight activities on safari. The activity which can be done by tourists at fee USD1,500 and can be done all year around depending on visiting date or when tourists book. Although, the best time to enjoy trekking gorillas in their nature inhabitant is in drier seasons which starts between June to September and December to February. Gorilla trekking   can be done by person aged 15 and above. However, this activity starts early in the morning at the park headquarters. After briefing head out to the forest trail heads with accompany of park ranger who guides you searching for this creature. But once are a gorilla family is found one hour is given to you.

Golden Monkey Tracking

This is also one of the best done activity in Volcanoes National Park which has two habituated groups of Golden monkeys available for tourism. This activity also starts in the morning and the time varies. Rwanda golden monkey tracking costs USD100. Golden monkey tracking is quite rewarding you visiting this activity species in their nature inhabitant, Facts About Volcanoes National Park

Hiking Mountain Karisimbi and Bisoke

This activity consists of hiking experience on different mountains either Mountain Bisoke, Muhabura, Karisimbi or Gahinga.   While enjoying the activity you’re able to view bird species, wildlife species like mountain gorillas, insect species and forest elephants. The activity goes between USD75 – 100 dollars per person per day.

Hike to Dian Fossey Grave Site;

Along your visit to Volcanoes National Park   you can combine gorilla trekking  with a visit to Dian Fossey’s tomb and also take a visit to Karisoke Research Centre where she used to carry out her research about the mountain gorillas. Both places are located within park. Hiking there goes at USD100 per person per day.

Facts About Volcanoes National Park
Dian Fossey Grave Hike

Visit Musanze Caving;

While on safari to Volcanoes National Park you can take a visit and hike to Musanze caves which are located inside the national park, which were formed as a result of volcanic eruption about 65 million years ago. They were officially opened to public in 2013 by the Rwanda Development Board. On visit here you will have provided with safe equipment’s such as knee caps, boots, gloves, face mask, head cap and helmet.

Cultural tours

While on visit to Volcanoes National Park, you can take a visit to nearby local communities like a visit to Iby’Iwacu community village where you can interact with the local people and be entertained by their interesting local intore dance group.

Where to stay while at visit to Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park boosts with excellent accommodation facilities with good amenities ranging between luxury, Mid-range and Budget. Such lodges include; Sabyinyo silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View, Le Bambou, Kinigi Guest house. Gorilla Volcanoes Lodge, Virunga Lodge among others.

Getting to Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park can be accessed by both road and air from Gisenyi town or Kigali city. The safari journey to national park starts at Kigali International Airport. From Kigali to the headquarters takes only 2 hours’ drive.

Get started now planning, to Rwanda’s top visited National Park ‘’ where you visit and you can’t be disappointed because the park offers a bucket of remarkable activities to visitors.

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