Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park famously called Parc National des Volcans in French is perfectly positioned in northwestern Rwanda. The gorilla park in Rwanda is bordered by Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in South western Uganda.
Volcanoes National Park is most popular to many travellers as gorilla trekking destination in the picturesque Virunga Conservation Area and as the first African national park that was established in the year 1925 as the area covered by Virunga Volcanoes i.e. Mikeno, Karisimbi and Visoke volcanic peaks and a mountain gorilla’s natural sanctuary.
Dian Fossey Tomb Tour; Trekking to the Dian Fossey Tomb is one of the most sought after safari activities carried out while visiting Volcanoes national park for a gorilla trip. The trek involves a 30 minutes’ drive from the park headquarters to the trail head to access the Karisoke research camp where visitors walk for 10 minutes to the park boundary.
The walk from the park boundary to the research center where the Dian’s grave is, takes about an hour to 1 hour and a half hour and affords good views of forest hogs, forest elephants, a variety of primates and bird species.
This hike is an incredible experience physically, emotionally and intellectually. It is so inspiring to learn about someone who was so dedicated and left a legacy that exists even today. The hike involves moving through the forests and hiking up the slopes and therefore requires some relative degree of fitness and patience.
At the site you will find the house from where Dian Fossey was mysteriously murdered in 1985 but the more peaceful is the place where she was buried just next to her favorite gorilla friend, Digit and about 20 other mountain gorillas either killed by poachers or suffered death for other reasons. Read More
Golden Monkeys Trekking; The famous activity carried out in Volcanoes national park starts at the same time like gorillas trekking. These threated species are very fascinating and very attractive which forms experience of its own. Volcanoes national park currently has two habituated golden monkeys’ troops that are available to be visited or explored by visitors on their golden monkey safaris in Volcanoes national park. Golden monkeys in Rwanda live in the bamboo vegetation towards the base of the volcanoes and habituation has helped them to overcome their initial shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists.
Encountering golden monkey’s offers life time experience and a maximum group of trekkers are allowed to encounter one habituated golden monkeys. Once tracked, visitors are given one fter meeting the golden monkeys, tourists are allowed to spend one hour with the monkeys.
Golden monkeys are very active creatures, and jump from tree to tree which is really interesting and a little difficult to photograph. The golden monkey trek is worth going for while in Volcanoes National Park and if you’re interested in wildlife, this is a rare and delightful experience not to be missed. Read More
Hiking in Volcanoes National Park
The Bisoke Crater Lake Hike; Mt. Bisoke is a dormant volcano, located within Volcanoes National Park, and it also forms part of the Virunga mountain range bordering Rwanda and DRC. It is about 3 hour’ drive from Kigali capital city of Rwanda.
Starting off the Bisoke cater hike requires you first to meet your guide and group at the park reception. At the station also expect to have a briefing about the hike from one of the Park rangers. They will then guide you and your vehicle to the parking area to begin the hike. Note that the road from the reception to the parking area is very rocky and muddy depending on recent rains; you may require a 4×4 to access the starting point for the hike.
The Bisoke hike is guided. This hike leads you to the top of Mt. Bisoke. It is a strenuous and challenging as gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park therefore if your going for it, it’s advisable for you to set aside a full day to do only the hike as it requires you to have energy. Do not attempt this hike if you are unfit because you may stop halfway and turn back. There are porters that can be hired to help you carry the hiking equipment’s to the top, it’s very beautiful and totally worth the effort, you are rewarded with magnificent views of the forest and the Crater Lake.
Some tips when going for this hike: Be sure to book the hike in the dry season, otherwise be prepared to contend with mud and more volcanic mud that literally sucks you down. While hiking, you are heartened to keep your eyes and ears open because you may come across a group of mountain gorillas on the hike.
Mount Karisimbi Hike; Climbing Mt Karisimbi is a strenuous but very rewarding 2 days hike. The climb starts early in the morning taking 6 hours and involves navigating through the Bisoke side before reaching the first stopping place at an altitude of 3,700 meters for overnight camping before finishing off the journey the next day.
