Volcanoes National Park
Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range – home of the endangered mountain gorilla and a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.
The park is named after the chain of dormant volcanoes making up the Virunga Massif: Karisimbi – the highest at 4,507m, Bisoke with its green crater lake; Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura.
The park is a stop centre for all Rwanda gorilla safaris sheltering the highest mountain gorillas in the Virunga Conservation area. The strategic location, roughly 2 hours drive from Kigali international airport, makes it the most accessible gorilla national park in the world.
Tracking endangered mountain gorillas through the mysterious intimacy of the rain forest, alive with the calls of 200 species of colourful birds and the chattering of the rare golden monkey, is only one of the truly unique experiences in the area.
Besides gorillas, the park is home to golden monkeys, various birds, reptiles and amphibians.
What to Do
- Mountain Gorilla Tracking
- Golden Monkey Tracking – Rare golden monkeys have been sighted in the magnificent Virunga Mountains
- Mountain Hiking Adventures
The park is in a small village called Musanze, previously well-known as Ruhengeri, accessible by road transport 130km/2 hours from Kigali, 70km from Gisenyi. Unfortunately, there are no scheduled domestic flights to Volcanoes National Park, and preferably, people decide to tour around with a 4×4 vehicle.
Best Time to Visit
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park throughout the year through the dry season is the best time to visit the park. Periods between December to early March and June to September. December to March is a long dry season for Rwanda, with temperatures going up to 29 degrees Celsius for some days, while March – Mid May July to September is the rain in the country.