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Volcanoes national park is the oldest national park in Africa and the most visited in Rwanda .it lies along the magnificent Virunga mountains and hosts 5 of its 8 volcanoes. the 5 volcanoes hosted here, volcanoes national park constitute the larger Virunga conservation area (VCA) alongside Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda and Virunga national park in Congo. The spiky splendor of the volcanoes in this park is one of the prominent landmarks the park has and at their respective summits. It’s well known for gorilla trekking as the main activity

Wildlife in volcanoes national park

Wildlife is in abundance and sorts thrive in volcanoes national park but the prominent one with which the park identifies itself, are the mountain gorillas followed by the golden monkeys. Both the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys are endangered and endemic to the Virunga ranges.it is one of the four places in the world with ideal conditions for the survival and sustenance of the mountain gorillas

Furthermore, volcanoes national park covers over 160sqkms of rainforest, and bamboo hosts a representative sample of incredible biodiversity in a very good state of conservation. Apart from the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys, there are forest elephants, giant forest hogs, buffaloes, duikers, bushbucks, bush pigs, other primates, and a variety of bird species. However, the rugged terrain and the thick forests render the animals (especially mammals) elusive. Volcanoes national park constitutes a world wonder because of its incredible biodiversity that includes even the endangered ones and this was the major consideration for its declaration as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites

What to see and do in volcanoes national park

The mountain gorilla is Rwanda’s most valuable tourism resource. the park boasts over 10 habituated gorilla families with huge potential for more.it is the only spot for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. The other parks that harbor mountain gorillas are Mgahinga and Bwindi impenetrable in Uganda and Virunga Park in Congo. Among the other activities done include: golden monkey tracking, nature walks, mountain climbing, bird watching, Diane fossey grave site and karisoke research Centre, iby’iwachu cultural village tour, Musanze caves, and kwita izina event-gorilla naming ceremony.

By its location in the very high altitude areas with rain forests, the weather is generally cool and rains are a usual occurrence regardless of the season. Day temperature rises up to 20c.

Ideally, the dry season is the best to visit the volcanoes national park where all park activities are available throughout the year. However, for birding tours wet seasons would be the best.

Close to the volcanic national park are a number of lodges and hotels for visitors to choose from according to their budget. They are categorized as budget, midrange luxury, and super luxury. They are eco-friendly and beautifully laid out to face the forest and overlook the beautiful scenic volcanoes

Accessibility

Volcanoes national park is located in Mwanze province in North West of Rwanda .it can be accessed by both private and public means from Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. From Kigali international airport, it is a 2-hour drive.

The park shares borders with Uganda and so can be accessed from either Mount Mgahinga Gorilla Park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, or any border town in Uganda. When one flew from Arusha Tanzania and Nairobi airport in Kenya  after Serengeti and Masai mara safaris, flights from those respective places are usually one or two hours depending on the routing

Recommended tours to volcanoes   

2 days Rwanda gorillas

3 days gorillas &golden monkeys

2 days bisoke volcano hike

5 days Rwanda primates’ safari

8 days Rwanda Shekinah safari

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