Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, Attractions, Activities

Volcanoes National Park is 160 square Kilometers in size; it is the oldest national park in Africa, established in 1929 as the Albert National Park. In 1967 famous for mountain gorillas, the American zoologist, Dian Fossey, who had been doing research on Mountain Gorillas in the forests of the Congo, fled from insecurity and established her research base at a place between Visoke and Karisimbi volcanoes, now known as the Karisoke Research Centre.

Fossey spearheaded the conservation campaign of the Mountain Gorillas and mobilized resources to fight against poaching; a fight she continued until she was murdered in 1985. She is buried at the Karisoke Research Center, next to the grave of her favourite Gorilla, Digit.

The Volcanoes National Park is home to not only the Mountain Gorillas, but also Golden Monkeys, Spotted Hyena, Buffaloes, Elephants, Black-fronted Duiker and Bushbuck. Volcanoes Park has almost 200 bird species including 29 endemics to Rwenzori Mountains and the Virungas.

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is only a 2-hour drive from Kigali, and as such, allows people to visit the Volcanoes Park for just one day and go on a Gorilla Trek. Volcanoes Park opens at 7 am; unfortunately, there is no public transport to the park gate from Kigali. In addition to Gorilla Trekking, one of the more popular activities is hiking Karisimbi Volcano (3,800 meters). Also, there is a one-day Mount Bisoke volcano hike, visiting Dian Fossey’s research center and the twin lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera.

The Mountain Gorillas are the most sought-after safari adventure in Africa; these primates only exist in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The permit fees are higher than any other wildlife permit, first to limit the number of people visiting, to limit stress on these apes and on their habitat, that might result in their change of behavior or even their death. Secondly, the fees are used to help sustain the livelihood of the Mountain Gorillas. There is a maximum of 8 people per day per gorilla group, which low numbers help in not overwhelming the Gorillas.

Why do you have to visit Volcanoes National Park?

Volcanoes national park is found in the northwest of Rwanda commonly known as a home of the endangered mountain gorilla with more mountain ecosystems which demonstrates the grassland and swampy bamboo forest.

How was it formed?

Volcanoes National park is commonly known as ‘’parc des volcano’’, named after a bunch of volcanoes making up Virunga massif at karisimbi 4,507m above alongside Sabinyo,Gahinga and Muhabura. Along the boundaries of this national park you find Buhanga eco – park one of the oldest forests and musanze curves formed back over 62 million years.

Volcanoes national park is found in northern province of Rwanda state in a place known as Musanze alongside Virunga conservation area.

When was it established?

Volcanoes national park was created far back in 1925 being the first ever national park to be demarcated and the oldest national park in Africa. Over time, the Belgian government who were in control of all the protectorates during the colonial error, in the year of 1930 ordered for an addition of over 8000 square kilometers to volcanoes national park to make it bigger in size. After Dian Fossey, an American zoologist also fell in love with the beauty of the place and started doing research on tourism around the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, she was killed in 1985 by unknown people and buried there.

Volcanoes park is bordered by Democratic Republic of Congo’s most famous heritage sites called Virunga national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. It is famous for being a haven for the endangered mountain gorillas in the land of a thousand hills (Rwanda).

How magnificent Volcanoes National Park is?

  • It has exquisite Fauna and flora found inside the park.
  • The place is commonly known for mountain gorillas.
  • In the park you find Buffaloes of different types.
  • There’s Bushbucks of different species.
  • You get to see different species of Hyenas.
  • A number of big and energetic elephants are also found here.

Do you enjoy these splendid activities on a safari tour?

  • At volcanoes national park Gorilla trekking is the most popular activity.
  • There’s climbing to the top of karisimbi.
  • There is golden monkey tracking and visitors always make sure they don’t miss out to check on the unfound beautiful twins’ lakes of Burera and Ruhondo.
  • All these and more activities are found at volcanoes national park for visitors to enjoy their safaris.

When do you have to visit Volcanoes Park?

  • The place has a conducive climate and weather compared to other places in the world.
  • Visitors are kindly advised to arrange their safari journeys during December and towards the end of February and also at the end of May and September to late September.

Where are volcano national parks?

  • Volcanoes national park is located at Kininga,in Ruhengeri,Rwanda .

What are the accommodations near Volcanoes Park?

  • Red Rocks – located at Nyakinama
  • Amahoro Guest House – located at Ruhengeri RD.
  • Amarembo Gorilla Village – located in the north. province in Kigali City.
  • Singita Kwitonde Lodge – located at Ruhengeri.
  • Tiloreza Volcanoes Ecolodge.
  • Governor’s Camp – Sibyona silverback lodge.
  • Five volcanoes Boutique Hotel.
  • Virunga Lodge.
  • Musaze Caves Hotel.
  • Volcano View. 
  • Bisate lodge.
  • Musanze Caves Hotel.