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A 4-days vacation safari in Volcanoes National Park, located in northern Rwanda, offers the opportunity to explore the stunning volcanic landscapes, observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, and immerse yourself in the culture of the local communities. Volcanoes National Park, found in the Virunga Mountains in northwestern Rwanda, is one of Rwanda’s most iconic and internationally renowned national parks. The park is famous for its incredible biodiversity, stunning landscapes, and, most notably, its role in the conservation of the critically endangered mountain gorillas. The park is not only a place of immense natural beauty but also a significant contributor to gorilla conservation efforts. When visiting the park, it’s important to follow park regulations, obtain necessary permits, and engage in responsible and sustainable tourism practices to help protect the delicate ecosystems and wildlife that call the park home.
Volcanoes National Park is located in Rwanda, and that only could be found In the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat, “wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, “are great, old volcanoes towering almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest, situated in the far north-west of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range, home of the endangered mountain gorillas and a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland and swamp. Volcanoes National Park is named after the chain of dormant volcanoes making up the Virunga Massif- Karisimbi, the highest at 4,507m, Bisoke with its verdant crater lake, Sabinyo, Gahinga, and Muhabura. The park has the mysterious intimacy of the rain forest, alive with the calls of 200 species of colorful birds and the chattering of the rare Golden Monkeys, which is the only one of the truly unique life experiences in the area. Within the boundaries of Volcanoes National Park are Buhanga Eco-Park, an ancient forest holding Rwanda’s most intriguing folklore, and Musanze Caves, formed 62 million years ago after the last estimated volcanic eruption. Volcanoes National Park has the most equatorial mountainous climate and unique flora, and diverse wildlife.
Located on the Virunga Volcanoes is covered with rainforests, the park is home to a vast number of primates, birds, as well as large mammals like forest elephants, buffalos, and more wildlife species. Although gorilla safaris are the main reason people come to this 13 000-hectare park, an encounter with these highly endangered primates is not the only activity on offer. A Volcanoes National Park safari will take you into a forest packed with other creatures which include several types of monkeys and some 180 bird species. Head out on guided nature walks or even a challenging hike to experience one of Central Africa’s most biodiverse destinations.
Activities In Volcanoes National Park
Mountain Gorilla Trekking
This is a priority for most Travellers who come to explore the Volcanoes National Park. The park is home to over 10 habituated Gorilla families available for trekking. Also, Volcanoes Park covers Rwanda’s great Virunga massif bordering Virunga National Park in Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Hiking up a steep trek through the dense bamboo jungle in search of one of the Gorilla families and eventually, a face-to-face encounter with the primates is considered one of the most exciting and memorable Wildlife encounters in Africa!
Golden Monkey Trekking
Golden Monkey Trekking is yet another most done activity in Volcanoes National Park which attract thousands of Travellers into this jungle. Golden Monkeys are exceptional creatures that every traveler should not miss out on his/her Rwanda Safari Tours. It’s only in Volcanoes in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, travelers can also have opportunities to see the Golden Monkeys in their natural habitats. The park has also two habituated Golden Monkeys troops that are available for visiting by tourists the park, both of which make about 80 to 100 members. The golden monkey, easily recognized due to the yellow patches that can be seen all over the body is a rare species that is also listed as endangered.
Besides wildlife, Volcanoes National Park is home to three extinct volcanoes. Travelers to this park, therefore, have an added advantage of hiking to the top of any Volcano which will reward you with spectacular views of Rwanda’s rolling hills and Kigali City, Virunga Volcanoes, and local communities. Mountain Karisimbi is the most hiked Volcano and the most experience is worth the hike.
Hiking Tour Volcanoes
National Park is also a great destination for hiking adventures. There are some easy treks like the Dian Fossey Trial, moderate Mountain hikes like the trail up to Mountain Bisoke which is over 3700m above sea level and most popular for its crater lakes, or even more the more challenging hikes like Mountain Karisimbi the 5th highest summit in Africa. You cannot visit Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and leave without hearing about Dian Fossey, a brave primatologist who was killed in her line of duty trying to protect the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. After being killed, she was buried in Volcanoes national park alongside her favorite Gorillas which were killed on the same day. Currently, her grave is one of the main tourist attractions, and many people from different countries come and hike to Dian Fossey’s grave. It has become a huge tourist attraction hence activity in Volcanoes National Park is worth a lifetime experience.
Birding Safari Tour
Birdwatching in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is another exciting activity that you can enjoy while on your Rwanda adventure tour. This park is home to over 200 bird species, some of which are endemic to the region. There are always arranged bird-watching safaris in Rwanda and many tourists opt to do the activity from Volcanoes National Park.
Visit Ib’iyacu Cultural Village
When you visit Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, there is another interesting activity that you can enjoy after Trekking Gorillas or Golden Monkey Tracking. This is a visit to Ib’iyacu culture visit, here you will have the opportunity to meet the former poachers of Rwanda who were resettled and live in one place. Collect some African art crafts for remembrance and enjoy exploring their cultural dances and songs, meet and greet the local people, and much more activities that engage with the community. It’s a real African cultural tour experience when you visit the Ib’iyacu cultural village.
Please Note that gorilla trekking permits are limited and should be secured well in advance. This itinerary is can be customised based on your interests and preferences. Volcanoes National Park offers various activities, including additional hikes, birdwatching, and cultural experiences.
- 4×4 safari vehicle with fuel and Driver
- Full Board Meals Plan
- Local English/French speaking Guide
- All park entry fees-Game drives, ranger
- Water and Wife On Board
- All Local Taxes
- All Air Fares
- Meals where not provided
- Alcoholic drinks
- Porter fees while trekking/hiking
- Personal Insurance
- Personal shopping bills
- Items of personal nature