Volcanoes National Park is situated on the northwestern part of Rwanda, bordering DRC and Uganda. Parc National des Volcans is home to the Rwandan section of the Virunga mountains that consists of Kasirimbi, Bisoke, Sabinyo, Gahinga, and Muhabura. Apart from the beautiful views that Virunga has to offer, the other major reason to visit the Volcanoes National Park is the presence of the endangered mountain gorrillas and golden monkeys.
1. Gorilla Tracking
Parc National des Volcans is home to 10 gorrilla groups. Despite their intimidating size, these gorillas are basically non agressive and are entirely vegeterian. The trek is quite involving, with tracking lasting up to 4 hours. Visits to the gorillas are restricted to an hour and flash photography is banned. You are aslo not allowed to eat, drink, smoke or go to the bathroom in their presence. Gorilla trekking costs up to USD 750 per person and groups are limited to a maximum of 8 people. This trek is not available to kids below 15 years of age.
2. Golden Monkey Trekking
Costs upto USD 100 per person. Golden monkey trekking takes up to a day. Permits can be acquired at the RBD office in Kigali.
3. Climbing and Trekking the Volcanoes
The Rwandan part of the Virunga mountains is a sight to uphold. The ascent is characterised by thick forests of bamboo, giant lobiela and alpine meadows. Average treks last from several hours to two days. As you trek, you are assured of enjoying amazing wildlife views and spotting exotic birds.
The best time to visit Parc National Des Volcans is during the long dry season from June to September. Kindly note that reservations are usually sold out months in advance therefore it is advisable to make your booking as early as possible.
There are several things one can do while in this national park. Apart from the gorilla trekking, one of the things to see is the popular routes is the tomb of Dian Fossey and Karisoke Research Center she established. While in the park one cannot miss the opportunity of seeing Golden monkeys. Local people have also taken the opportunity to showcase their culture and tradition in park.