Volcanoes National Park lies in north-western Rwanda, and borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The park is well known as a home for the rare and endangered mountain gorilla and golden monkeys. The park is a famous destination in Rwanda, and has become synonymous with mountain gorilla tracking safaris and none of the visitors leave the country without visiting these majestic primates.
Rwanda is a home to twelve habituated groups of mountain gorillas that are spaced all over Volcanoes National Park. Set early in the morning for your briefing at the Park Headquarters and be in groups of eight each will be taken to your allocated group with a guide and trackers.
Gorilla trekking is awesome, some of the groups wander high up the mountainsides – but it is always utterly rewarding. Take a look at Gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda for further information on the experience, etiquette and tips on gorilla trekking. Encounters can never be guaranteed, but the amount of time spent with them is memorable.
It is home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo), the rainforest and bamboo covers about 160km. This park is the oldest national park in the entire African.
Volcanoes National Park’s Headquarters are based in Kinigi village, the administrative centre for permits and the place where all visitors gather in the mornings for briefings before starting on their gorilla trek activity.
The park was first gazetted in 1925 with an aim of protecting the Mountain gorillas from poachers. Volcanoes National Park has a relationship with gorilla conservation. It was the base for the ground-breaking work of primatologist Dian Fossey which started in the late 1960s and is evocatively portrayed in the book and film Gorillas in the Mist.
The massif is home to around half of the world’s precious mountain gorillas – some 400 of them – making Rwanda probably the best place in Africa for a tracking safari.
The main town of Musanze commonly known as Ruhengeri is the hub of Rwanda’s gorilla trekking tourism, with plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants. Its 1-2 hour drive from the capital Kigali.