Volcanoes national park one of the oldest park in Africa was first gazetted in 1925 as a small region bordered by Mikeno, Karisimbi and Bisoke mainly to protect the world’s endangered mountain gorillas from poachers. The park has a variety of names, at it can also be called Parc National des Volcans in French and Pariki y’Igihugu y’Ibirunga in Kinyarwanda.
Parc National des Volcans lies in the North Western part of Rwanda bordering Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda and Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo comprising five volcanoes of the Virunga ranges. These five volcanoes include Mount Karisimbi, Mount Bisoke, Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabyinyo.
Despite the fact that it is the base for the zoologist Dian Fossey – an American lady who turned out to be so passionate about gorilla conservation that her works still live on till today, it spans 160 km2¬¬ covered in rainforest and bamboo. Besides its large number of mountain gorillas it harbours, it is also a home to a variety of mammal, primate like golden monkeys, bird and plant species that offers the best diverse tourism activity in the park and the country at large.
Gorilla tracking being the main activity of the park, it has many habituated gorilla families like Umubano, Amahoro, Sabinyo, Agashya, Susa, Karisimbi, Kwitonda, Hirwa, Bwenge, Ugende, among others.
Things to do in the park
- Gorilla tracking
- Golden monkey tracking
- Visiting to Dian Fossey Tombs
- Mountain Hiking Adventures
- Guided walks and Mountain Bikes excursions
Where to stay
There is no accommodation within the park and overnight camping is forbidden. However, several lodges ranging from budget, mid-range and luxuriously are accessed a few kilometres and some of these include;
- Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
- Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
- Le Bambou Gorilla Village
- Virunga Lodge
- Mountain Gorillas Nest
- Jack Hanna’s Guesthouse
- Bisate Lodge
- Bishops House
- Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel
- Kinigi Guesthouse
- Kwitonda Lodge
How to get there?
Volcanoes National Park is situated in a small village called Ruhengeri present day known as Musanze, which is easily accessible by public transport means from Gisenyi, Kigali town or even from the airport. It is approximately 2 hours’ drive from the city of Kigali.