Hit Enter to search or Esc key to close

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.

On this guide, you will access information on how to get there, what to see, best safari experiences, safari companies and any other information about this famous touristic region in Rwanda.

Given that the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda 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.

Volcanoes Park Tours and Experiences

There are lots of things to do on a Rwanda gorilla safari to the Volcanoes National Park. 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.

$1,850 Rwanda Mountain Gorilla

2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trek

Gorilla Tours 0 review(s) 2 days
$1,790 Young Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda

1 Day Rwanda Gorilla Trek

Gorilla Tours 0 review(s) 1 day
$700 Golden Monkeys in Volcanoes National Park

3 Days Golden Monkey Trek

Wildlife Tours 0 review(s) 3 days
$1,950 Gorillas in Parc Nationale des Volcans

3 Days Rwanda Gorilla Tour

Gorilla Tours 0 review(s) 3 days
$2,200 Nyungwe Forest Chimpanzee

5 Days Rwanda Gorillas & Chimpanzees

Gorilla Tours 0 review(s) 5 days
$2,100 Lake Kivu of Rwanda

All About the Volcanoes National Park

The Volcanoes National Park Rwanda lies to the north of Rwanda and it protects the Rwandan portion of the Virunga Mountains, a trans-frontier 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.

Rwanda’s Volcanoes Park is one of the best places in East Africa to track the mountain gorillas. While most visitors visit the park for gorilla safaris, 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 visit to the Volcanoes National Park? Here are some of the major landmarks and places that you must visit during your safari in Rwanda;

Park Information

Volcanoes National ParkThe Volcanoes National Park covers over 160sq kms with parts of the Virunga mountains. It was part of the Albert National Park, Africa’s oldest protected area. It is popular for gorilla trekking, mountain hiking, golden monkey tracking and bird watching etc. Read More

Musanze

Musanze TownMusanze is the gateway to the Volcanoes National Park. Located within a three hours journey from Kigali, this the staging post for visitors looking to gorilla trekking in the Virunga Region. This small town is also known as Ruhengeri in the old travel guides. Read More

Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes of Bulera and RuhondoThe Twin Lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo are two large lakes dotted with small villages. The scenery of the lakes is quite breathtaking and several activities have been developed around this area. You can go camping at the shores and plan a village stay as well. Read More

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.

Mountain Gorillas

Rwanda Mountain GorillasThe Volcanoes National Park is home to the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Mountain Gorillas are the star attraction in the park that brings most tourists and gorilla trekking is the best safari experience not to miss during your visit to the Volcanoes Park. Read More

Golden Monkeys

Rwanda Golden MonkeysGolden monkeys are a sub species of the blue monkey that is native to the Virunga Massif. They can best be viewed at the park while on Rwanda Safari. Their population has over the years reduced due to loss of their limited habitat and civil wars in the region. Read More

Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey GraveDian Fossey is a famous primatologist that performed extensive study with Mountain gorillas and was stationed at Karisoke Center in Volcanoes National Park. She died in 1985 and was buried within the park next to her beloved and favorite gorilla Digit. Read More

Musanze Caves

Musanze CavesThe Musanze Caves are located close to the Volcanoes National Park. The caves walk presents a very lasting magical experience.

Located at the park border the greenery outside spilling over into the twilight which makes it a fantastic destination for photography. Read More

Virunga Volcanoes

Virunga Volcanoes
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

Virunga Birdlife

Virunga BirdlifeWith a count of 178 species of birds some of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift, the park is a great place to go birding in Rwanda. The park is home to the three globally threatened species which are African Green Broadbill, Lagden’s Bush shrike and Kivu Ground Thrush. Read More

Things to Do in Rwanda’s Volcanoes

Here are the best things to do in the Volcanoes Park Rwanda 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

Gorilla Trekking in RwandaGorilla 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

Golden Monkey Tracking

Golden Monkey TrackingGolden monkeys are rare primates that are found in the Virunga Region.

During your visit to Volcanoes National Park, you will meet the golden monkeys in the bamboo forests. There are two habituated groups of golden monkeys that can be tracked by visitors. Read More

Bird Watching

Go Birding in PNVThe 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

Community Tours

Ibywachu Community ToursThere are several community based initiatives that you can engage in during your stay in the Volcanoes. From the Iby’wacu Experience to homestays, you can engage in activities that include  agriculture, ethno botany tours, traditional dances, cave exploration etc. Read More

Virunga Hiking

Karisimbi HikingFor hikers the Virunga is a region not to miss. There are a number of hiking trails in the majestic Virunga Mountains. You can also enjoy cycling the area. The most popular hikes in the area include; Mount Bisoke Hike and Mount Karisimbi Hike (2 Days). Read More

Twin Lakes Tour

Twin Lakes Boat CruiseTry your hand at fishing within the twin lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo. A boat cruise along the lake will reward you with sightings of heavily terraced and cultivated hills, and the Virunga Volcanoes. You can easily plan a lake trip with a local tour operator. Read More

Quick Guide to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park

Where is the Volcanoes National Park?

The Volcanoes National Park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda in Musanze District and is home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas.

The park shares borders with Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Congo’s Virunga National Park.

How Do I Get to Volcanoes National Park?

Most travels to the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda 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).

How much is the entrance fee?

If you hold a valid gorilla permit or a golden monkey permit, you do not need to pay for the park entrance fees.

When is the best time to visit the park?

The Volcanoes National Park can be visited all year round. Choosing the best time to visit the park 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 Rwanda

Looking into the eyes of an old silver-back gorilla in the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda 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

Trip Planner

Start planning your safari to the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda 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.

What is the best time for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda?

Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park is done throughout the year and the best time to visit Volcanoes National Park is during the dry months of December to February and then June to October during this time the roads accessing the park are dry and driving through is easy compared to wet season, as well viewing Mountain Gorillas is easy given the vegetation is not fully grown compared to wet seasons of March to May and Later October to November. However the park can as well be visited throughout the year and you will be able to see the Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.

How to book a gorilla tour in Rwanda

The 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;

Super Luxury Lodges

Listed here are the premium lodges for the ultimate luxury in the Volcanoes National Park. Luxury Lodges

Deluxe Lodges

Midrange Lodges

  • Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge
  • Gorilla Solution Lodge
  • Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge
  • Amarembo Gorilla’s Village
  • Ingagi Park View Lodge

Latest News from PNV Rwanda

Latest 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.
Alpha Mountain Gorilla
News

Gorillas Among Animals on New Big Five List

April 8, 2024
The popular Big Five animals worldwide for decades have been known to be; Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Lion and Leopard. Much as these big ...

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.

Disclaimer…

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.