The Volcanoes National Park is one of the best natural wonders though these aren’t the only attraction in the area. Visit the park and see interesting wildlife including the mountain gorillas, golden monkeys. Learn about gorilla tourism at a visitor center or at the Dian Fossey museum.
There are plenty of things to see in Volcanoes National Park on Rwanda safari, one reason why it is considered to be a must-visit destination. Volcanoes National Park was founded in 1925 which makes it one of Africa’s oldest parks. It is nestled in Ruhengeri area, Northwestern Rwanda about 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali. It sits in an area of only 160sq.kms making it one of the smallest protected areas and considering its area coverage, it is one of the easiest parks to explore.
Volcanoes National Park is of no doubt one of the top destinations in Africa attracting tourists on mountain gorilla safaris, golden monkey tracking or other wildlife safaris in Rwanda. Most tourists enjoy exploring this park because of its unique attractions. Some of the unique things to see in Volcanoes National Park include;
The one reason majority of tourists visit Volcanoes National Park for a holiday is to see the rare mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. These apes exist in only 4 national parks and apart from Volcanoes National Park in Northwestern, the other 3 include Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Southwestern Uganda and Virunga National Park in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Volcanoes National Park currently shelters 10 habituated gorilla families where mountain gorilla trekking is conducted and these include Karisimbi (Susa B), Bwenge, Hirwa, Amahoro, Sabyinyo, Susa A, Umubano, Kwitonda, Agashya (group 13) and Ugenda. Gorilla treks in Volcanoes National Park start with an early morning briefing at the park offices and each gorilla family is trekked by only 8 visitors. Gorilla permits can be booked at $1500 per person.
Golden monkeys are some of the endangered primate species and undoubtedly, the most sought for creatures by tourists on Rwanda safari. About 2 troops have been habituated to enhance visitor experience in Volcanoes National Park during golden monkey tracking adventure. These apes are strikingly stunning and worth sighting on safari in Volcanoes National Park. They dwell much in the bamboo forest just at the foothills of Virunga Mountain ranges.
Volcanoes National Park derives its name from the scenic Virunga Volcanoes and these are some of the amazing attractions to expect to explore on Rwanda safari in this protected area. Five of the eight Virunga Volcanoes are all in this Rwanda safari park making it one of the ideal volcano hiking destinations in Africa. They include Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga, Sabyinyo and Karisimbi Volcano. Hiking anyone of these volcanoes is such a memorable experience which you should be part.
Over 200 bird species are all sheltered within the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda making it one of the important birding spots you should visit. A birding tour in this park lets you identify diversity of avifaunal species ranging from Rwenzori Batis, Handsome francolin, red faced woodland warblers, grey throated tit, paradise flycatcher, long crested eagle, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, Archer’s ground robin and others.
Volcanoes National Park offers more than wildlife, primate experience or birding adventures. Visitors on Rwanda safari also stand a chance to explore the unique Musanze caves that are rich with history. These caves are found within Ruhengeri, the Northern Province of Rwanda. They cover the length of 2kms and they formed due to Cenozoic volcanic rocks. They date back about 60 million years and shelters countless bats, green vegetation making it an exceptional place to take incredible pictures.
Dian Fossey tomb site
Besides trekking mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park also lets tourists on Rwanda safari to explore more about Dian Fossey’s gorilla conservation legacy. Her gravesite lies within this park and takes tourists about 3 hours to hike. Dian Fossey is remembered for significant role to protect mountain gorillas, 18 years of gorilla research study and established Karisoke Research centre among other incredible things she did. Hiking to Dian Fossey tomb site is one memorable experience that allows you get insight into her gorilla conservation legacy. She was laid to rest just next to her beloved silverback ‘Digit.’
Other unique things to expect to see while on Rwanda safari in Volcanoes National Park include the Twin Lakes-Lake Ruhondo and Burera, Russumo falls, Buhanga Sacred Forest as well as other wildlife like giant forest hogs, duikers, bush pigs, spotted hyenas, buffaloes and many other primate species.