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Location of Volcanoes National Park

The Volcanoes National Park is surrounded by five Virunga mountains in the northern part of Rwanda. The park lies in the Musanze District (former Ruhengeri). The protects five Virunga volcanoes that include Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Sabinyo and Mgahinga. Because it is located in the Virunga Mountains, It forms part of the extension of the Congo-Nile Divide, separating two of Africa’s most important watersheds.

How to Get to Volcanoes National Park

The Park is located in Ruhengeri which is 2 hours drive from Kigali. When you reach the town, you will find Karisoke centre where research about these gorillas is carried out from. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International is responsible for this activity.

The easiest to reach Volcanoes National Park is to use Musanze which was called Ruhengeri which can be basically reached by using a public transport from Gisenyi, and Kigali on the very day you track (you need to be present at the ORTPN office in Kinigi, along the park entrance, by 07.00), however this Is not a dependable choice of using public transport. There’s no public transport available between Musanze and the park headquarters at Kinigi.

This Park can be accessed by both air and road transport, whereby with the former, you land at Kigali International Airport then proceed to the Park on road. Volcanoes National park is situated about 105 kilometers/65 miles west of Kigali in a small village-Musanze (Northern Province) and is a 2 hour’s drive to access the Park hence someone can track these Mountain gorillas and still go back home on the same day. Musanze can be accessed by Public transport from Gisenyi or Kigali. However, there is no public transport from Musanze to Kinigi Park Headquarters.

All trekkers have to arrive at the Park Headquarters for briefing by 7am; hence tourists who spend overnights in Kigali have to start driving by 5am.

Therefore, Parc National des Volcans (PNV) is the prime destination that draws thousands of tourists to the Land of  a thousand hills because it is one of the four National parks in the entire world where the Mountain gorillas can be tracked. This Park is the most visited of all the four countries because it is just 105 kilometers/65 miles and 2 hours drive from Kigali International Airport, hence tourists can track and go back on the same day.

Please Be in the Know

Like any other country in the World, a passport is required when palming to enter Rwanda and a certificate of vaccination for yellow fever is normally required when getting back to the country of origin.

A travel Visa of 90 day is issued on arrival without any cost for nationals of the United States, Congo, United Kingdom, South Africa Canada, Germany, Kenya, Mauritius, Sweden, Hong Kong, Uganda and Tanzania.

If arriving by air, other citizens of other European countries traveling to Rwanda by Air are given a single entry Visa of 8 days upon arrival at $60 and it can extended by the immigration office in Kigali on request .Visas for  3 months cam also be issued if requested for at the almost the same cost by the Rwanda embassy or consulate

Traveling by Plane

Brussels Airline travels direct to Kigali Twice in a week. There are other flights from Uganda (Entebbe International airport), There are direct international flights into Kigali from Brussels (twice per week). There are also daily flights from Addis Ababa, Entebbe airport in Uganda and Johannesburg. A part from those there are other connections twice a day from Nairobi, and several flights a week to Bujumbura. Rwanda is easily accessed if traveling by road from Goma Airstrip in the neighboring Congo.

Traveling to Rwanda by Road

In Uganda there are a number of bus companies operating on Uganda Kigali Route taking 8 to 9 hours drive from Uganda at a cost of about $25 varying with different bus companies.

Traveling to Rwanda from Tanzania:  There is one open border to cross from Tanzania   with Rwanda, Note that this journey is a little bit tiresome due to the distance and other road alternatives. The travel route by bus to Rwanda from Tazania lives   take Mwanza  to Benako and from Benako buses run onto Kigali bus station.

There 2 alternative when choosing to Travel to Rwanda from Burundi considering security variations. For the intrepid there is a daily direct service from Kigali to Bujumbura run by Yahoo Car, and since 2007, a new luxury service operated by Belvedere Lines.

Democratic Republic of the Congo much of the country remains off limits to many tourists due to instability, though Goma and Bukavu can be visited easily from Rwanda.