“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 rain-forest – the Virungas.”
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. Volcanoes national park is 2 hours drive from Kigali. It is 30 minutes drive from border with Uganda at Cyanika in Kisoro.
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 verdant crater lake, Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura.
Gorilla tracking is the number one activity in the Volcanoes national park – Rwanda. The tracking happens once daily with 8 individuals visiting a gorilla group per day. The visitors are expected to arrive at the Rwanda development board (RDB) offices at 7 am where they are briefed about expectations and later distributed among the different gorilla groups. Once allocated a gorilla group and the briefing is concluded you follow your ranger guide and start your trek in search of these gentle giants. Your trek can take anything from a few minutes to 6 hours depending on the location of the group that you are tracking. Once in sight of the group, you will be able to stay in their presence for only one hour.
Volcanoes national park is home to over 200 bird species with a number of Albertine rift endemics for bird watching enthusiasts to enjoy. Birding is the next best thing to do in this park after mountain gorilla tracking and golden monkey trekking. Some of the species to look out for include, Grauer’s rush warbler, Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori double –collared Sun-bird, handsome francolin, strange weaver, dusky crimson-wing, collared Apalis, red-faced woodland warbler and Archer’s ground robin.
The places to stay near volcanoes national park range from luxury, upmarket, mid range to basic establishments. Depending on your interests, most establishments are found in Kinigi, Musanze and some as far as an hour from the park headquarters.
Plot 10 Kanjokya Street,
Kampala – Uganda
+256 200 900-983
+256 783 664 664
86-90 Paul Street London England – United Kingdom
Eta Star House, 1st FloorSalah Al Din Road, Deira Dubai, UAE
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