What to do and see in volcanoes national park rwanda
What to see & do in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda: Tourists visiting Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda have quite a number of activities to engage in during their visit to the national park. The national park is the most visited national park in the country and it is the only park in Rwanda that shelters the endangered species of mountain gorillas.
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is one of the four national parks that Rwanda proudly boosts of. The national park spans over a radius of 160 square kilometers and was first established in 1925. It is located in Ruhengeri district in the northwestern province of Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park neighbors Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo to its west and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda to its east.
Among some of the interesting activities carried out in Volcanoes National Park include;
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park is one of the top highlights of a visit to the national park. Volcanoes national park in Rwanda has 12 habituated gorilla groups available for visitors to trek at a fee of USD 1500 dollars person.
Gorilla trekking activities in Volcanoes National Park begin at the park’s headquarters in Kinigi at exactly 7am. Visitors are briefed by the head ranger at the park and then placed into trekking groups, which consist of a maximum of 8 members per gorilla group. The national park issues only 96 gorilla permits per day which means that visitors have to book their gorilla trekking permits at least 6 months in advance in order to avoid any inconveniences especially during the peak season when demand for gorilla trekking activities are high.
Trekking mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park can take from 2-6 hours, with visitors spending only an hour with the gorillas once they have been located. Gorilla trekking activities in the national park are only available for visitors who are aged 15 years and above. The best for visitors to trek mountain gorillas in the park is between June-September when it’s the dry season in the park.
Golden Monkey Tracking:
Tourists visiting Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda can also take part in golden monkey tracking activities. Although golden monkey tracking can be combined with gorilla trekking, the two activities cannot be done on the same day since they both take just about the same time. There are two habituated groups of golden monkeys in Volcanoes national park, with precisely 80 members in total. Each group can be tracked by tourists in a group consisting of a maximum of 8 members. The activity also starts at 7am in the morning at the park’s headquarters in Kinigi. Visitors interested in tracking golden monkeys in Volcanoes national park can pay a fee of USD 100 dollars.
Hiking Bisoke and Karisimbi Mountains:
Hiking activities to Mount Bisoke and Mount Karisimbi are organized by Volcanoes National Park at a fee of USD 75 and USD 400 dollars per person respectively. Just like most hiking activities in Volcanoes National Park, hiking activities begin at exactly 7am at the park’s head offices in Kinigi. Climbers are first briefed by the head ranger at the park before commencing your hiking activity.
Visitors hiking Mount Bisoke will take about 6 hours, with 2 hours spent descending the mountain. However, experienced mountain climbers can take less time descending the mountain. On the other hand, hikes to Mount Karisimbi take a total of 2 days, with climbers spending an overnight on the mountain.
Hike to Dian Fossey Tomb:
Visitors hiking to Dian Fossey’s tomb are able to see where she was buried and also learn more about her work and contribution to the conservation of mountain gorillas in the national park. Visitors also have an opportunity to tour the Karisoke Research Center where Fossey carried out most of her research studies during her stay in Volcanoes National Park. A hike to Fossey’s gravesite costs USD 75 dollars per person.
Visit to Musanze Caves:
A visit to Musanze Caves in Volcanoes National Park can be conducted after a gorilla trekking activity. Visitors are guided by local guides through the 2km deep caves for a fee of USD 50 dollars. A complete tour of the caves can take between 2-3 hours, and give visitors an insight into the history and culture of the Rwandan people.
The caves are a well-known sanctuary for bats and tourists visiting these caves are given a pair of head helmets, hand gloves, keen caps, face masks, and gumboots for easy movement within and around the caves.
A Visit to the Iby’ Iwacu Community Village:
The Iby’ Iwacu community village in Volcanoes National Park is more of a rehabilitated community. Most members of this community were once poachers who have now mended their ways and have been incorporated into the conservation programs taking place in the national park. Visitors can be a visit to this community after trekking mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Tourists visiting the Iby’ Iwacu are welcomed with joyful dance performances from the local intore dance group in the community. Visitors interested in visiting the Iby’ Iwacu community in Volcanoes National Park will have to pay a fee of USD 30 dollars.
With these listed activities, visitors in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda are bond to have a fun filled, adventurous and memorable stay in Rwanda. In case you are planning a safari to Rwanda, do get in touch with us at Explore Rwanda Tours, for the best tour packages/offers to Volcanoes National Park.