Volcanoes National Park is one of the biggest National Parks in Rwanda that attracts the biggest number of tourists to come and explore the mountain gorillas.

Volcanoes National Park

Travel trips to volcanoes national park are one of the life-changing African adventures you need to add on your travel list for next vacation. The vacations to volcanoes national park are a remuneration to the travelers who choose to visit the national park during their African safaris. The experience rewards the travelers with a physical meet with a lot of wildlife in this national park, which is also their natural habitat.

Volcanoes national park is an equally distant area from Kigali city in Rwanda. It is mainly visited by gorilla trekkers. The national park is actually the most accessible gorilla destination in Africa. Volcanoes national park is set in a strategic location of the very large and huge Virunga mountain ranges. The park occupies an area of about 160sq.km in the northern part of Rwanda. It is part and partial of the Virunga ranges which also host Mganhinga national park in Uganda and Virunga national park in Congo. Virunga Mountains are also famous in Africa and other parts of the world. The location of volcanoes has made it the most accessible place for gorilla trekking in East and Central Africa.

Wildlife 

Volcanoes national park is a typical tropical rain forest occupied by a wild range of wildlife including the birds, monkeys and insect species. At the extreme top of the volcanoes national park, the highest altitude of the park, you are able to see the peaks of the Virunga Mountains. The area of Volcanoes National Park is covered with an evergreen vegetation cover including a bamboo forest, grassland, swamp vegetation, and health.

The mountain gorillas are the most famous animals in the Volcanoes National Park. The mountain gorillas are giants primates known for their humble character if at all not tempered with. The gorillas have been a subject of study to many zoologists including the renowned Dian Fossey. Dian Fossey had devoted all her life to a cause of saving the mountain gorillas from harm, which would lead to their extinction. Fossey Dian’s grave and research center are one of the attractions in volcanoes park Rwanda.

Besides the mountain gorillas, Virunga National Park is home to a wide variety of monkeys including the rare golden monkeys, African red colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, and others. Despite, the chimpanzees are the most sought after primates in Rwanda, however rare in volcanoes.

Weather and climate

Volcanoes national park is a tropical rain forest which has relatively common temperatures. However, the low lands are warm and the highlands cold, the higher you go the cooler it becomes. The days in volcanoes national park are warm and the temperatures tend to drop down as the evening moves in. Just like most of the parks in Africa, this national park has both the wet and dry season, with the dry season being the best for tourism. Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park is possible all the year through, but best in the dry season.

This national Park is a place where five of the Virunga mountain peaks belong including Sabinyo peak which is about 3674 meters high, Gahinga peak about 3474 meters, Bisoke peak which is 3711 meters, Muhabura which is 4127 meters off the ground and Karisimbi is the tallest springing about 4507 meters above sea level. Something about all the five volcanic cones in volcanoes national park is, they are all extinct. However, the active volcanoes are found in the Virunga national park which is located in Congo.

Ecosystems

This National Park flourishes in four (4) spectacular vegetation zones such bamboo forests also called the base altitude, hegenia and hypericum forest located on about 2600- 3000m above sea level, subalpine on altitude 3300- 4000m and afro-alpine which exists on altitude 4000 meters above sea level. Each vegetation zone is an ecosystem of its own with a variety of wildlife species.

Hegenia is the home base for one group of mountain gorillas plus the bamboo forests. The rainy season when the bamboo forests start to sprout. The gorillas feed on the bamboo shoots. Therefore, it is easy to find the mountain gorillas in the lowlands during the rainy season. The lake region of Lake Bulera and Ruhondo offers the most spectacular and breathe taking sceneries. However, it is such a dirty road during the rainy season.

Getting there

This National Park is situated in the places where a small village called Musanze is located before it was well-known as Ruhengeri. Musanze village is much accessible by public transport. The public transport takes off from Gisenyi or Kigali or Kigali International Airport. It takes about 2hours drive from Kigali. However, public transport can only stop at Musanze where you will need to get other means of transport to Kinigi where the park headquarters are located. It is about 14km from Ruhengeri or musanze village where the public transport stops.

Accommodation

The national park has a number of campsites and accommodation facilities which offer you the best services to soothe your stay in volcanoes national park. For example, the kinigi guest house is located in about 200 meters from kinigi where the park headquarters are located. Kinigi guest house offers clean comfortable spacious living rooms, with breathtaking scenery at the foothills of mountain Sabinyo.

You can organize your Rwandan Safari any time of the year, but make it a must to visit volcanoes national park one of the days you are going to stay in the country. You don’t have to try figuring out the best tours and travel consulting company to plan for you your trip as you can book with us for the best Rwanda safari and other African safaris.

book a safari