Activities in volcanoes national park

Activities in volcanoes national park : For any tourist visiting Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park is a must-visit destination. The national park is the only place in Rwanda where visitors can trek the highly endangered species of mountain gorillas. There is plenty for travelers to do when visiting the park;

Gorilla Trekking:

Trekking mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park marks one of the top highlights of any Rwandan Safari. Gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park is an exciting, thrilling, adventurous and fun filled activity that tourists visiting the park can engage in.

There are 13 habituated gorilla groups in Volcanoes, with 10 gorilla groups available for visitors to track. Among the gorilla families that tourists can trek include;    Susa A, Karisimbi, Umubano, Titus, Kwitonda, Ugenda, Umubano, Amahoro, Bwenge, Sabyinyo, Titus, Hirwa and Agashya.

Activities in volcanoes national park
Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla trekking activities in the national park involve a lot of hiking and tracking in order to locate a gorilla group. 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 permits in Volcanoes national park cost USD 1500 per visitor. Gorilla trekking activities in the park commence at the park’s headquarters in Kinigi at exactly 7am. Usually visitors are briefed first and then placed in trekking group which comprise a maximum of 8 members for each gorilla group.

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.

Visitors who wish to trek gorillas in volcanoes national park are advised to book their gorilla trekking permits at least 6 months in advance.

Golden Monkey Trekking:

Travelers visiting Volcanoes national park can also do golden monkey trekking while in the park. Golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes can be combined with a gorilla trekking safari in the national park.

Trekking golden monkeys in volcanoes national park is such an exciting and adventure thrilled activity which any visitor should not miss out on. The park has two habituated groups of golden monkeys that visitors can trek. The habituated golden monkey groups comprise 80 members in total.

Golden monkey trekking activities in the national park begin at 7am, just like the gorilla trekking activity. Therefore visitors cannot do both golden monkey trekking and gorilla trekking activities on the same day.

Visitors who want to trek golden monkeys in volcanoes national park can purchase a trekking permit at the price of USD 100.

Activities in volcanoes national park
Golden Monkey Trekking in Volcanoes

Hiking Mountains/ volcano climbing in Volcanoes National Park.

Hiking or volcano climbing activities in volcanoes national park are very pleasurable and richly rewarding activities for visitors who wish to explore the landscape and beautiful scenery in the national park. Volcanoes national park offers visitors hiking expeditions on Karisimbi and Bisoke mountains mainly.

Hiking Mount Bisoke:

Hiking activities on Bisoke Mountain offer visitors breath-taking views of the mountain and national park at large. The Crater Lake at the top of Mount Bisoke marks the climax of all hiking activities on the mountain. 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.

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 Bisoke Mountain can hire the services of porter who will carry your luggage for an extra fee. Hiking Mount Bisoke in Volcanoes national park costs USD 75 dollars per person per day.

Hiking Mount Karisimbi:

Travelers visiting volcanoes national park can also opt to do hiking activities on Mount Karisimbi. One advantage that visitors have when climbing Karisimbi Mountain is that climbers can come across gorillas when hiking.

Mount Karisimbi in Volcanoes National Park is the highest of all volcanic mountains in the Virunga Massif, standing at 4507 meters above sea level. It is the fifth highest mountain on the African continent.

Hiking Mount Karisimbi takes a total of 2 days and hikers can choose to come along with their own camping equipment. Hiking activities on Karisimbi Mountain cost USD 150 dollars per person per day.

Hikers climbing Mount Karisimbi have the opportunity to view various attractions and wildlife in the national park such as; bird species like the Rwenzori Turaco, Archer’s ground robin, Rwenzori batis and the Collared Apalis among others. Climbers will also be able to sight primate species like mountain gorillas and monkey species like; the black and white colobus monkey, vervet monkeys to mention but a few.

 Hike to Dian Fossey Grave Site:

A visit to Volcanoes national park in Rwanda is not complete without a hike to the gravesite of the famous primatologist, Dian Fossey. 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 are also taken through a tour of the Karisoke Research Center where Fossey carried out most of her research studies during her stay in Volcanoes National Park.

Caving/Hiking to Musanze caves in Volcanoes National Park:

Alternatively, visitors in Volcanoes national park can opt to explore the Musanze caves. These caves are strategically located at the foothills of the national park. Visitors can visit the caves after gorilla trekking in the park. Hiking to Musanze caves in Volcanoes will cost USD 50 dollars.

Visitors hiking Musanze caves are given a tour of the caves which run 2km deep into the earth’s surface. Among the attractions in the caves are the numerous bats that live within the dark ceilings of the cave.

Tourists visiting the caves are provided with equipment like; gloves, knee caps, boots, face mask, helmet and head cap. 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.

Activities in volcanoes national park
Musanze Cave

Cultural tours/ Community Visits in Volcanoes National Park:

One cannot visit Volcanoes National Park without visiting the nearby local communities. Tourist on a cultural tour can pay a visit to Ibyiwacu community village where you can interact with the local people, be entertained by the local intore dance group and take a walk around the village. It is of great interest knowing that majority of the locals in the Iby’iwacu village were once poachers who have now reformed, and are taking part in the conservation projects that are running in the national park. Visitors are also taken through the process of making local banana brew in the village, as well as cooking traditional Rwandan cuisines.

Travelers visiting Volcanoes national park in Rwanda can stay in the following accommodation facilities; Bisate Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, and Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge among others.

Volcanoes national park is located in the eastern province of Rwanda in Ruhengeri district. The national park is located 113km from Kigali City which is about a 2½ hour drive from the capital city.

Visitors travelling to Volcanoes national park in can take park in a series of activities offered by the park. Most tour operators will include gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park to most tour packages of Rwanda Safaris.

Book with us your Rwanda safari and get to enjoy any of the activities in Volcanoes National Park.

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