A hike to Karisimbi’s summit is not an ordinary one, but also affords sights and views of various bird varieties, primates like monkeys and Gorillas since the volcano lies in the primates’ park of Volcanoes national park. It is also known for its exotic plants in its four belts of vegetation, from the dense forest at its base to the barren volcanic core at the summit.
The hike up the summit is characterized of muddy trails especially during rainy season, though due to the altitude, it can rain at any time of the day.
You need relatively good health and stamina to hike through the slippery slopes to reach the summit which is white capped as a result of hail and sleet which accumulate in the higher elevations from its frequent storms. This implies that one may have to incur an extra cost of hiring a porter ($20 per day) to help in carrying your luggage and hiking equipment.
Karisimbi is also close to the Karisoke research center where the grave of the re-known mountain gorilla conservationist and American zoologist; Dian Fossey lies. This means that one have a chance to visit the grave as well as trek the golden monkeys in addition to the Mountain gorillas. Read More
Iby’Iwacu cultural Encounter; Iby’Iwacu village is located around Volcanoes national park in Nyabigoma, Kinigi, Musanze district, Northern Province- visitors can have a tour to Iby’Iwacu to share with local communities home and heritage treasures including lifestyles as well as cultural activities and artifacts.
Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village offers tourist’s a unique chance to interact with the local Rwandese, in their natural environment, with a taste of their fascinating culture and traditions. The only option you can to get to know people, is getting close and interacting with local people, and taking part in their daily activities and most of all with them. The encounter exposes toursists to have a guided community walk to visit different sites and experience the everyday lives of the local people.
Culture guide will take visitors to see the king’s house replica with all the houses interpretation of all parts and stories attached to this cultural treasure. Be enthroned and become a king for some time while exercising king’s powers as presented to you by a village elder through a village ceremony. Visitors can also enjoy different types of traditional dances like Intore dance and famous songs of the gorillas sang by the famous Ngayabatema while listening to the melody produced by traditional musical instruments including African drums.
Tourists can also enjoy listening to interesting stories about traditional medicine from a local traditional healer and get to know how medicinal trees, shrubs, grass are used to cure local patients.
The cultural memorable encounter creates a golden chance for one to have taste of Rwanda’s local foods by having a local lunch or dinner with local people. Attend a local banana brewery process and have a taste on local banana beer. Explore the Batwa pottery making experience, lessons and engagement. Take part in daily life activities to get to know the local people, their culture, and their ways of living since the village is fascinating with a variety of cultural experience. Read More
Mountain Gorilla Trekking; It’s the most popular and the highly rewarding activity which is carried out at the forested hills of volcanoes national park. Volcanoes national park has an estimated total of 480 mountain Gorillas representing almost half of the world’s endangered species of the apes. In the park, ten (10) gorilla families have been habituated for tourism and research purposes. Hence (ten) 10 groups of eight (8) visitors each are the allowed to trek on a particular day. Gorilla Trekking activity through the forest begins with a quick briefing from the park rangers about the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking, travellers are then divided in groups of 8 people maximum and each group is assigned or allocated one gorilla family to trek. Assigning of the groups highly depends on the fitness and age of the trekkers. For example, those above 45 years and the ones with less fitness are assigned gorilla families which do not wander far away from the trail heads. Hence there is need for those visitors with special interests about specific groups to inform their guides to help them negotiate with rangers before assigning the groups such that they may be assigned those specific groups too.
Being wild animals in their natural habitat, what may be regarded as easy to find may not necessarily be, as the animals may wander far as they search for food .Therefore, it is not a guarantee that they may be near or easy to find. Even those which are allocated to the physically fit and energetic tourists and considered to be strenuous to trek, may be easily encountered within few hours of trek which makes the total experience interesting and un predictable.
