Volcanoes national park lies in the Virunga ranges in the northwestern part of the country. The other parks bordering the Virunga ranges are Virunga national park in Congo and Mount Mgahinga national park in Uganda. Volcanoes national park is home to the endangered mountain gorilla species left in the world and its also home to five of the eight Virunga massif volcanoes. Volcanoes national park was first gazetted to protect mountain gorillas in 1925. After it became one of the most popular destinations for Rwanda safaris.

Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Volcanoes National park in France Parc National des Volcano and in Kinyarwanda it’s called Pariki Y’Igihugu Y’Ibirunga this lies in the Northwest part of Rwanda and  borders the Virunga National Park, Mgahinga national park which is in Uganda  and Democratic Republic of Congo. Volcanoes national park is known as a haven for the rare endangered mountain Gorillas, Golden Monkeys and also a home to the volcanoes, including Bisoke, Gahinga, Muhabura, Sabinyo, Karisimbi, these span on 160km2 in Bamboo, rain forest.

Volcanoes National Park was gazetted in 1925 this was intended to protect the Mountain Gorillas from Poachers. Volcanoes National Park was the very first one to be created in Africa, later on the park wa extended into Rwanda and Belgian Congo to form Albert National Park its located on an area of 8090 km2. The government agreed to maintain the park conservation and tourist area. The park has become a battlefield during the Rwandan Civil War; however the park was attacked in 1992. Mountain Gorillas and other mammals include Golden Monkey, spotted Hyena and bushbuck. Bushbucks in the park estimate 1770-7050 animals. The park is recorded to have bird species with at least 13 species and 16 subspecies these are endeic to Virunga and Rwenzori Mountains.

Gorilla trekking

Rwanda gorilla tours / gorilla trekking are the main safari types in Volcanoes national park. The park is home to habituated gorilla groups that can be trekked by tourists at 1500 USD and only 8 permits are sold to see one gorilla group in a day.

Wildlife

Volcanoes national park is also home to various wildlife like forest elephants, buffalos, bush bucks, giant forest hogs, galago, water bucks, there are various primates like the black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, grey cheeked mangabeys, vervet monkeys, blue tailed monkey among others.

Golden monkey trekking

Golden monkey trekking is also one of the most common activities in volcanoes national park. Golden monkeys can even move in troops of 60-100 individuals they are very beautiful and renowned for being playful. The price of trekking golden monkeys is low and tourists can be free to take photos with flash cameras unlike mountain gorillas.

Hiking

Volcanoes national park is home to five of the Virunga massif volcanoes. Tourists can hikes to the top of volcanoes for breathtaking views of the land of a thousand hills. Hiking can take up to full day and rain can fall at any time so tourists planning to hike must come with good hiking shoes, warm clothing, garden gloves and so forth.

Birding

Volcanoes national park boasts with about 178 species of birds some of this about 13 are Virunga endemics. Some of the birds tourists can see are Archers ground robin, red faced woodland warbler, Ruwenzori double collared sunbird, Collared apalis, Ruwenzori turaco, handsome francolin, strange weaver and many others. Tourists in volcanoes national park can sleep in hotels such as Da Vinci gorilla lodge, mountain gorillas nest lodge, mountain gorilla view lodge, mountain gorilla solution lodge, hotel Muhabura, gorillas volcanoes hotel and five volcanoes hotel among the rest.

Volcanoes national park can be visited all year round but the best time is from June to September and December to February. When the roads are in good condition and viewing wildlife is easier because the vegetation is thin, the trekking trails are not muddy and slippery during this time. Volcanoes national park can be reached within 2 hours drive from Kigali international airport in Rwanda.