Volcanoes National Park 'Parc National des Volcans', Northern Rwanda Destinations Featured

Rwanda  Baby Gorilla

 

 Volcanoes National Park, 'Parc National des Volcans' in French, lies in northern Rwanda and borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. The national park is known as a haven for the mountain gorilla - 300 of these gentle giants make the park their home and there are eight habituated families that tolerate the presence of humans in their midst making this is one of the best places for gorilla tracking.

The park is also home to five of the eight volcanoes, of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo), which are covered in rainforest and bamboo and linked by fertile saddles, covering a huge area of over 8,000km², formed by lava flows, and are one of the most striking sights in East Africa.

The park was the base of operations for famed naturalist Dian Fossey. She spent 20 years here living and working with the gorillas and campaigning for their protection. She was murdered here and although her death remains a mystery the likely culprits were the poachers she had fought against for so long. Her life here is immortalized in the film; "Gorillas in the Mist". It is largely because of her influence and her setting up of the Karisoke Research Centre that saved these fantastic creatures from extinction - and now you can see them on your Gorilla tracking safari!

From one of these lodges you will launch your hike into the forested slopes in search of one of the gorilla families. Be warned though that gorilla tracking is no walk in the park. You do literally have to track down the gorillas who could have moved a significant distance from the day before. Relatively few permits are issued to see the gorillas and your time with them is restricted to one hour.

However gorilla tracking is only one of the attractions of the Volcanoes National Park. The Park also offers protection for other primates such as the endemic golden monkey, very rare forest elephant, buffalo, giant forest hog, bush pig, bushbuck, black-fronted duiker, spotted hyena and around 200 species of birds.

If you have an extra day to spare, we recommend a second day to track the golden monkeys which inhabit the bamboo forest on the lower slopes. A trip to the tomb of Dian Fossey and the Karisoke Research Centre she established, which takes a couple of hours of fairly steep walking is also worthwhile. Another beautiful option is a day hike to the Crater Lake on Mount Bisoke.


Why Visit Volcanoes National Park 'Parc National des Volcans', Northern Rwanda.

  • Visit a National Park shared by three countries Rwanda, Congo and Uganda.
  • Visit and track the endangered Mountain gorilla.
  • Volcanoes National Park, 'Parc National des Volcans' is the best place the track and see the mountain gorilla in the world.
  • Climb one of the eight extinct volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains.
  • Visit the grave and the research center of the famed naturalist Dian Fossey whose life has been immortalized in the film; "Gorillas in the Mist".
  • Visit and see the endemic golden monkey.
  • Take a day’s hike to the Crater Lake on Mount Bisoke or the twin lakes up the mountain.

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