Are you curious about the distance between Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe Forest? Are you considering a primate tour in Rwanda? Well, you’re in for an exciting adventure! It is entirely possible to visit both Nyungwe Forest and Volcanoes National Park, offering a chance to combine a thrilling gorilla or golden monkey trek with a canopy walk or chimp trek in Nyungwe. The journey from Nyungwe Forest National Park to Volcanoes National Park takes approximately 4 to 5 hours, covering a distance of about 270 kilometers via the Ruhengeri-Gisenyi road. This combined trip promises excitement, adventure, and unforgettable memories. The roads are well-tarmacked and of good quality until the final stretch. To ensure your comfort during the road trip, we use 4×4 vehicles in our all-inclusive packages. Before entering the park, make sure you have secured permits for your chosen activities or have paid the park entrance fees to Volcanoes National Park.
Volcanoes National Park, also known as Parc Des Volcans in French and Pariki Yigihugu yibirungu in the local Kinyarwanda language, is situated in the northeastern region of Rwanda in a small town called Musanze. As one of the major national parks in Rwanda and East Africa, it holds a special place for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. The park is not only home to the endangered apes and primates, including the Mountain Gorillas and golden monkeys, but it also boasts a diverse array of bird species, monkeys, trees, forest hogs, bushbucks, and more. The rich biodiversity is complemented by the unique culture found in the area.
Volcanoes National Park forms part of the Virunga Conservation Area, which includes five extinct volcanoes: Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Karisimbi, and Mountain Bisoke. Managed by the Rwanda Development Board, a government body overseeing tourism activities in Rwanda, the park was designated to protect the Mountain gorillas from the threat of extinction due to poaching and other factors. Its tropical forest setting also borders Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park and DR Congo’s Virunga National Park, fostering collaborative conservation efforts among the three countries to safeguard the endangered Mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.
To participate in gorilla trekking, you’ll need to spend at least one night in Volcanoes National Park. The mountain gorillas are a major attraction here, and the trekking experience is available every day throughout the year. Visiting the habituated mountain gorillas in their natural habitat allows you to witness their feeding, movement, interactions, and daily routines. With 10 habituated gorilla families available for trekking each day, only eight visitors are allowed to trek each family. The chances of encountering these magnificent creatures are remarkably high (99%) as you are guided by experienced trackers, guides, and park rangers. Gorilla trekking starts daily at 7:00 am from Kinigi, where you’ll receive a briefing on the guidelines to follow during the trek. Although gorillas share 99% DNA with humans, they remain wild, so adhering to the dos and don’ts from the guides is essential. The duration of the trek can range from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the gorillas’ location and movement in the forest. To participate in gorilla trekking, you must have a Rwanda gorilla permit, which costs USD 1500 for all nationals and allows you one hour of observing and photographing the gorillas.
After your Nyungwe Forest adventure, you can also enjoy the golden monkey experience in Volcanoes National Park. This activity involves visiting rare and beautiful golden monkeys in their natural habitat. The park has two habituated golden monkey communities available for tracking each day, each comprising about 80 members. Unlike gorilla trekking, the number of visitors is not limited for golden monkey tracking. To participate, you’ll need to obtain a golden monkey trekking permit from the Rwanda Development Board, which costs USD 100 for all nationals. The activity starts at the park headquarters at 7:00 am, where park wardens provide a briefing on dos and don’ts. Your park guides and rangers will then lead you through the forest to find these stunning creatures. The duration of the trek depends on the monkeys’ location and movement, with viewing time limited to one hour after finding them.
A tour of Dian Fossey’s tomb is one of the most significant activities undertaken by visitors in Volcanoes National Park. The hike to her tomb, which begins from Karisoke Research Camp, takes approximately one hour. Dian Fossey was a renowned primatologist and zoologist from America who dedicated her life to protecting endangered gorillas in the Volcanoes region, creating awareness about their conservation. She was tragically killed by alleged poachers and buried within the park, where a memorial was erected in her honor. Dian Fossey is also well-known for her involvement in the film “Gorillas in the Mist.” The hike, which covers an altitude of 2,500m to 3,000m, leads to the final resting place of this remarkable conservationist, and taking part in this experience is a moving tribute to her passion, love for Mountain gorillas, and research efforts that have immensely contributed to gorilla tourism and conservation.
