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Also known as Parc National des Volcans, volcanoes national park is one of the top most exciting national park situated in the north-western province of the Rwanda in the small towns called Musanze initially known as Ruhengeri. Volcanoes National Park is known as the oldest national park apparently with in the African Continent neighbored Volcanoes National Park in the DR-Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Volcanoes national park is part of the virunga conservation massif famous home for the endangered Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. The park occupies an area of about 160 Square Kilometers and it is dominated by the dense tropical rainforests hosting a diversity of outstanding Wildlife species. Volcanoes national park shares the virunga conservation Massif with an extension of about five virunga volcano mountains such as; Mt Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabinyo.

Historical background

Volcanoes National Park was first gazetted in 1925 as a national park which makes one of the oldest national parks in Africa. The park was officially gazetted with an aim to protect the Endangered Mountain Gorillas in the jungle of the virunga mountain Ranges such as; Mt Bisoke, Mt Mikeno, Mt Karisimbi among others. When the boundaries of the park were enlarged to cover some parts of Rwanda and the DR-Congo, it was named Lake Albert National park in 1929 during the Era of the Belgium colonial Government who were the colonial masters to both DR-Congo and Rwanda.

After independence of Rwanda in 1962 and DR-Congo in the 1960, the renown Lake Albert national park was divided into two to form two national parks. This is the current volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in DR-Congo. Credit goes to Dian Fossey who sacrificed her life to conduct a research about the mountain Gorillas for about 18 years before her death. Dian Fossey decided to establish Karisoke research Centre to aid her research. The research Centre is situated between Mt Bisokevolcano and Karisimbi.

Trekking the Mount Gorillas in Volcanoes national park was launched in 1979 by the Amy Bill Weber and Vedder. Ever since thengorilla trekking safaris have played a big role in marketing other intriguing activities in the park. Apparently,gorilla trekking is the key leading activity in the country and the 3rd Revenue earner in the country.

Attractions and activities in Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla Trekking experience

Gorilla trekking is the most interesting key activity in volcanoes national park that has led to the increased number of visitors in Rwanda. The country prides in offering exclusive luxury gorilla trekking safaris in Africa. To see the endangered mountain gorilla in volcanoes national park, you need to acquire a trekking permit allowing you to participate in the gorilla trekking adventure.

Bird Watching

Volcanoes national park is one of the best spot destinations for birding watching experience. Grab a chance to encounter with the Albertine rift endemic bird species. Such as the Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Handsome Francolin, Archer’s ground Robin, Long Crested Eagle among others.

Golden Monkey Tracking

In Rwanda, the Endangered monkeys can only be spotted in Volcanoes national park. They have been habituated ready for tourism. The golden monkeys in volcanoes national park can be spotted in the bamboo Forest on the slopes of virunga volcanoes. In the Rwanda the cost of Golden monkey trekking permit is 100 USD per Person. Rent with a chauffeur driven safari vehicle to volcanoes national park to enjoy activities like golden monkey trekking that gives you a chance to explore the amazing volcano ranges in the park.

The Volcano hiking experience

Volcanoes national park is home to about five volcanoes ranges such as; mt Bisoke, Mt Karisimbi, Mount Muhabura, Mt Gahinga and Mount Sabyinyo. Enjoy trekking mountain volcanoes in Karisimbi with the highest peak among the five. Hiking gives you a chance to view the scenic beauty of Volcanoes ranges while ta the summit of the ranges.

Accommodation in Volcanoes National Park

When you visit the park on a Rwanda safari, there is a wide range of accommodation facilities that range from luxury, upmarket and budget facilities. Here in this article, we present to you some of the best accommodation options in the park such as; Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorillas nest Lodge, Garden Place Hotel, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge among others.

Best time to visit Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes national park allows visitors through out the year and activities are open to traveler throughout the year. But the best time to visit the park is during the dry season in the months of December to February and June to October when there is no or little rain expected to interrupt the gorilla trekking experience plus other activities. Roads and trekking trails are dry and easy to Navigate through.

While as wet season can as well be an ideal season to travel although it is associated with heavy rains that make the trails and roads wet, muddy and slippery difficult to navigate through. It is also important to note that you need to rent a 4×4 Safari vehicle that is strong enough to manage the rough roads of the park. in the wet season, the lodges offer discounted rates to all travelers booking with them as well as tour operators and the gorilla trekking permits are so competitive compared to the dry season which is the peak season at the same time.

How to get to Volcanoes National Park

The famous Volcanoes national park lies along the Virunga Volcano ranges and the park can be accessed by either Road or air transport from Kigali capital city of Rwanda. By road, it is about 105 kilometers from the Kigali city and it is a 2 hours’ drive to the park. although you can use the public transport to reach the park, it is not reliable in terms of the service offered. For unforgettable memories in volcanoes national park book your safari with a trusted local Tour Operator like Mumwe safaris to organize your trip including of all road transfers, permits, accommodation among other inclusive. Send us our reservation team an inquiry at or call us on +256-700135510 or Tel +256-414699459.

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