Are you interested in visiting Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and you are searching for which activities to do in this dense beautiful montane forest national park? There are many attractions to see and things to do in volcanoes National park. Volcanoes National Park is one of the top destinations for tourists visiting Rwanda. It is the most visited park in Rwanda with major attractions being the endangered Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys. The park is also home to various bird species making it one of the best birding place in Rwanda. The park also has great places for hiking and adventure including five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains which are shared with Uganda and DR Congo, namely Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo.
Top Things to Do in Volcanoes National Park
There are lots of things to do in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. Of all activities, gorilla tracking is the major activity in the Volcanoes National Park. The other activities being hiking, golden monkey tracking, bird watching, sight seeing, nature walks among others.
Gorilla tracking in Volcanoes National Park is one of the major activities done in this park. The tracking is done every day which starts in the morning with briefing a the park headquarters then after you head to the forest to search for the mountain gorillas, the walk can take up to 6 hours and sometimes half day depending on where and what time you find the mountain gorillas. Volcanoes National Park has 12 habituated gorilla families open for gorilla tracking with 96 gorilla permits available every day for gorilla tracking. For you to be allowed to track mountain gorillas you are required to have a gorilla permit which can be purchased directly from Rwanda Development Board or through Pinnacle Africa Safaris a gorilla permit costs USD1500 per person per trek. Gorilla tracking is done in a group of 8 people tracking a given gorilla family.
Golden Monkey tracking is another activity done in Volcanoes National Park it is one of the best places in the world after Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda where you can see the endangered golden monkeys in their natural habitat. A Golden monkey permit costs USD100 per person per trek, tracking starts in the morning and it is done in a group of 16 per golden monkey family.
Volcanoes National Park consist of five of the eight volcanic mountains that make up the virunga massif these include Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo. Mountain Karisimbi is the most hiked, these gives you an opportunity to see Rwanda from the top and stunning views of a crater lake on top.
The hike to the Dian Fossey Tomb is an incredible and emotional experience which gives you an opportunity to learn about a fallen hero who sacrificed herself to save the remaining mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. At the Tomb you will find the house from where Dian Fossey was mysteriously murdered in 1985 and the place where she was buried just next to her favorite gorilla friend Digit and other mountain gorillas which died in the same period due to attacks by poachers and other deaths.
Research and Study
Research and studies in Volcanoes National Park is managed by the head quarters at Karisoke research Camp. This gives you an opportunity to learn more about the primates and bird species as well as other wildlife in Volcanoes National Park. You will as well learn more about the historical work Dian fossey did to conserve the mountain gorillas in the Virunag ranges.
During your visit to Volcanoes National Park, visiting the Musanze caves is another activity you should not miss including in your itinerary. Experienced guides lead you into these caves while telling you the mysteries of the caves, history and all other facts about Rwanda.
This gives you an opportunity to learn more about the traditions and heritage of Rwanda people, you will enjoy the cultural dances and local food. You can as well buy souvenirs depicting the story of Rwanda people
Volcanoes National Park is one of the best birding destinations in Rwanda the park has 200 recorded bird species with various Albertine endemics. This activity can be done during gorilla tracking or golden monkey tracking where you have a chance to spit some birds with the help of your guide.
You can as well do a boat cruise on these beautiful twin lakes close to Volcanoes National Park offering you an opportunity to see various birds and local people. This cruise is conducted by the local people who will as well share with you the heritage of Rwanda and the history of the twin lakes Bulera and Buhondo.