Parc Des Volcans or Volcanoes National Park is situated in the northwestern region of Rwanda, near the town of Musanze. In the local language, Kinyarwanda, it is referred to as Parikari Y’Igihugu Y’Ibirunga. The park is also known as Parc National Des Volcans in French. The park is part of the Virunga Conservation Area and boasts five extinct volcanoes, namely Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Karisimbi, and Mountain Bisoke. As one of the oldest parks in Africa and a major national park in Rwanda and East Africa, it is renowned for its unique culture, diverse bird species, primates, including the endangered Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys, monkeys, forest hogs, and bushbucks. Rwanda’s tourism industry has positioned itself as a luxury destination and has seen rapid growth, with Gorilla tourism in Volcanoes National Park playing a pivotal role in the country’s economic development. Visitors can enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of gorilla trekking, with East Africa being home to half of the remaining population of these endangered primates.
The Rwanda Development Board, a government body responsible for overseeing all tourism activities in Rwanda, manages Volcanoes National Park. The park was established to protect the Mountain Gorillas and other wildlife inhabiting the forest, which were under threat of extinction due to poaching. The park’s tropical forest borders Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park and DR Congo’s Virunga National Park, and the primates within the park have historically crossed between these countries, leading to collaborative conservation efforts among them to safeguard the endangered Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys.
Volcanoes National Park is a remarkable destination in Rwanda, offering a range of activities and sights to explore. Visitors can enjoy the following experiences:
Volcanoes National Park is renowned for its spectacular mountain gorillas, making it a popular destination for gorilla trekking. Visitors can expect to embark on an unforgettable journey through the park’s dense forests to catch a glimpse of these endangered primates in their natural habitat.
Gorilla trekking involves visiting the habituated mountain gorilla families and observing their daily activities such as feeding, moving, resting, and living in harmony. The park boasts 10 habituated gorilla families for trekking every day, with only eight visitors per family allowed. The chances of seeing the mountain gorillas are high, with experienced trackers, guides, and park rangers leading the way.
Gorilla trekking begins every day in Kinigi at 7:00 am with a briefing on the guidelines to follow while on the trek. Despite sharing 99% of their DNA with humans, the gorillas remain wild, and visitors are advised to follow the dos and don’ts provided by the guides. The trek can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours depending on the gorillas’ location and movement in the forest.
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is an experience of a lifetime, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to observe these majestic primates up close in their natural environment.Enco
To go gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, you must have a Rwanda gorilla permit reserved for a specific date from the Rwanda Development Board. The permit costs USD 1500 for all nationalities, and visitors are permitted one hour to view and photograph the gorillas. Booking a gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park is an experience of a lifetime and a great addition to your bucket list. Trek Africa Expeditions can assist you in reserving and customizing an affordable and unforgettable gorilla trekking tour.
Golden monkey tracking is a unique activity that lets you explore the habitat of the rare and delightful golden monkeys in their natural surroundings. In Volcanoes National Park, there are two habituated golden monkey communities available for trekking every day. Each community has about 80 members, and there are no restrictions on the number of visitors. To visit the endangered golden monkeys, you must obtain a golden monkey trekking permit from the Rwanda Development Board, which costs USD100 for all nationals.
The golden monkey tracking activity starts at 7:00 am at the park headquarters, where the park wardens will brief you on the dos and don’ts. Then, the park guides and rangers will lead you to the forest to search for the golden monkeys. Depending on the monkeys’ movement and location, the trek can take from 30 minutes to a few hours. Once you find the golden monkeys, you can observe and spend one hour with them before returning.
Trek Africa Expeditions can assist you in booking a golden monkey trek to the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, where you can experience the charm of these endangered creatures in their natural habitat.
The Dian Fossey Tomb Tour is a popular activity among visitors to Volcanoes National Park. It involves a one-hour hike to the tomb from the Karisoke research camp. Dian Fossey, a renowned American primatologist and zoologist, spent her life in the Volcanoes protecting the endangered gorillas from extinction and raising awareness about conservation efforts. She was tragically killed by alleged poachers and was buried in the park, with a memorial erected in her honor. She is also well-known for her participation in the film “Gorillas in the Mist.”
The hike to the tomb is approximately 2,500 to 3,000 meters and leads to the final resting place of Dian Fossey. Celebrating her life, her love for the mountain gorillas, and her research makes this experience truly remarkable. The hike allows visitors to pay tribute to the woman who fought to save the endangered gorillas, promote gorilla tourism, and raise awareness about conservation efforts. To book your Dian Fossey Tomb Tour, contact Trek Africa Expeditions today.
Experiencing different African cultures is always a unique and exciting adventure that adds value to your African trip. The Rwandan culture is especially delightful to participate in. The Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village in Volcanoes National Park is a perfect place to immerse yourself in the local culture. The village is located in Nyabigoma, Kinigi, Musanze district, in the Northern Province of Rwanda. The locals who used to live in the forest and participate in poaching were later organized into a village for better living conditions.
We always tailor trips to Volcanoes National Park to include cultural experiences. Visiting Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village offers an incredible opportunity to share the local people’s heritage treasures, including their lifestyles, activities, artifacts, dances, and ways of living. The village showcases the traditional practices, ways of life, and dances of the local people. You will have a chance to participate in traditional dances and enjoy the cultural music while interacting with the friendly locals.
Volcanoes National Park is not only famous for gorilla trekking but also a habitat for an incredible variety of bird species, making it a haven for birdwatchers. The park is home to over 300 bird species, including some rare and endangered ones. The Grauer’s rush warbler, for instance, is a vulnerable species commonly found in the park’s swamps. Other bird species include the 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 more.
To help you make the most of your bird watching experience in Volcanoes National Park, we offer birding packages with professional birding guides who are well-versed in spotting and identifying birds. Contact us to book your bird watching tour to this birdwatchers’ paradise.
If you are planning to visit Volcanoes National Park, you must obtain a Rwanda visa at a cost of USD30 from Kigali International Airport or any of the border points into Rwanda. The park is conveniently located just a 2-hour drive from Kigali city, and it takes only an hour to drive from Cyanika border of Uganda and Rwanda. Our all-inclusive packages include comfortable 4×4 vehicles for your road trip to the park. Please note that you will need to have secured a permit for your chosen activity or pay park entrance fees to gain entry to the park.
A comfortable and beautiful lodge or camp can enhance your safari experience in Volcanoes National Park. From budget to luxury, there are numerous lodges and hotels available to choose from. For those who prefer luxury, Bisate Lodge and Virunga Lodge are recommended options. Mid-range options include Sabinyo Silverback Lodge, Five Volcanoes Lodge, and Le Bamboo Mountain Gorilla Lodge. Budget-friendly hotels such as Kinigi Guesthouse, Hotel Muhavura, and Gorilla Volcanoes Lodge are also available. However, it’s important to note that accommodation options can sell out quickly, especially during peak season. Therefore, it is advised to book your accommodation in advance before your visit to Volcanoes National Park.
Trek Africa Expeditions has been providing amazing experiences in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park for many years. We offer discounted packages and tailor-made trips, including gorilla trekking, birding, cultural experiences, and golden monkey tracking. Our team is made up of a mix of young and energetic staff, guided by well-experienced team members who are passionate about what they do.
We take pride in our ability to organize authentic experiences, and our track record speaks for itself. Trek Africa Expeditions has received high ratings and positive reviews on Trip Advisor and Safari Bookings. This feedback from previous travelers to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda can help you learn about the experiences of others who have traveled with us. Contact us today to plan your unforgettable trip to Volcanoes National Park.