Volcanoes National Park is located in the north western part of Rwanda along its border with Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is inclusive of the three parks that make up the Virunga massif, other two parks are Virunga National Park of Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda.
The park is listed among Africa’s major tourist destinations for many reasons. The list includes ease of accessibility, species of Mountain Gorillas and tempting natural sceneries such as volcanoes, rolling hills and more.
It is occupied by tropical rain-forests, shrubs, Savannah grasslands, bogs, marshes, bamboo trees and swampy areas.
Moreover, Volcanoes National Park is home to five of the eight Virunga volcanoes. These include Mount Bisoke, Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Mount Muhabura.
Apart from Mountain Gorillas, Volcanoes is home to Golden monkey primates, vervets, baboons, unique forest bird species, insects and reptiles.
Getting to Volcanoes
You can get to this Park by two options: airplane or road transport.
For road transport, it takes about 2-3 hours for a drive from Kigali airport to Kinigi in Musanze district. Time taken for the drive depends on speed used and stop overs included.
Other than road, air travel is the only alternative. Private charters are arranged from Kigali to Kinigi airstrip. From the airstrip, you are transferred by the driver to the park headquarters.
Mountain Gorilla Trekking.
It is every ones dream to meet Gorillas in the Jungles especially ape lovers. Gorillas are herbivores in nature, ground dwelling and live in groups named as “Gorilla families”.
Before the trekking journey, a briefing is first conducted at the park headquarters. The briefing is meant to highlight tourists on how to behave while in the presence of Mountain Gorillas.
After briefing, the journey starts heading to the Jungle in search of these apes. After locating them you are allowed to be in their presence for only one hour.
Gorilla trekking is not free but the experience is worth the money paid for the permit. This card costs $1500 USD per person.
Golden Monkey tracking
Besides Gorilla trekking you can do Golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park. With this you will meet face to face with these primates.
Golden monkeys are mostly found in the mountainous bamboo forested areas. Therefore physical fitness is of high importance for victorious excursions.
While in the Jungle, you see a range of other Wildlife species like birds, insects, reptiles and more. The permit for Golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes costs $100 USD per person.
If primate tracking don’t appeal, Volcanoes National Park is also famous for incredible hiking expeditions.
These excursions include Dian Fossey hike at a cost of $75 USD, one day Bisoke hike and the two days Karisimbi Mountain hiking expedition.