Guide to the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda
Welcome to the complete guide to planning a safari to the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda and the Virunga Region. On this website find everything you need to know to help you plan a perfect trip to the Volcanoes National Park including road trip itineraries, recommended places to visit, best places where to stay, and best things to see and adventure activities to do in the park.
Given that Volcanoes National Park is the most popular place for gorilla trekking, we have also prepared the gorilla trek guide with loads of information on gorilla tourism, the Mountain Gorillas, tips and information on planning your safari and more.
Tours and ExperiencesThere are lots of things to do on a gorilla safari to the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda. Here are some of the best tours and experiences from which you can choose to get the best of your holiday in Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. Most trips range from day trips from Kigali to long safaris that venture into Rwanda’s national parks including the Nyungwe Forest, Akagera National Park and the newly created Gishwati Mukura National Park.
All About the Volcanoes National Park
The Volcanoes National Park lies to the north of Rwanda and it protects the Rwandan portion of the Virunga Mountains, a transfrontier conservation area that includes protected areas in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The park runs along the border with the DR Congo’s Virunga National Park and Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The park attracts visitors all year round and it is the best destination for gorilla trekking in the world.
The Virunga Region is composed of a complex of mostly dormant volcanoes. These volcanoes are where Rwanda earns its name of a “Land of a Thousand Hills”.
The Virunga volcanoes includes Rwanda’s highest point, Mount Karisimbi (4,507 m), Mount Bisoke (also called Visoke), Mount Sabinyo, Mount Muhabura (also known as Muhavura), and Mount Gahinga. The Virunga Ranges offer extraordinary sights and attractions around the Virunga Region.
The Volcanoes National Park is one of the best places in East Africa to track the mountain gorillas. While most visitors visit the park for gorilla trekking, there are more things to do after your trip. These include golden monkey tracking, volcano climbing, Dian Fossey Hike etc.
Where to Go in PNV Rwanda
Wondering about where to go during your holiday to the Volcanoes Park? Here are some of the major landmarks and places that you must visit during your safari in Rwanda;
Things to See in Rwanda’s Volcanoes
There are lots of things to see in the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda. From the endangered mountain gorillas to golden monkeys, there are amazing tourist attractions within and near the park.
The Volcanoes National Park protects five of the eight Virunga Volcanoes, a know chain of volcanoes along the border of Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo. Mount Karisimbi (4,507m), Mount Bisoke (3,711m), Mount Muhabura (4,127m), Mount Sabyinyo (3,669m) and Mount Gahinga (3,474m). Read More
Here are the best things to do in Volcanoes National Park on your vacation. Talk to our tour experts to find out what to do in this amazing gorilla park and instantly reserve top tours and experiences easily and safely.
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park is the major tourist activity in Rwanda with the highest number of trekkers/ tourists recorded every year. A gorilla visit can entail a 1 to 4-hour trek through the forest, led by experienced trackers who have spent their entire lives living in or close to the forest. Read More
The Volcanoes National Park features among the best places to go birding in Rwanda. It boasts of over 180 bird species that have been recorded in the park including unique and rare species. At least 18 Albertine Rift Endemics (birds that are restricted to the Albertine Rift) are found within the park boundaries. Read More
Quick Guide to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park
- How Much are Gorilla Permits?
- How to Book Gorilla Permits?
- When is the Best Time to Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
- Packing for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
- Important Tips & Guidelines to Gorilla Trekking in PNV
- Gorilla Photography: Equipment Needed & Advice on Taking Good Shots
Volcanoes National Park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda in Musanze District and is home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas.
The Volcanoes National Park shares borders with Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Congo’s Virunga National Park.
Most travels to the Volcanoes National Park are by road. The parks lies within a journey of 2-3 hours drive from Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. For tourists looking to travel independently, there is organised public transport from Kigali to Musanze Town (former Ruhengeri).
If you hold a valid gorilla permit or a golden monkey permit, you do not need to pay for the park entrance fees.
The Volcanoes National Park can be visited all year round. Choosing the best time to visit can also depend on what your interests are!