Each gorilla tracking group consists of a main guide and two scouts who carry AK-47 guns, one walking in front and another behind the group. The reason for armed scouts is for protection and safety of the tourists in the forest against wild elephants or angry, wild gorillas. The scouts are trained to fire shot into the air first in order to scare away the animals but this is only done on rarest occasions when all other options like hiding away from such dangerous animals have been done. mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park has never heard of any case where such animals attacked the tourists and the scouts had to fire bullets though on many occasions, they advise to hide or remain still until the animals go away. However the policy of the National Park is to be safe rather than sorry. Read More
Birds in Parc National des Volcans; Volcanoes National Park has a sum total of 180 bird species. Close to 15 formerly recorded bird species were eminent during a biodiversity survey conducted in 2004, however it is probable that a number of additional forest specialists have actually gone off track since the year 1980. the Grauer’s rush warbler a vulnerable local bird species living in the swamp, whereas at least sixteen Albertine Rift endemic are also present, among which are the handsome francolin, Archer’s ground robin, dusky crimson-wing, Rwenzori turaco, red-faced woodland warbler , Rwenzori double collared sunbird, collared apalis, Rwenzori batis and the strange weaver. Read More
Mount Karisimbi; Rising at an elevation of about 4507m above sea level, Karisimbi is Africa’s fifth highest mountain and the highest stratovolcano among the eight major volcanoes of the Virunga massifs of the central Africa. It strides along the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda on the western branch of the Eat African Rift valley. Karisimbi lavas have been dated from 0.24 Ma to 0.010 Ma indicating that the volcano is very young.
The name Karisimbi is derived from the word ‘amasimbi’ in Kinyarwanda which literally means “white shell”, referring to the white-capped summit which is often seen on top of this volcano. It is bordered by Mikeno Volcano on the north, Bisoke on the east and Nyiragongo on the western side of the Rift Valley. The mountain is situated in Volcanoes national park, popularly known for the mountain gorillas and hence can be hiked by any traveller on Rwanda mountain gorilla trekking safaris.
Karisimbi is also close to the Karisoke research center where the grave of the re-known mountain gorilla conservationist and American zoologist; Dian Fossey lies. This means that one has a chance to visit the grave as well as trek the golden monkeys in addition to the Mountain gorillas. Read More
Mountain Gorillas; Mountain gorillas (Gorilla Gorilla Berengie) are the world’s critically endangered ape species. These are only thriving in small protected and conserved afro Montane forests of Volcanoes national park located in northwest Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Mgahinga Gorilla park and the Virunga National Park in eastern DRC. The mountain gorilla is one of many species unique to these forests.
Hidden high among the forested, hilly areas of volcanoes national park in Rwanda, the mountain gorilla was not famous to the world until 1902, when two were first encountered by a German explorer who was on his hiking safari to Rwanda’s Karimbi and Visoke Mountain perfectly located in the heart of Volcanoes national Park. It set the starting point for the relationship. For much of the time since, due to deforestation and poaching, it has seemed that the mountain gorilla was swiftly destined to be lost to the world again. Not long after the species’ greatest champion, the American zoologist Dian Fossey was killed in Rwanda in 1985-there were fewer than 300 of the giant primates left in the wild.
Currently, 480 Mountain Gorillas representing half of remaining 880 mountain gorillas thrive in the Virunga Mountains of central Africa –distributed in three national parks of Volcanoes in Rwanda, Virunga national park in Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla Park in south western Uganda.
Mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park can climb trees, but most of times they are seen on the ground moving in social communities of 25- 30 individuals. These groups are organized according to engrossing or enchanting social structures. Gorilla Troops/families are led by one dominant male gorilla called a silverback because of the swath of silver hair that adorns his otherwise dark fur. Troops/groups also include various other young males, some females, and their offspring. The leader organizes troop/family activities like eating, nesting in leaves, and moving about the group’s 0.75-to-16-square-mile (2-to-40-square-kilometer) home range. Mountain gorillas have longer hair and shorter arms than their lowland cousins. They also tend to be a bit larger than other gorillas.
