Volcanoes National Park
A breathtaking and unforgettable place where culture, adventure and conservation come together is this region in northwest Rwanda. The park has been the home of zoologist Dian Fossey. To protect the gorillas from poachers, a small area between Karisimbi, Visoke and Mikeno was first designated a park in 1925. It was the first African national park to be established. In 1929 the park boundaries were further extended to Rwanda and the Belgian Congo to create the Albert National Park, a significant area of 8090 km2 administered by the Belgian colonial authority responsible for both areas. In 1958, 700 hectares of the park were removed to be colonized.
Volcanoes National Park is located in northwestern Rwanda and borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The national park is known as a refuge for the mountain gorilla. It is home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo).
VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK ACTIVITIES
The most popular tourist destination in Rwanda is Volcanoes National Park. What to anticipate from a trip to the park is listed below.
locating mountain gorillas
The best way to bring tourists to Rwanda is through gorilla tracking at Volcanoes National Park. Less than 900 mountain gorillas exist in the wild today, making them a critically endangered species.
This experience is at the top of the itinerary for most visitors because there isn’t much longer to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat.
Trekkers are escorted by experienced Tour Guides who will provide a hand along the way and are knowledgeable about the various fauna in the area. If you became muddy, they could help you out by carrying your daypack or lending a hand!
Finding the Golden Monkey
Adventuresome Hike to the Tombs of Dian Fossey
You may combine a trip to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park with a climb to Dian Fossey’s grave.
American primatologist Dian Fossey spent nearly two decades researching mountain gorillas in the park. The late 1980s saw the release of Gorillas in the Mist, a biography of her life.
In 1985, she was killed by poachers. Her burial is close to Karisoke Research Center, tucked away between the stunning volcanic peaks of Bisoke and Karisimbi.
Along the way on your hike journey, you may be lucky enough to see elephants, buffalo, primates like golden monkeys and sometimes even the mountain gorillas that Dian dedicated her life to.
Adventures in Mountain Hiking
At 3,700 meters above sea level, Mount Bisoke has a large crater lake on top. Due to its great elevation and length, Mount Bisoke does not require prior hiking knowledge; you simply need to be physically fit.
Depending on how quickly you travel and how often you stop, the entire journey takes five to seven hours.
You will have spectacular views of the other five volcanoes as well as the lovely Twin Lakes from the volcano’s summit.
The Crater Lake, which is close to the peak, has drier vegetation than other areas of the park and gigantic heather that covers the volcano’s slopes.