Volcanoes National Park is situated in north-western Rwanda in the district of Kinigi and Ruhengeri and it is part of the Virunga Conservation Area. Volcanoes national park borders Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and the park covers an area of about 125 square kilometers with extinct volcanic rocks which include Muhabura, Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Bisoke and Gahinga which is shared with Uganda.
Volcanoes national park is referred to as the place where ‘’gold meets silver’’ reason being, the park has both the silverback gorillas and the golden monkeys within the same vicinity. Volcanoes National Park is one of Rwanda’s most popular tourist destinations because of its endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.
ACTIVITIES DONE IN THE VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
- MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING
Mountain gorilla trekking is the main activity done in Volcanoes national park. The park has 10 habituated gorilla families and all are ready for gorilla trekking, here is the list of the gorilla families you can decide to trek depending on your physical fitness, Susa gorilla family, Karisimbi gorilla family, Sabyinyo gorilla family, Amahoro [peace] gorilla family, Agashya [meaning special] gorilla family, Umubano [live together] gorilla family, Kwitonda [humble one] gorilla family, Hirwa gorilla family, Bwenya [wisdom] gorilla family and Uganda [mobile. Being on the move] gorilla family. The Uganda mobile gorilla family is always on move from Volcanoes national park [Rwanda] to Mgahinga Gorilla national park in Uganda. For travelers to enjoy gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda you have to buy gorilla permit at cost of 1500 USD and viewing gorillas after finding them takes only one hour. Mountain gorilla permits in Uganda are only issued by Rwanda Development Board.
- GOLDEN MONKEY TRACKING
Golden monkey trekking is yet another most done activity in Volcanoes national park. Golden monkeys are among endangered species which every traveler should not miss out on a visit to volcanoes national park. These species attract thousands of travelers into this jungle to search for them. Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda is where travelers can see golden monkeys so those parks are referred to as places where gold meets with silver. Golden monkey permit goes only 100 USD and permits are only issued by Rwanda Development Board and you can book for your golden monkey safari through tour operators.
- VOLCANO HIKING
Volcanoes national park is a home for five extinct volcanoes. So apart from the famous gorilla tracking and golden monkeys trekking activities, travelers who visit volcanoes national park, therefore, have an added advantage of hiking to the top of any of the five Volcanoes which reward them with spectacular views of Rwanda’s rolling hills, Kigali city, Virunga volcanoes, and local communities. Mt Karisimbi is the most hiked Volcano and the experience is worth the hike. You can decide to do a one-day hike in mount Karisimbi and you will enjoy the experience.
Musanze caves are located in Musanze town in Rwanda and you can add Musanze caves on your safari to Volcanoes national park. The Musanze caves used to be the shelter for locals during the war times and even during the Rwanda genocide incident, you will find the experienced guide who will narrate to you the mysteries of the caves, history and all other facts about Rwanda
- IBY’LWACU CULTURAL VILLAGE
On your visit to Volcanoes national park, you must visit Iby’lwacu cultural village where you will enjoy the traditional style setting of Rwanda tradition. You will see and can take part in some activities as well. The cultural village visit features some of Rwanda’s ways of life, cultural foods, local brew making, traditional dances, songs, drumming, banana juice making, traditional healers and storytelling among others.
- BIRD WATCHING
volcanoes national park is home to plenty of bird species and park recorded over 178 bird species. For travelers who love bird watching can include bird safari in their visit to volcanoes national park and will see different African bird species.
- HIKING TWIN LAKES -BURERA AND BUHONDO
Lake Burera and Buhondo are located in the Musanze district in Rwanda. These twin lakes are just lake Bunyonyi of Uganda with a beautiful view. Lake Burera and Buhondo were named twin lakes because they are situated in the same area and their physical connection. On your visit to Volcanoes national park, you spare some time to hike the twin lakes and the hike takes 3-4 hours.
ACCOMMODATION FACILITIES IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Mountain gorilla view lodge, Le Bambou gorilla lodge, Sabyinyo silverback lodge, Hotel Muhabura, Kinigi Guesthouse, Le Palme hotel, Villa Gorilla lodge, Garr hotel, Gorillas volcanoes hotel, Da Vinci gorilla lodge, Garden place hotel, Bisate lodge, Virunga lodge, Mountain gorillas nest lodge, and Five Volcanoes Boutique hotel among other.
HOW TO ACCESS VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK?
You can easily access volcanoes national park by road through Musanze which is the normal and easy route to get into the park. It’s only a 2-3 hours’ drive.