For visitors planning safari to the land of thousand hills, one should not miss out on the fascinating chance to visit Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park consisting of 125Sqaure Kilometres of mountain forest and home to the six Virunga Volcanoes as well as the world famous mountain gorillas. The lushly forested slopes of the mountains form an appropriately dramatic natural setting for what is undeniably the main poignant and memorable wildlife experience in the world: gorilla trekking.
The thrilling climb to the gorilla’s natural habitat of shady bamboo forest provides fantastic views in all parts, before the trekkers are immersed in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest, alive with the calls of colorful birds and the chattering of rare golden monkeys. Nothing can prepare one for the impact of encountering a fully-grown silverback gorilla, up to three times the size of an average man, yet remarkably peaceable and tolerant of human visitors. Read More
Musanze Caves; A cave is described as a natural underground space large enough for a human being to enter. While visiting Volcanoes national park, have the chance/ an opportunity to tour/visit the Musanze Caves which are two (2) kilometers long underneath earth.These were recently unveiled/opened to be explored by visitors in 2013 by the Rwanda Development Board together with the Rwanda Defense Forces.
The famous caves are located in Musanze District; the site has had a major facelift with establishment of tourist walkways, trails and stairs that take you to the dark interior of the caves that illustrates a picture of a house with several rooms and corridors. The floor is paved and there are some stairs to ease movement.
Visit the volcanic region of Rwanda to enjoy the sights of the Caves believed to be formed as a result of volcanic eruption some decades ago. The tour will offer an in-depth understanding of the geological and geographical as well as the historical development of the world. Musanze cave can be encountered after memorable gorilla tracking in Volcanoes national park in case you will have time. The place is perfectly situated on the foothills of Volcanoes national park, meaning that you can easily visit this place after gorilla tracking.
Adventure other spectacular sites and views of the nearby areas including the Buhanga Eco-park known for coronation of Rwandan former kings, the panoramic view of the twin lakes namely Burera and Ruhondo, Karisimbi Volcano climbing, Bisoke Volcano climbing, trek to Dian Fossey grave, golden monkeys trekking and the famous mountain gorillas trekking. Read More
Twin Lakes Burera & Ruhondo; Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo are the two main ignored water bodies of Rwanda. These are pleasant lakes sitauted at the base of volcano Muhabura and close to the border with Uganda. They are surrounded by steep hills and large waterfalls with a backdrop of the Virunga volcanic mountains. These twin lakes are great spots to be visited after watching the gorillas in the Rwandan mountains. Lakes Burera and Ruhondo are close to the gorilla-tracking Centre of Ruhengeri and used to be referred to as neglected gems but things have changed and Burera and Ruhondo are popular with tourists. Their deep blue waters ringed by steep hills and tall waterfalls with the outlines of the nearby Virunga Volcanoes provide a spectacular backdrop, particular as seen from the comfortable Foyer de Charité guesthouse on Lake Ruhondo. Read More
Volcanoes National Park is sitauted in a small village called Musanze previously famously known as Ruhengeri, which is very accessible by public transport from Gisenyi or Kigali or from the airport. The drive to Volcanoes national park is 80kms about 1- 2 hours and hence one can do one day gorilla tour and retire back to Kigali after the trek.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge-Luxury
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is situated in Musanze district next to park headquarters. The lodge luxury lodge is lying at the foothill of the Virunga ranges offering wonderful views of the Volcanoes rolling hills and the surrounding picturesque countryside. The lodge is owned and operated by Governors’ Camp.
The lodge has eight (8) cottages all offering magnificent views of the Volcanoes national park as well as privacy to visitors staying in the lodge. The cottages are capacious and have features like a sitting room area with a fireplace, dressing room, bedroom 24 hour electricity and a large bathroom with bath and shower with hot and cold running water among others.
