NATURE WALKS AND HIKING IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Engaging in a forest walk or guided nature walk is an astonishing way that tourists can explore some of the attractions especially the primate species, birds, tree species and butterfly species that exist within and around Volcanoes National Park. This activity is done in the company of an experienced tour guide and armed ranger where you walk deep in the jungles of Volcanoes to spend some precious time looking for the species that may be of interest to you such as the trees and vegetation types in addition to the wildlife that call this jungle home. During the nature walks, you will be able to see several primate species other than gorillas.
Hike to see the golden monkeys involves meeting species of primates that inhabit the lower sections of Volcanoes National Park mainly composed of Bamboo forest which you will not need to walk for a long time as it is for gorilla trekking that needs tourists to walk up to higher elevations and take a longer time. Golden monkeys are outstanding for their grayish-brown color on their backs. When you meet these monkeys, you will be totally moved by their behavior and appearance. The most common hiking trails within Volcanoes National Park include;
The Ngezi Lake Trail
This trail leads you to the spectacular Ngezi Lake-a tinny, shallow and scenic Lake situated on the foothills of Mount Bisoke. This Lake can be explored mostly when you climb mount Bisoke and takes 3-4 hours round trip to explore it. The interesting attractions you should expect within this trail include several monkeys and bird species. What sets this Lake apart is the fact that it its surroundings are important birding areas, hence a home to a number of birds such as the Papyrus Gonolek and the Grauer’s Swamp warbler. When you hike through this trail, be prepared to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Volcanoes of the Virunga Massif found within Virunga National Park. It is therefore undeniable that this trail gives tourists the opportunity to enjoy the Crater Lake on Mount Bisoke (which is Lake Ngezi), several mammal and bird species, Foothills of the Virunga Volcanoes and the surrounding areas.
Hike to the Dian Fossey gravesite
When you visit Volcanoes National Park, do not miss to visit the Grave of the woman who died saving the Mountain gorillas. Dian Fossey gave in her life and happiness to conserve the mountain gorillas which at the end she paid a big price, which was her life. Her work and life came known by the world after the “Gorillas in the Mist” film. While on this hike, you will also see her Research Camp-called Karisoke Research Camp that’s sits between Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke. A 3-4 hours hike that begins from Kinigi Park Headquarters also ends to the rave of her beloved gorilla Digit that is near Dian Fossey’s grave.
Hike to the Twin Lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera
Nature walks to the Twin Lakes introduce tourists to two of the most spectacular Lakes within Volcanoes National park. When you visit these Lakes, you can choose from boat cruises, 3 hours’ hike to the Rusumo waterfalls and spot unique bird species such as the Pink-backed Pelican, Cinnamon-breasted Bee-eater, the African Marsh Harrier, Long-crested Eagle, Plain Martin, the Paradise Flycatchers and the Grey-throated Tit among others.
Nature Walk Though the Buhanga Sacred Forest
This small majestic forest is where you will experience nature, culture and heritage in its fullest. Buhanga forest was the site used for the coronation of the Rwandan Kings. It is because of its cultural attachment that it is still conserved till today because of the cultural attachment placed on the forest by the locals. The most exceptional thing about the trees in this Forest of their yellow color and is a home to several bird and butterfly species that capture the attention of tourists.
Mountain climbing can be conducted for Mount Muhabura, Mount Bisoke, and Mount Karisimbi to venture you to the spectacular peaks of these Volcanoes within the Virunga Massif. Besides nature walks and hiking within Volcanoes National Park, nature walks within the Musanze Caves are very interesting.
In conclusion, it should not only be gorilla trekking or golden monkey tracking to draw you to Volcanoes National Park but also nature walks/hiking within the Twin Lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera, hike to the Dian Fossey gravesite and hike to Lake Ngezi.