8 Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda
Its location is in Kinigi Ruhengeri in northwestern Rwanda spreading over 160 square kilometers. The park covers Rwanda’s share of the Virunga conservation area and is bordered by Mgahinga Gorilla Park in Uganda and Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Volcanoes national park offers travelers a variety of tourist attractions and activities, which together make a complete Rwanda safari package.
1. Trekking Mountain Gorillas
An up-close encounter with the world’s endangered mountain gorillas is reviewed as the best wildlife experience in the world. Volcanoes national park is home to 10 habituated mountain gorilla families available for trekking every day.
Also, gorilla hiking in volcanoes is less demanding compared to other gorilla habitats, which makes it more interesting.
Rwanda gorilla groups include Susa A, Sabinyo, Karisimbi (Sasa B family), Umubano, Agashya, Kitonda, Bwenge (13 Gorilla group), Hirwa, Uganda, and Amahoro.
In 2017, Rwanda upgraded into a luxury gorilla trekking destination after the increase of gorilla permits from $750 to $1500 per permit per person i.e. paid by all travelers.
Get your gorilla pass to Rwanda, visit these gentle giants in Volcanoes Park and be part of this remarkable encounter. Gorilla ticket booking can be done directly with Rwanda Development Board or through any trusted tour operator offering gorilla tours in Rwanda.
Gorilla permit booking is recommended at least six months in advance.
2. Golden Monkey Trekking
The park offers travelers a remarkable golden monkey trekking experience. Golden monkeys are one of the endangered species in the wild, surviving only in the jungles of Volcanoes, and Mgahinga gorilla national parks in Rwanda and Uganda respectively.
Golden monkey passes cost $100 each far cheaper than gorilla permits hence affordable for budget travelers. Trekking rules and regulations are similar to those of mountain gorillas, which travelers must adhere to.
3. Volcano climbing
Besides wildlife, Volcanoes national park is a center for volcano climbing. The park is home to three extinct Mountains, which are part of the chain of the Virunga Volcanoes. The most hiked Volcano in Volcanoes Park is Mt Karisimbi standing at 4,507m above sea level overlooking Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo.
Other hiking experiences in the park include mount Bisoke, Dian Fossey hike, and twin lakes which all reward you with a wonderful hiking experience. The slopes of these volcanoes are habitats to mountain gorillas, which give travelers an added chance to meet these gentle giants.
4. Bird watching
It shelters over 8000 bird species 27 f which are endemic to the Albertine region. Expect to see birds like Red-faced Barbet, Miombo Wren-warblers, woodpecker Genolek, red-faced barbet, shoebill stork, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Rwenzori double collared, Masked mountain Apalis, Grauer’s rush, Rwenzori hill babbler and stripe breasted tit among others. Enjoy the sweet melodies of birds, which sing continually up in the trees.
5. Nature walks
Taking a guided forest walk is the best way to explore and enjoy the quiet and peaceful natural beauty of the national park. Travelers follow different forest trails, which end at certain tourism spots like waterfalls and caves among others. The most done forest trails in Volcanoes national park include the Ngezi lake trail, the Twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo, and the Musanze caves among others. Also, enjoy the sweet melodies of birds up in the trees. Endeavor to wear hiking boots, carry rain jackets, drinking water, and some energy-giving snacks to keep them strong during hiking.
6. Cultural Interactions
There are various cultural encounters such as visiting the Ibiwacu cultural village, where you will be introduced to the culture of Rwanda through cultural dances, and traditional dishes are also prepared for the tourists and there are lessons for those who are interested in learning how to African traditional dishes. At Ibiwacu cultural village, you will get to participate in a number of activities that you will make your experience memorable.
The national park is secure enough with security personnel that safeguard the park from poachers and also encroachers who can be a threat to the tourists and wild animals in the park. At the entrance of the park, the security team first checks the tourists for any security threats, and after they are then allowed to proceed to the reception area where they are briefed about how the activities in the park should be carried out i.e. the Dos and Donts before they participate in any activity.
During activities in the park, you are accompanied by the tour guide and armed ranger to avoid any accidents like animal attacks.
It is 3 hours drive from Kigali international airport ( the country’s only international Airport) to Volcanoes national park.
In general, volcanoes national park offers it all to meet, satisfy, and exceed your travel expectation to the land of a thousand hills. Book a Rwanda safari today, visit mountain gorillas, hike to Dian Fossey graveyard and go for golden monkey trekking for a memorable Rwanda wildlife experience.
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The above are the 8 Top Reasons Why You Should Visit Volcanoes National Park