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Volcanoes National Park

The magnificent Virunga Mountains, situated in the Northern Province of Rwanda, on the border of Rwanda, DRC and Uganda. These mountains consist of six Volcanoes, 125 km2 of mountain forest, and are home to the famous gorilla families.

The Volcanoes National Park was first gazetted in 1925, as a small area bounded by Karisimbi, Bisoke and Mikeno Volcanoes, intended to protect the gorillas from poaching. It was the very first National Park to be created in Africa.

There are many activities to be enjoyed in this area apart from Gorillas Trekking in the Volcanoes National Park. This area is home to numerous caves, a number of Cultural and Community Tourism initiates as well as being an excellent location for bird watching. For the sport enthusiast there are a number of hiking trails in the magestic Virunga Mountains or you can enjoy cycling the area, boating on the Twin lakes or even try your hand at fishing
Development is proposed of further extreme sports in the area, such as mountain climbing.

The Mountain Gorillas survive thanks to Dian Fossey, a researcher who was buried at her research center alongside these mountain gorillas to which she dedicated her life. The trail leading to her tomb and Karisoke Research Center is a beautiful yet challenging 1 hour 45 minute hike up steep slopes where orchids, bird life and even occasional mountain gorillas can be seen.

Birds in Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda
Volcanoes National Park brought together a sum of 180 bird species in 1980. Close to 15 formerly recorded bird species were eminent during a biodiversity survey conducted in 2004, however it is probable that a number of additional forest specialists have actually gone off track since the year 1980. the Grauer’s rush warbler a vulnerable local bird species living in the swamp, whereas at least sixteen Albertine Rift endemic are also present, among which are the handsome francolin, Archer’s ground robin, dusky crimson-wing, Rwenzori turaco, red-faced woodland warbler , Rwenzori double collared sunbird, collared apalis, Rwenzori batis and the strange weaver.

Mountain Gorilla Tracking in Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda
This interesting activity today remains the most prominent in this park, with a sum of close to 40 gorilla permits being issued every day, with 8 assigned to each of the 5 habituated groups. however Volcanoes National Park is not only focuses on gorilla tracking, but also conducts additional activities such as trekking and hiking which today are well organized, varying from 2 day ascent of the impressive Karisimbi to a non – tiring nature walk to a group of stunning crater lakes, although the most thrilling innovation is that today tourists can actually visit the habituated groups of the endemic golden monkeys.

Hiking in Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda
Fortunately, Hikes today are being offered to the various visitors that come to this park. Climbing the Karisimbi is a 2 day expedition priced at US$150; ORTPN offers guides though trekkers must have appropriate clothing as well as camping equipment. Nonetheless a shorter alternative priced at US$50 is the climb of Mount Visoke all the way to its stunning crater lake found at 3,711 meters; the ascent goes for close to 2 hours. For the less physically fit walks of close to 2 or 3 hours priced at US$30 to the closer crater lakes as well as in the verdant forest are quite enjoyable and in addition will be mostly rewarding to those interested in watching birds.