Africa’s oldest park, Volcanoes National Park was first established in 1925 with the main objective of protecting its gorilla population. Since then, this park has transformed from being a small sanctuary to being first, under the Belgians, a part of the Albert National Park and then, in its present state, once again a park, but also party to an important cross-border conservation policy that includes DR Congo’s Virunga National Park and Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park.
Located in the northern borderlands, and dominated by 6 extinct volcanoes, Volcanoes National Park is home to a variety of flora, ranging from bamboo forests to swamps to open stretches of heath to high montane tree, making an ecosystem capable of supporting the endangered mountain gorillas, over 200 bird species, herds of mountain elephant, golden monkeys, forest buffalo, spotted hyena and forest hog.
The park was a home to the late Dian Fossey for about 2 decades as every one who has watched Gorillas In The Mist knows, the plight of these “Gentle Giants” – the African mountain gorillas first reached the outside world through writings and documentaries of Dian Fossey, and its continued survival owes much to her pioneering work. Dian Fossey’s death in 1985 was a big blow to the entire world of conservation, however, Volcanoes National Park is still in good hands, and since 1999 has, year in, year out, welcomed a growing number of international travelers, all keen to experience that almost spiritual sense of wonder that comes with tracking mountain gorillas in the Jungle.
Today, Volcanoes National Park is an extraordinary wildlife destination in Africa, and holds, in its mountain gorilla, a remarkable species of animal.
What to do in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda
- Mountain Gorilla Tracking with about 10 habituated groups that include Susa, Group 13, Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Ugenda, Umubano and Amahoro among others.
- Mountain climbing – here we find volcanoes mountains such as Karisimbi that requires 2 days and 1 night to reach the summit, and Mount Visoke thats requires only one day.
- Musanze caves exploration
- Iby’Iwacu cultural Village tour
- Community tours
- Adventurous hike to the tombs of the Late Dian Fossey near Karisoke research center nestled between the beautiful peaks of Karisimbi and Bisoke.
- Golden Monkey Tracking adventure
Where to Stay for gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National park Rwanda
- Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
- Virunga Lodge
- Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
- Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge
- Five Volcanoes
Other Accommodations include;
- Hotel la Palme
- Kinigi Guest House
- Hotel Muhabura
- Amahoro Guest House
- Villa Gorilla
- Gorillas Hotel
- Gorillas nest lodge
- Garr Hotel