VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK (Parc National Des Volcans PNV)
This was Gazetted in 1925 to protect the endangered Mountain Gorillas. It was the first National Park in Africa, covering a total size of 12,500 Hac. The park is located 2hrs from Kigali to the Northwest of Rwanda.
“In the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat,” wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, “are great, old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rain-forest – the Virungas”. Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range – home of the rare mountain gorilla – and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.
An exhilarating trek through the cultivated foothills of the Virungas offers stirring views in all directions. Then, abruptly, the trail enters the national park, immersing trekkers in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with the calls of colorful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey, and littered with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive populations of buffalo and elephant. Through gaps in the forest canopy, the magnificent peaks are glimpsed, easily accessible and among the highest in Africa, beckoning an ascent.
Attractions of Parc National des Volcans – rwanda gorilla tour
- The Virungas with five peaks-Karisimbi (4507M), Bisoke (3711M), Sabyinyo (3634M), Gahinga (3474M) and Muhabura (4127M).
- The endangered mountain Gorillas.
- Other animals including the rare golden monkeys, Cape buffalo, black fronted duiker; a profusion of bird life including the Ruwenzori turaco, and beautiful francolins.
- In the vicinity the beautiful lakes Burera and Ruhundo.
- The Virunga ecosystem is composed of 4 major vegetation zones: Bamboo (base altitude), Hagenia and Hypericum forest (2600-3300m), Sub-alpine (3300-4000m), and Afro-alpine (4000m+).
Between Bisoke and Sabyinyo volcanoes lies lakes Ngezi, Nyirambubu, Gasindikira and Muraro. Crater lake is at the peak of Bisoke. Visit to the lakes can be organized by Jungle Safaris Uganda. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
High altitude makes it generally cold, especially during the evenings. Gorilla racking in PVN is possible all the year round.
Tourist activities in volcanoes national park – rwanda safari
- Visit to the grave of Dian Forsey and her gorilla Digit.
- Mountain Gorilla Tracking (Most popular)
- Climbing Karisimbi Mountain (2 days)
- Climbing Mountain Bisoke 1 day.
- Visits to lakes Burera and Ruhondo.
- Cave exploration; visit Musanze cave and the natural bridge.
- Tracking the Golden Monkey.
- day excursions to lake Karago
- Excursion to lake Kivu
Accommodation is available in Kinigi Guest House, Gorilla Nest, Muhabura Hotel, and Hotels in Gisenyi.
Important visitor information to Parc National des Volcans
It should be noted that golden monkey tracking is undertaken in the morning from ORTPN Kinigi/ Ruhengeri office. Two families of the golden monkeys are open for tracking ; Kabatwa at the base of Sabyinyo and Musanga at the base of Karisimbi. Those wishing to track specific mountain gorilla families are advised to book in advance. Mountain gorilla tracking begins at 07 :00 Hrs at ORTPN Kinigi office.