About Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is best known for mountain gorilla trekking but the park is also rich with many other exotic activities for one to take on. This park is part of the Virunga volcanoes which are shared between Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. This park is an evergreen bamboo forest with grassland areas, swamp, and heath in other areas.

The mountain gorillas are the prime attraction in volcanoes national park with gorilla trekking happening all year round. Because of the high altitude it is generally cold, especially early morning and the evenings, you are advised to carry a light sweater for these times. The park is located only 2 hours from Kigali in the north of Rwanda.

Top Things to Do and See in Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda

1. Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park

With 11 habituated gorilla families in the Volcanoes National Park alone, Gorilla trekking is a must-do activity while on a safari in Rwanda. Almost all the gorilla population in Rwanda can be found in the Volcanoes National Park. The families to visit include Amahoro, Ugenda, Umubano, Karisimbi, Sabinyo, Susa and Hirwa among others.

The trek begins with a briefing at the park’s headquarters and is followed by a hike up the bamboo terrain of the mountain. There are guides for each group of trekkers to lead you to the habitats of the gorilla families and the maximum number per group of trekkers is 8 people only. Once you have sighted a family of gorillas, you can only spend an hour with them in which you can take photos, make videos and see these grand primates.

2. Golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park

Golden monkeys trekking takes place in Volcanoes national park and at the same time 7:00 just like gorillas. These rare species are also listed as endangered – and Volcanoes national park currently has two habituated golden monkeys’ troops that are available for visiting by tourists in the park, both of which make about 80 members.

Golden monkeys in Rwanda live in the bamboo vegetation towards the base of the volcanoes and habituation has helped them to overcome their initial shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists. Trekking golden monkeys and gorillas is a similar experience – in a small group of no more than eight people, and you can spend one hour with the monkeys once you find them. The endangered species are very active creatures, and jump from tree to tree which is really interesting and a little difficult to photograph!

3. Dian Fossey Hike & Tomb Tour

The Dian Fossey Tomb Hike and Tour involves a 30 minutes drive from the park headquarters to the trail head to access the Karisoke research camp where visitors walk for 10 minutes to the park boundary. The walk from the park boundary to the research center where the Dian’s grave is, takes about an hour to 1 hour and a half hours and affords good views of forest hogs, forest elephants, a variety of primates and bird species.

Mountain gorillas were the subject of the late Dian Fossey who dedicated her life to their protection and conservation. Dian Fossey carried out research on mountain gorillas at the Karisoke Research Center in Volcanoes national park, Rwanda. Much of her work is portrayed in the international acclaimed film “Gorillas in the Mist,” which was shot in Volcanoes National Park.

4. Hiking to the Top of Mountain Karisimbi

Hiking to the top of Mt Karismbi is one of the key tourism activities you should not miss on your Rwanda safari to Volcanoes National Park. Rising at an elevation of about 4507m above sea level is Mt. Karisimbi, a stratovolcano which is the highest of the eight major volcanoes of the Virunga field and the 5th highest in Africa. Karisimbi lavas have been dated from 0.24 Ma to 0.010 Ma indicating that the volcano is very young.

The name Karisimbi is derived from the word ‘amasimbi’ in Kinyarwanda which means “white shell”, referring to the white-capped summit which is often seen on top of this volcano. It is flanked by Mikeno to the north, Bisoke to the east and Nyiragongo to the west, on the other side of the Rift Valley. The mountain is situated in Volcanoes national park, popularly known for the mountain gorillas.

5. Gorilla Guardians Village (Iby’Iwacu cultural village Tour)

A Rwanda cultural tour to the Gorilla Guardians Village formally Ibyiwacu cultural village is one of the key features that make Rwanda safaris exceptional experiences. Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village gives you a rare chance to meet local people, in their environment, with a taste of our culture and traditions.

Iby’Iwacu village is located around Parc National des Volcans in Nyabigoma, Kinigi, Musanze district, Northern Province- have a visit to Iby’Iwacu to share with local people home and heritage treasures including lifestyles, activities, artifacts and ways of living of local people. Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village is committed at showcasing the ways of living, traditional lifestyles and dances to tourists. Have a guided community walk to visit different sites and experience the everyday lives of the local people.

Suggested Safari Trips to take in Volcanoes National Park

3 Days Rwanda Special Gorilla Safari

Tour Highlights: Gorilla Homes in Volcanoes, Gorilla Trekking Adventure, Kigali City Tour

3 Days Golden Monkeys & Gorillas Safari

Tour Highlights: Golden Monkey Tracking, Gorilla Trekking Adventure, Kigali City Tour

7 Days Rwanda Gorillas & Primates Safari

Tour Highlights: Gorilla Trekking Adventure, Golden Monkey Tracking, Nyungwe Forest Chimpanzee Tracking

5 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari

Tour Highlights: Gorilla Trekking, Beach Holiday Relaxation in Musanze, Kigali City Excursion Rwanda

6 Days Gorillas Monkeys & Bishoke Climb

Tour Highlights: Kigali beautiful African city, Gorilla Trekking, Mount Bishoke Climb, Golden Monkeys tracking

4 Days Rwanda Double Gorilla Safari

Tour Highlights: Kigali beautiful African city, Gorilla Trekking, Mount Bishoke Climb, Nature Walk Treks