The unique and fascinating African cultures found in Volcanoes National Park offer an enriching experience for visitors. In the past, locals resided within the forest and even participated in poaching of endangered species. However, they were later relocated and organized into a village, known as Iby’Iwacu, within Volcanoes National Park in Nyabigoma, Kinigi, Musanze district, Northern Province of Rwanda. Trek Africa Tours tailors trips with cultural experiences to Volcanoes National Park, allowing you to share in the heritage, lifestyle, activities, artifacts, dances, and ways of living of the local people. The Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village showcases traditional practices and dances, providing an authentic glimpse into the lives of the local community.
For birdwatchers, both Nyungwe Forest and Volcanoes National Park offer a habitat for a variety of bird species. In Volcanoes National Park alone, over 300 bird species can be observed. Some of the notable species include Grauer’s rush warbler, a vulnerable bird commonly seen in the swamps, francolin, Rwenzori turaco, Archer’s ground robin, red-faced woodland warbler, dusky crimson-wing, Rwenzori double-collared sunbird, collared Apalis, Rwenzori batis, strange weaver, and many others. Trek Africa Tours offers birding packages to Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, and Uganda, with professional birding guides to assist you in spotting and identifying these fascinating avian species.
After arriving from Nyungwe Forest to Volcanoes National Park, selecting a good, clean, comfortable, and beautiful lodge or camp is essential for a truly memorable safari experience. Luckily, Volcanoes National Park offers a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets.
For those seeking a luxurious stay, options like Bisate Lodge, Gorilla Nest, and Virunga Lodge are available. These lodges provide top-notch amenities, stunning views, and exceptional service, ensuring a truly indulgent experience.
Midrange travelers can choose from lodges like Sabinyo Silverback Lodge, Five Volcanoes Lodge, and Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge. These lodges offer comfortable accommodations and excellent services, striking a balance between luxury and affordability.
For budget-conscious travelers, options like Kinigi Guesthouse, Hotel Muhavura, and Gorilla Volcanoes Lodge are available. These lodges provide basic yet cozy accommodations, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings without breaking the bank.
It’s important to note that accommodations can fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons. Therefore, it’s advisable to book your preferred lodging in advance to secure your stay and possibly get discounted rates for extended stays.
Trek Africa Tours has been offering incredible experiences in Volcanoes National Park and Rwanda as a whole for several years. As a trusted and highly rated tour operator, you can rely on Trek Africa Tours to curate and tailor your perfect gorilla trekking, birding, cultural, and golden monkey tracking adventures from Nyungwe Forest to Volcanoes National Park.
The team at Trek Africa Tours consists of a mix of young and energetic staff guided by experienced professionals who are passionate about what they do. With a proven track record of delivering authentic and memorable experiences, Trek Africa Tours has garnered positive reviews and ratings on platforms like TripAdvisor and Safari Bookings, showcasing the satisfaction of previous travelers.
To book your safari and explore the wonders of Volcanoes National Park from Nyungwe Forest, visit https://www.trekafricatours.com and discover the various discounted packages and tailor-made tours available. Trek Africa Tours will ensure your journey is seamless and filled with adventure, making your Rwandan experience truly unforgettable.
In conclusion, the journey from Nyungwe Forest to Volcanoes National Park offers an exciting opportunity to explore two of Rwanda’s most spectacular natural treasures. Volcanoes National Park is home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas and golden monkeys, as well as a diverse range of bird species and other wildlife. Visitors can enjoy activities such as gorilla tracking, golden monkey tracking, visiting Dian Fossey’s tomb, experiencing the local culture at Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village, and birdwatching.
When embarking on this thrilling adventure, it’s essential to secure permits for the activities of your choice or pay the park entrance fees to Volcanoes National Park. Additionally, choosing the right accommodation can greatly enhance your safari experience. From luxury lodges to budget-friendly options, Volcanoes National Park provides a variety of choices to suit different preferences.
For a well-organized and unforgettable experience, booking with Trek Africa Tours is highly recommended. Their experienced team will ensure your trip is seamless and tailored to meet your specific interests and preferences. So, if you’re ready for an extraordinary safari experience in Rwanda, don’t hesitate to embark on this incredible journey from Nyungwe Forest to Volcanoes National Park with Trek Africa Tours!