Guest cottages and the main lodge building have been beautifully constructed and appointed and the lodge is the perfect base from which tourist can base to explore this unique and fascinating Volcanoes national park. In the local area around Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge there are some interesting cultural and social projects to visit. These include the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village where ex poachers have turned their lives around and now work to celebrate local Rwandese culture, the bustling and colourful Musanze Market, Kinigi Cultural Village and Community Walk created by the Sabyinyo Community Lodge Association, the Sonrise High School and the beautiful and enchanting Buhanga sacred forest.
For those with intensions of exploring, there is plenty to see and do in the larger Northern Province area of Rwanda. There is the tropical Rubavu Lakeside resort, hiking in the ecologically important Gishwati Forest, trips to the scenic Twin Lakes, cruises on Lake Bulera and treks to the Russumo falls.
The rates showed in the table are for Mid-Season Rates and for high season you add US$150 to the Mid-Season rates.
Number of people Mid-Season Rates
2 adults sharing US$750
1 adult per night US$970
children under 12 US$470
Tour Guide per night US$297
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge- Luxury
The Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is a new lodge conveniently situated near Volcanoes national park and hence making it the only lodge for visitors on Rwanda gorilla safaris. The thirty (30 ) individual stone and thatch cottages have been constructed on four ( 4 ) acres of land on the slopes of the famous Mt Sabinyo and each room has amenities like en-suite facilities, a small lounge with a fire place and a private veranda. The bungalows are large, with plain plastered walls and are simply but comfortably furnished. The cottages are of a good size and are well positioned to give visitors privacy from one another.
There is a separate restaurant and bar area where meals both local and international meals are served to the guests.
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge provides good value for money at the same time as great views and easy access to Volcanoes National Park.
The lodge grounds are very well organized and from here there are delightful views /sights of the volcanoes. Electricity and hot water are currently supplied by a generator which does not run all day but this may be changed to mains power very soon. The central area has a basic bar and a restaurant. We would advise you to you to dress warmly for dinners during the winter months. Stay here for the great location and super views without the need to breaking the bank.
The activities organized in the lodge mainly involves Gorilla tracking, golden monkey tracking and local village/cultural.
Kinigi Guest House-Budget
The Guest House locally known as “Village Touristique de Kinigi” is situated in Eastern North of Rwanda, in Kinigi district, only 11 Km from Ruhengeri City. It is the comfy gateway to the majestic beauty of the volcanic mountain range, the natural habitat of the rare mountain gorillas.
Kinigi Guesthouse was founded as an income generating project for the “Association de Solidarité des Femmes Rwandaises” (ASOFERWA), a non-profit making organisation of mainly widows and orphans). The income generated from the Kinigi guest house is used to pay school fees for local orphan children, purchase land for agricultural projects, support groups of widows, and provide a market for art pieces of the local artists
The Guest house is constructed at the bottom of Sabyinyo volcanic mountain with an altitude of 4,480 m. Kinigi Guest House is a comfortable base to the panoramic commanding beauty of the volcanic mountain ranges of Virunga, the natural habitat of the rare mountain gorillas.
Kinigi Guesthouse is ideally situated within very few minutes from the ORTPN head office and proximity and ideal location of Kinigi Guest House make the early morning gorilla trekking departures from the office much more convenient.
The Guest House accommodates over 40 people and all rooms have electricity and warm water. For more discerning guests, there are four (4) VIP suites and an ideal hall with 400-seat capacity, for conferences, seminars, weddings and other social functions. Whoever wants to see wonderful gardens and enchanted areas, can always visit Kinigi Guest House. The rooms are spacious and furnished with hot showers, ensuite bathrooms and mosquito nets for the guests.
The guesthouse offers guests four shared dormitories-popularly known as “dorms” (each with 4 beds). Guests have access to shared bathrooms and hot water showers in the building next-door.
Kinigi Guest house is well maintained and the Virungas Mountains and volcanoes provide breathtaking magnificent views on a clear day.