The most ideal time to travel to Rwanda to see mountain gorillas is during the dry season. There are two phases of dry season that Volcanoes National Park experiences; the long dry season which runs from June through September, December till February.
Tracking gorillas in Rwanda is also possible during the wet/rainy season; March, April, May or October, November although these are low/off months of the year. These are perfect for budget travelers because it is when some accommodation cut down on their rates in order to attract more visitors.
Guide to Gorilla Trekking in RwandaLooking into the eyes of an old silver-back gorilla in the Volcanoes National Park is a lifetime experience which you will live to tell because of the confidence it will demonstrate while gazing intelligently back at you. In fact if you are not courageous enough, you may run away because a mature silver-back is scary. Be assured of a magical feel while in the wild trekking these rare primates in their natural habitats because of the adventures you are exposed to while penetrating through thick rain-forests. Your life will never be the same after spending about an hour with a habituated gorilla family in the Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda. Get a chance of witnessing the true lifestyles of these endangered species and also take clear photos at a closer range. Witness a magical encounter of various wildlife creatures as you penetrate through the rain-forests of the park.Read More
Read More About Gorilla Trekking
- Habituated Gorilla Groups for Tourism in the Volcanoes National Park
- Habituated Gorilla Groups for Research
- Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Trip PlannerStart planning your safari to the Volcanoes National Park today with our free trip planning package. It includes guides and travel information you need to know to visit this amazing park in Northern Rwanda. You will also find deals from our preferred travel partners.
How to book a gorilla tour in RwandaThe tour operator on ground is in position to assist you book your gorilla permit and also the whole gorilla safari in Rwanda. Gorilla permits and safaris should be booked early. Try as much as you can to avoid last minutes booking. Consider reserving your permits and tour at least 2 to 4 months early. The demand for permits is even higher during the peak/high season –that from June through September, December, to February.
How long can a gorilla tour take?You require at least 2-3 days to enjoy a complete gorilla tour in Rwanda. However, it is possible to undertake a one day gorilla tour in Volcanoes National Park (VNP) Rwanda. On a normal day, a gorilla trek begins at 8:00 am and takes about 2 to 6 hours.
Where to Stay in Volcanoes National Park
There are lots of places where to stay in Volcanoes National Park. The best way to answer this is to decide how much time you have and what you want to see the most.
Lodges in Volcanoes National Park range from Budget, mid-range to luxury options.
The most high-end lodges in the park include Sabinyo Silverback Lodge, One and Only Gorilla Lodge, Amakoro Songa Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Virunga Lodge, etc.
Luxury Lodges priced between US$300 to US1000 include Five Volcanoes Lodge, Tiloreza Ecolodge, Virunga Inn Resort and the Mountain Gorillas’ Nest Lodge.
These lodges offer the best time ever during your stay during your gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes National Park. They have great hospitality, clean rooms, VIP rooms and all have put in place the set SOPs for prevention of the spread of the corona virus and all are ensuring safety and health of their clients.
There are also mid-range lodges for great stays in the Volcanoes National Park. Popular options include Lebambou Gorilla Lodge, Bishop’s House, Gorilla Solutions Lodge, Amarembo Gorilla’s Village, etc.
For budget lodging the options are many! These range from basic accommodation to camping options. These include Kinigi Guest House, Hotel Muhabura, Villa Gorilla, Virunga Hotel, Faraji Hotel, La Palme Hotel etc
Here are quick links to selected Lodges in Volcanoes National Park;
Latest News from PNV RwandaLatest News, Tips and Updates from the Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Find out all the latest news and alerts happening around the park in northwestern Rwanda.
Frequently Asked Questions for Volcanoes Park
Here are the most popular questions to help you plan a perfect holiday to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
This travel resource is a labor of love for tourism in East and Central Africa. It is owned by the Africa Tourist, an organization that aims at documenting and promoting tourism sites in Africa. THIS IS NOT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE for the park but a RESOURCEFUL website that you can use to plan your next trip to Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, a less known destination in Central Africa.