Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park, located in the Virunga Mountains in northwestern Rwanda, is a famous and iconic national park known for its population of endangered mountain gorillas. The park spans an area of approximately 160 square kilometres (62 square miles) and is part of the larger Virunga Conservation Area, which includes adjacent parks in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Volcanoes National Park is not only a haven for wildlife enthusiasts but also a testament to Rwanda’s commitment to conservation. The park’s protection and sustainable tourism efforts contribute to the preservation of the endangered mountain gorillas and their habitat. It offers a unique and unforgettable experience to connect with nature, witness incredible wildlife, and appreciate the beauty of Rwanda’s volcanic landscapes.
Key Features and Attractions of Volcanoes National Park:
Mountain Gorilla Trekking
Volcanoes National Park is one of the few places in the world where you can embark on a gorilla trekking adventure. With strict regulations and permits, visitors have the opportunity to trek through the forest with experienced guides and trackers to find and observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat. It is a truly awe-inspiring and humbling experience.
Golden Monkey Tracking
In addition to mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is also home to the endangered golden monkeys. These striking primates have vibrant golden-orange coats and are found in the bamboo forests of the park. Visitors can participate in guided treks to observe and learn about these unique and playful monkeys.
The park derives its name from the chain of volcanoes that dominate the landscape. The Virunga Mountains, which include the famous peaks of Karisimbi, Bisoke, and Sabyinyo, offer breathtaking views and opportunities for adventurous hikes and climbs. The volcanic terrain adds to the dramatic beauty of the park.
Volcanoes National Park is also known for its cultural heritage. The park is adjacent to several Rwandan villages, and visitors can engage in community-based activities to learn about the local culture and traditions. This may include visiting local craft centres, participating in traditional dances, or interacting with the communities.
The park is home to over 200 bird species, making it a haven for bird-watching enthusiasts. Some notable bird species found in the park include the Rwenzori turaco, African green broadbill, and various species of sunbirds.