Kinigi local community members are employed at Kinigi guest house, food and other items are sourced from the local Kinigi community.
The social responsibility concept behind Kinigi Guesthouse is investment in the local community and provision of responsible tourism accommodation
This is budget lodge located north of Kigali in Musanze province just opposite the Musanze district headquarters. The hotel has thirty (30) rooms and apartments that provide a cozy environment to relax in after hectic gorilla trekking activity or a day visit to the Northern area of Rwanda.
The facilities and amenities provide in the lodge include self-contained rooms connected with warm shower and some with a bath, individual access with a small individual balcony, equipped with satellite TV, free WIFI-internet access and laundry service is available.
The lodge has professional front office staff who are well-known for warmly welcoming visitors and ready to feed visitors with the necessary knowledge/information to help them get detailed understanding of the country mainly in areas like bank exchange rates against hard currency, attraction areas, tour guide facilities and other information regarding the local market and accommodation prices in different regions of the country. For accommodation and related services, the hotel’s front office welcomes guests 24hours a day, but customers are advised to make anticipated bookings since they are located near a busiest town and tour destination. They have got three room categories made of doubles, twins and Singles, all self-contained with hot shower.
When touring or passing by the Northern Province, never miss an occasion to experience food service and breakfast specialties in the hotel lying on the outskirts of the town alongside the road to Kivu Lake shores. Once sat in the dining, you can make whatever kind of order without worrying about timetables and schedules. Food service is always performed by professional members of staff with various cooking styles and delivered in a quick and accurate manner.
Rwanda National Parks – Rwanda safari Destinations
The montane forest of Nyungwe is a rich habitat to common chimpanzees that are explored on chimpanzee safaris in Rwanda, the Black and white colobus monkeys, counts of bird species and remarkable flora. The Akagera National Park feature rolling savannah combretum which supports counts of wild game including the lions, the Buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, baboons, gazelles and zebra.
These parks contribute significantly to biodiversity conservation and national development through tourist revenue generation.
Volcanoes National Park Volcanoes National Park is most popular to many travellers as gorilla trekking destination in the picturesque Virunga Conservation Area and as the first African national park that was established in the year 1925 as the area covered by Virunga Volcanoes i.e. Mikeno, Karisimbi and Visoke volcanic peaks and a mountain gorilla’s natural sanctuary. Read More
Nyungwe Forest National Park Conveniently located in the resplendent hills of southwestern Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest National Park is bordering Democratic Republic of Congo on the west and Burundi on the southern part with Lake Kivu. The park is the only one in the Central and East Africa with enormous Montane forest. Its strategic location in the watershed between the basin of the river Congo on the western part of the park and the basin of the river Nile on the eastern section makes the forest to be one of the fabulous sources of the famous Nile suited on the eastern part of park. Read More
Akagera National Park Akagera national park is located in the Eastern part of Rwanda along the frontier of the Neighboring Tanzania. The park was established in the 1934 to help protect and conserve the diverse fauna and flora commonly in the three (3) eco-regions the rolling hills of Acacia and Brachystegia Woodland, the sparsely distributed grassland and swamp-fringed Mountain. The famous Akagera Park got its name after the prominent Kagera River that flows along the frontiers of park supplying / feeding water to different water bodies mainly to Lake Ihema which is the second largest lake in Rwanda. Read More
Rwanda Gorilla Safari Tours – Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris
