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Volcano National Park

Home to the Mountain Gorilla.

Situated in the Northwest of Rwanda, in Musanze district. Lies along the Virunga Mountains, with 8 ancient volcanoes, which are shared by Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just a short two hour drive from Rwanda’s capital of Kigali, the park is a central location for exploring some distinctly Rwandan experiences. While a visit to the mountain gorillas is often at the top of visitor, the dramatic landscape also offers thrilling hiking and visits to the fascinating golden monkeys.

 There is nothing more joyful than encountering a fully grown silverback gorilla, up to three times the size of an average man, yet remarkably peaceable, playful and tolerant of human visitors.

Activities we do in this region include: Gorilla Trekking, Golden Monkey Trekking, Crater Lake hike, Mt Bisoke Hiking, Dian Fossey Tomb trail, Culture tours, Musanze cave.

Volcano NP Activities

Gorilla Trekking

There are about 740 plus mountain gorillas remaining in their natural habitat. These gentle giants are found in the Virunga Mountains (a chain of volcanoes with altitudinal ranges of 3500m-4507m) and share DNA with humans.
Presently,Rwanda not only enjoys the best security in the region but also has the easiest access routes for visiting the mountain gorillas.
A gorilla visit can entail a 1 to 4-hour trek through the forest, led by experienced trackers who have spent their entire lives living in or close to the forest. Your trek will be enchanting as you weave through overhanging vines, moss-covered Hagenia trees and giant Lobelias that thrive in the tropical climate. You may spot golden monkeys or see buffalo, bush duiker and a wide variety of bird life. But the high point, of course, one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth, will be spending an hour with the gentle giant gorillas as they go about their daily life, feeding, playing, resting, and raising their young. At the end of your visit you will understand what kept conservationist Dian Fossey living in this same forest for 18 years protecting these wonderful animals.

Golden Monkey Trekking

Takes place in Volcanoes national park and at the same time 7:00 just like gorillas. These rare species are also listed as endangered – and Volcanoes national park currently has two habituated golden monkeys’ troops that are available for visiting by tourists in the park, both of which make about 80 members.
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.
Trekking golden monkeys and gorillas is a similar experience – in a small group of no more than eight people, and you can spend one hour with the monkeys once you find them.
They 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!

Hiking

“Mount Bisoke”
Mount Bisoke (3,711 meters) is an active volcano with a crater lake in the Virunga Mountains of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. It straddles the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the summit is located in Rwanda.

“Mt. Kalisimbi”
Rising at an elevation of about 4507m above sea level is MT. Karisimbi, a stratovolcano which is the highest of the eight major volcanoes of the Virunga field and the 5th highest in Africa. It strides along the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda on the western branch of the African Rift valley.

Dian Fossey Tomb trail

Visits to “Old Karisoke” Dian Fossey Research Centre are available as one of the activities in the Virungas. Old Karisoke is located in a beautiful meadow between the Karisimbi and Visoke volcanoes with the Mikeno volcano in the distance. Remains of the old buildings can be seen as well as graves of some of the research gorillas that have died over the last 30 years, including the famous Digit which was killed by poachers, as well as that of Fossey herself.

– Dian Fossey graveyard is located on Bisoke volcano, where she spent most of her time on gorillas’ research. The walk takes about 6-8 hours in all and is a fascinating way to explore the park and get a glimpse of the remains of this historic place.
She became well known internationally through the film “Gorillas in the Mist”. Although Fossey was killed in 1985, the Centre continued to operate in the forest with other researchers until 1992. During the ensuing civil war in Rwanda it was destroyed and although rebuilt in 1993, it was destroyed again. Since then it has not been rebuilt. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International now runs its research on the gorillas in the forest from the Karisoke Centre in Ruhengeri town.

Experience Culture

“Rwandan culture”
The culture of Rwanda is varied. Unlike many other countries in Africa, Rwanda has been a unified state since precolonial times, populated by the Banyarwanda people who share a single language and cultural heritage. Eleven regular national holidays are observed throughout the year, with others occasionally inserted by the government.
Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan ceremonies, festivals, social gatherings, and storytelling. The most famous traditional dance is Intore, a highly choreographed routine consisting of three components – the ballet, performed by women; the dance of heroes, performed by men, and the drums.[6] Traditionally, music is transmitted orally with styles varying between the social groups. Drums are of great importance, the royal drummers having enjoyed high status within the court of the mwami.

“Ibyiwacu culture”
Located just outside the national park, this living museum highlights aspects of traditional Rwanda society. Visitors can expect to be greeted by thunderous drumming, joyful dancing, and the kind of hospitality that has permeated Rwandan society for centuries. The village features hands-on activities related to the rituals and ways of life in the ancient Rwandan kingdom. Some of Iby’Iwacu’s presenters and performers were previous poachers who’ve now been able to make a new livelihood through this memorable, interactive stop designed for visitors of all ages. The village also offers extended trips into the countryside as well as overnight lodging that can be arranged in advance.

Musanze Caves

Rwanda’s caves date back 65 million years and lie withing the volcanic region where lava flow layers long ago created the Albertine Rift Valley. The caves offer easy hiking 2 kilometers in distance and have brilliant views of cascading lights from the surface, unique rock formations, and a colony of bats.

Got a Question?

Do not hesitate to give us a call. We are an expert team and we are happy to talk to you.

+250 782 564 741

info@greenwaysafaris.com