Volcanoes National Park – Home of Gorillas
Also known as “Parc National de Volcans” (PNV) , this Volcanoes National Park is part of the Virunga Mountains Massif that includes 8 very old volcanoes that are shared by three East African countries: Rwanda, Uganda as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo. This park is Rwanda’s most popular safari destination and receives millions of Visitors who come to trek mountain gorillas as well as the golden monkeys living there. The park is just a few hours from Kigali the capital City of Rwanda which makes it very accessible to holidaymakers.
This park is additionally one of the conservation epicenters of this beautiful country in which a number of non-profit organizations (NGOs) have based their operations and most renowned of these was the legendary primatologist and researcher Dian Fossey who established a research camp here and dedicated her life to conserve the then dying out mountain gorilla species. Her legacy still lives on and there is the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund still running that is carrying on with the great work she started to date.
What to do in Volcanoes National Park
Gorilla Trekking Safaris
This is the primary tourist activity within this park. Millions of holidaymakers visit this park to take part in the unique expedition of searching for the endangered mountain gorillas within their natural habitats. There are less than 900 mountain gorillas found on the entire planet to meeting them is definitely a lifetime memorable wildlife encounter that you ever have. For anyone to see these gorillas they are required to have a gorilla trekking permit and this cost $1,500 per person per trek.
Golden Monkey Trekking
Besides gorillas there are a number of other primates found in this beautiful park and these can be seen during our exciting primate watching safaris. Most prominent of these are the beautiful golden monkeys normally encountered in the bamboo forest. Their beautiful coats make them one of the most beautiful forest creatures in Volcanoes national Park. The cost of a Golden monkey trekking permit is US$ 100 per person per trek.
Visit the Musanze Caves
These ancient beautiful caves are believed to be more than 5 million years old. They are found within the volcanic area where millions of years ago flowing layers of lava formed the Albertine Rift Valley we see today. These beautiful caves offer an amazing hiking experience over a two (2) kilometer distance during which you will come across beautiful rare rock formations, a large bat colony and cascading light passing through tiny gaps from the top surface.
Explore Buhanga EcoParkk
Although the Volcanoes is a relatively small national park, this forested wildlife habitat not only hold great biological significance but cultural significance as well. There are a number of meditative trains running across the floor of this verdant forested terrain along which you will encounter different colored butterflies and birds singing up in the trees. This Eco-park was established at the former coronation site which was used by the ancient kings of Rwanda. Tours are conducted in the morning starting at 10:00 am as well as in the afternoon from 3:00 pm.
Hike to the Dian Fossey Tomb
the beautiful trail leading to the tomb of legendary primatologist and researcher Dian Fossey who established a research camp here and dedicated her life to conserve the then dying out mountain gorilla species is somewhat challenging taking you up to 3,000 meters on the slopes of Mt Bisoke. Dian was buried next to her favorite gorilla – Digit up in the park. The Dian Fossey Hike costs US $75
Visit the Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village
This village is found outside the park and it’s a living museum where you will have an opportunity to experience and feel the true culture of the Rwandan people. you will interact with the local people take part in a number of their traditional activities such as cooking fetching water, enjoy the vibrant drumming dancing and exciting traditional songs. There is also overnight accommodation here which requires prior reservations for those who wish to spend the night.