We offer Rwanda Gorilla safaris & tours (Rwanda Gorilla Safari Tours) such as tailored Rwanda gorilla safaris & tours featuring gorilla trekking in Rwanda`s Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda primates, wildlife safari plus Rwanda cultural encounters. Customise your Rwanda Gorilla safari tour now and enjoy the true African Safari experience. Rwanda dubbed the land of a thousand hills is one of the Countries in Africa offering the life time gorilla safari experiences that can never be got anywhere else in the world. Naturally gifted with the super natural sceneries of the rolling winding hills as well as the lush green country side occupied by the beautiful and hospitable Rwanda citizens, Rwanda’s endangered Mountain Gorillas thrive in the Volcanoes national which is dotted with the Virunga massifs. Read More
The 3 Days Rwanda Gorillas and Golden Monkey Trekking safari is an excellent mini Rwanda mountain gorilla tour that will offer you an opportunity to encounter . Read More
Long Rwanda Gorilla Safari Tours – Long Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris
The 6 Days Rwanda Gorillas & Chimpanzee trekking Safari is one of the excellent safari packages 0rganised by Prime Safaris and Tours Ltd. Read More
The 8 Days Rwanda Gorillas & Wildlife Safari Encounter is comprehensive Rwanda Safari tour package that will offer you Ultimate Safari Memories. Read More
Spanning on a 160sqkm area, Parc National des Volcans became known to the world after the most popular primatologist Dr Dian Fossey who arrived and settled in this park in the year 1967 establishing up Karisoke Research Centre between the two Virunga Volcanoes of Karisimbi and Visoke Volcano. The prominent American researcher Dian Fossey was later merciless killed by local poachers whom she had violently criticized all her life as showed in her hot cake selling autobiography – Gorillas in the Mist. The graveyard of this world respected conservationists located at the research Centre has up to date become a unique tourist attraction frequently explored by visitors on Rwanda Gorilla safaris.
This famous national park suited in the land of thousand hills was turned a battlefield/ fighting grounds during the Rwandan Civil War, with its park headquarters being attacked in 1992. During that time, the research Centre that was earlier on established by Dian Fossey was left and even all tourist activities gorilla trekking inclusive were stopped. The tourists activities where not regained until year 1999 when the park area was declared safe and secure from the rebels.
Volcanoes national park is also an outstanding national park gifted with different Vegetation types that change according to the altitude. The lower slopes of the park are mainly covered/ occupied with montane forests which are under extinction or thereat of disappearing due to increasing illegal human activities done by the local people staying around the park. Between altitudes of 2400 – 2500 m above sea level, Neoboutonia forests are present. From an elevation of 2500 to 3200 m above sea level, bamboo forest exists, covering about thirty percent (30%) of the park area. From 2600 to 3600 m, mainly on the more humid slopes in the south and west, is Hagenia-Hypericum forest, which covers about 30% of the park. This is one of the largest forests of Hagenia abyssinica. The vegetation from 3500 to 4200 m is characterized by Lobelia wollastonii, L. lanurensis, and Senecio erici-rosenii and covers about 25% of the park. From 4300 to 4500 m grassland occurs. Secondary thicket, meadows, marshes, swamps and small lakes also occur, but their total area is relatively small.
It is also one of the ecologically richest regions of Africa and worldwide. In specific the most significant world endangered populations of the Mountain gorillas that use the diversified natural habitat characterize Volcanoes national park. The park is natural habitat to rare mammal species and the famous one being Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei). Other mammals include the threatened /extinct species of golden monkeys, buffalo, black-fronted duiker, Spotted Hyena as well as bushbuck. Though rarely seen, the park also provides refuge grounds for Africa elephants. In regard to Avi-flora, the park protects an estimated 178 bird species, with at least 13 species and 16 subspecies being endemic to the Ruwenzori Mountains in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Congo.
As earlier described by the famous American researcher Dian Fossey, Parc National des Volcans is conveniently in the middle of Central Africa and being home of Virunga massifs ,visitor has to shiver more than he or she sweats when climbing/hiking the hills in the park. A thrilling trek through the farmed foothills of the Virungas provides exciting sights / views in all parts of the park. Then, suddenly, the trail enters the national park, immersing visitors in the peculiars intimacy of the rainforest, alive with the calls of different colorful bird’s species as well as chattering of the exclusive golden monkey, and littered with fresh spoor of the mountains’ elusive populations of buffalo and elephant.