Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Rwanda with vast wildlife including approximately 480 of the rare mountain gorillas, just over half the world’s total which sites along the Virunga Mountains in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda which about two hour drive from Rwanda’s capital of Kigali, the park is a central location for exploring some distinctly Rwandan experiences. While a visit to the mountain gorillas is often at the top of the visitor’s mind, the dramatic landscape also offers thrilling hiking and visits to the fascinating golden monkeys.

Volcanoes National Park is home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population which consists of a dense rain forest situated along with extinct volcanoes. Volcanoes National Park lies in northwestern in Kinigi in Rwanda.

The mountain gorilla is one of two sub-species of eastern gorilla, and the most critically endangered with a total population of about 880 living between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These very social creatures are typically found in groups averaging 10 individuals, ranging from five to 30 individuals in any one family. Currently, there are 10 gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park. They are always headed by a dominant silverback and include several females, other subordinate males and usually some youngsters. While large and strong, gorillas are typically docile and shy, and the young ones tend to be very playful. The silverback is not protective of territory, but rather protects the group itself and guides its movements to different areas on the mountain. Gorillas practice a midday rest period, much like our “siesta,” using this time to strengthen bonds, groom, and play.


Gorilla & Golden Monkey Tracking In Volcanoes National Park

Gorillas make their homes in and amongst the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. There are 10 gorilla groups in the Volcanoes National Park. These habituated gorilla families that have been trained to tolerate human present making organized gorilla trekking possible and safe. And because it is safe you get to have the amazing experience of looking into a silver back’s eyes or watching these magnificent creatures go about their day, taking care of their young, feeding, and simply being without worrying about being attacked or the gorillas hiding away from you. The entire experience is simply magical and definitely an adventure you can never forget.

Birding Watching

The park holds a rich avifauna which includes many of the Albertine Rift endemics. Three globally threatened species namely; Lagden’s Bush-shrike, African Green Broadbill, and Kivu Ground Thrush. Besides, 17 of the 25 species of the Albertine Rift Mountains Endemic Bird Area and 53 of the 74 species of the Afro-tropical Highlands biome that occur in Rwanda have been recorded at the site.

Nature Guide Walk

Taking a forest walk or a guided walk is also an amazing way that you can get to see the different attractions that live in and around the Volcanoes National Park. In your group with your ranger, you will walk deep into the forest and spend some good time searching for the species that might interest you like the tree species, vegetation as well as the wildlife that live in the jungle. You will also expect to view many other primates other than the gorillas, you will see some monkey species and the most interesting ate the golden monkeys which will give you a completely different experience that is compared to gorilla trekking.

Best time

Gorilla tours can be done all year round, some times of the year make for a better trip than others. April-May is the rainy season, which means the ground is constantly wet, and it is rainy and called. It can be quite challenging to hike through the forests in the rainy season.

The best time to go gorilla trekking is during the drier months of June- September and December -February. Although rain in these parts of Rwanda can fall at any time of the year, these particular periods are drier than the rest of the year.

Getting there

Being the oldest Park in Africa lies along with the Virunga volcanoes which are shared between Rwanda, Uganda and DRC and its home to five of the 8 volcanoes. It’s just a two-hour drive from the capital Kigali. Volcanoes National Park is Central for all people who come to Rwanda. The Normal and easy point to getting there is through Musanze, from the airport, you can use both public and private means. You can pre-organize with a tour operator or hire a cab at the airport.

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