The Volcanoes National Park is an amazing home to the endangered mountain gorillas, rare giant apes native to only three countries in Africa. This is the best park for gorilla trekking, journeys involving hikes within the volcanoes of the Virunga and Bwindi to see the mountain gorillas.
The park is located in Ruhengeri (also known as Musanze) in Northern Rwanda, within a distance of only 3 hours drive from the airport. The park lies in the Virunga Volcanoes area and has great scenic mountain views as well as unique features including the rare mountain gorillas. The park also has primates including the golden monkeys as well as a large number of bird species.
When to Visit the Park
The park can be best visited during the dry seasons December- march and around June –September. This is because it’s easy to hike and track mountain gorillas during these months of the year since there are limited chances of raining.
Volcanoes National park is the best place to go gorilla trekking in Africa. There are ten habituated gorilla groups that can be visited by tourists on a gorilla trek. The park is the best place for mountain gorilla tracking and thousands of travelers visit the park every year to see the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural homes.
Gorilla permits are at US$1500 and can be booked through a local tour operator or directly from the Rwanda Development Board (RDB). On the day of gorilla tracking, tourists are expected to be at the Kinigi headquarters by 7:00 am and a tourist is only given 1 hour to interact with the gorillas. Gorilla permits are only sold to individuals above 15 year.
Volcanoes National Park has a number of accommodation facilities some of which include; Virunga lodge, volcanoes lodge, mountain gorilla nest lodge, Sabyinyo silverback lodge, mountain gorilla view lodge, hotel Muhabura, Garr hotel, villa gorilla, Kinigi guest house and others. All these are standard accommodation centers and provide internationally accepted hospitality services.
Apart from gorilla trekking, visitors to Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park, can engage in various activities which include golden monkey tracking, nature trekking and forest walks, hiking the famous Virunga volcanoes, birding, community walks, a visit to the Musanze caves, primates tracking and a visit to Dian Fossey tombs, and research center. There are also several volcanoes that hikers can climb – Mount Bisoke and Karisimbi are the most popular!