Volcanoes National Park – Africa’s home of mountain gorillas in Rwanda if not in the whole world alongside Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – home of lowland gorillas. In this case, everything remains in the hands of the visitor to either do mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda or lowland gorilla trekking in Congo.
National Park of the Mountains Rwanda is surrounded by the Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This park covers an area of 160sqkm of rain forest and bamboo.
National Park of the Mountains Ten families of endangered mountain gorillas have been confirmed to live in Rwanda, and it is thanks to the country’s stringent conservation policies and programs that these montane and bamboo forest ecosystems have remained intact, favoring and supporting the mountain gorilla population growth in Volcanoes National Park.
The park is home to five of the eight volcanoes that make up the Virunga highlands, including Mt. Karisimbi, Mt. Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo, in addition to being a shelter for habituated mountain gorillas. In addition to all of that, it has been discovered that Rwanda is home to two habituated endangered Golden monkey troops with over 80 members each.
Because of its avian diversity—more than 180 different bird species—this park is currently regarded by the majority of Rwandan birders and tourists as a must-visit birding site in Rwanda.
Again, Volcanoes National Park is rich with the history of American primatologist and naturalist Dian Fossey, who tragically perished as a result of her unmatched devotion to these apes. The gorillas in the volcanoes were in danger of extinction, and Dian Fossey was a steadfast pillar who opposed any immoral deeds and activities like poaching.
She conducted in-depth research on these apes once more in order to comprehend how they behave in their native environments. Sadly, despite all the amazing work Fossey accomplished, she was the victim of a brutal murder in 1985 by an unidentified gang of individuals. She was buried in the national park of the volcanoes, next to the resting place of her favorite gorilla, Digit, between the Karisimbi and Bisoke volcanoes.
Where is the Karisoke Research Center currently located, which is home to a wealth of data regarding the late Dian Fossey. So, you don’t have to skip the opportunity to visit this historic location.
Activities in Volcanoes National Park
Since Rwanda’s weather and climate are favorable all year long, with a few months of heavy rains that teem down for a few hours of the day and stop, the trekking journey can still be carried out, gorilla tours in the volcanoes national park can be arranged and organized throughout the year, that is to say from January to December.
Although it would be wiser to pick months with little to no rain forecast, such as June to September and December to February — these months are guaranteed to provide you with an excellent gorilla trekking experience in Rwanda with such hospitable and pleasant weather.
Once more, travelers and visitors who just have a few days or a short amount of time in Kigali like to favor Rwanda’s gorilla trekking because it is extremely simple to go from the airport to the volcanoes national park headquarters (a 3-hour drive away).
However, if you have enough time, Rwanda has a lot to offer and you can combine it with your gorilla tour for a truly unforgettable Rwanda experience. Some of these activities include visiting the Akagera game park for a wildlife safari, the Nyungwe forest for chimpanzee trekking and canopy walks, the Rwanda genocide memorial, a city tour, and many others.
Note: In order to guarantee a successful gorilla trek in Rwanda, it is crucial to get your gorilla trekking permit well in advance. at least three months beforehand.
You’re preparing to leave for your trip because these permits occasionally sell out on the same day. And keep in mind that these licenses are offered on a first-come, first-served basis every day of the year;
For a memorable Rwanda gorilla adventure, make it a point to let your reliable, licensed travel operator reserve this permit from the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) in advance. Rwanda currently charges US$1500 for a gorilla trekking permit, whereas Uganda charges US$700.
Golden monkey trekking – Golden monkey trekking, one of the most popular visitor activities in Volcanoes National Park, presents the park in yet another golden light. Two endangered golden monkey tribes with a combined membership of over 100 live in the park at the moment. Consider choosing a Rwanda gorilla and golden monkey trekking package as a result. This activity is extraordinary because watching these lovely monkeys interact with one another and feed their young will make you realize how special this neighborhood is.
Right now, all you need to do is set your camera to capture images of these creatures as you go close to them so you can preserve the memory.
The Karisimbi volcano, which is 3800 meters above sea level, is one of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountain ranges, and hiking it is a fantastic experience, especially for any ardent hikers/climbers. Rwanda is a naturally gifted country with five of these volcanoes.
The two-day walk to the top of the picturesque Karisimbi volcano takes you through roughly three-fourths of the way, including a camping night, and is completed in the morning. One could say that you are looking out over all of Rwanda from the summit of this volcano.
Among the attractions of the national park’s volcanoes, Mt. Bisoke is another that you shouldn’t miss. Unlike the Karisimbi hike, the Bisoke hike is a one-day excursion that takes around 8 hours to reach the summit and another 2 hours to return. Hiking or climbing these volcanoes is best done in the morning with the assistance of a hiking guide in order to see Bisoke Crater Lake.
The only way we can continue to honor and be grateful for our beloved sister Dian Fossey, who played a significant role in conducting extensive research about these mountain gorillas and stood against any bad practices that would lead to the extinction of these Apes in the Virunga region, is to hike or climb to her tomb between the volcanoes of Karisimbi and Bisoke.
But most tragically, she was assassinated in 1985 by an unidentified group of persons who are thought to have disapproved of her efforts to preserve these lovely apes and their natural habitat. This trip helps you better understand the crucial role that Dian Fossey performed and her unwavering devotion to these mountain gorillas.
A visit to one of the genuine Rwandan communities introduces you to the everyday routines and the fascinating social life of the charming and lovely Rwandese. Guided community tours are another unique experience to look forward to in volcanoes Rwanda.
For instance, a trip to the Nyenge community will introduce you to the magnificent experience of weaving; producing mats and baskets here is the thing to do all year long. A visit to the Musanze market is also one of the best things you can do because you are not only in the center of the Rwandan market but also of the African market. Visits to towns can be made in one of two ways: on a guided walk or by riding mountain bikes through the area with a local guide. Visit Rwandan communities to record African memories by doing so.
Welcome to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, the only place left in the world where mountain gorillas still exist and where habituated golden monkeys can be found.