Volcanoes National Park
“In the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat,” wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, “are great, old volcanoes towering almost 15,000 feet and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest – the Virungas.”
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 covered 160 Square Kilometers and was made a wildlife conservation area in the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda early 1920’s. Volcanoes National 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.
Tracking endangered mountain gorillas through the mysterious intimacy of the rain forest, alive with the calls of 200 species of colourful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey, is only one of the truly unique experiences in the area.
What to Do:
- Mountain Gorilla Tracking
- Golden Monkey Tracking – Rare golden monkeys have been sighted in the magnificent Virunga Mountains
- Mountain Hiking Adventures – Mount Bisoke stands at 3,700m above sea level; Mt Karisimbi is the most hiked Volcano and the highest at 4,507m above sea level.
The park is located in a small village called Musanze, previously well-known as Ruhengeri, accessible by road transport 130km/2 hours from Kigali, 70kmfrom Gisenyi. There are no scheduled domestic flights to Volcanoes National Park, and preferably people decide for a 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 preferably 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, and are regarded as the rain in the country.