The Volcanoes national park is located in the north western part of Rwanda in Ruhengeri Musanze district near the edge with the Virunga national park and Democratic republic of Congo and Mgahinga national park in Uganda. It’s just about 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali Rwanda’s capital and its largest city to Kinigi park headquarters.

The park covers an area of about 160sqkm and its one of the oldest park in Africa being gazetted in 1929 during the Belgian colonial times. It was first named Albert National park (when it was still part of the Virunga National Park of Congo).

Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park is the most highly recognized national parks in Africa being that it hosts the endangered mountain gorillas. It is also home also to the rare golden monkey as well as several mammal species like spotted hyena, buffaloes, elephant, black fronted duiker, and bushbuck can also be seen. It also hosts over 250 species of birds including at 29 endemics to Rwenzori Mountains and the Virungas, it’s also a home to six extinct and three active volcanoes situated in Rwanda, Uganda and DRC.

There are lots of things to do in the Volcanoes National Park. However mountain gorilla tracking is the major tourist attraction in the Volcanoes National Park and this safari activity is regarded as the most interesting and magnificent adventurous activity in Rwanda and Rwanda is known as the best gorilla safari destination in the world.

Volcanoes national park is regarded as the best gorilla safari destination in the world, these apes can easily seen playing on bamboo and rain forest or covered slopes of Volcanoes. These apes where first studied by George Schaller in 1960s and more recently an American zoologist and primatologist Dian Fossy 1967 who studied the behaviors of these remaining mountain apes to human standard for a period of over 18 years and she conducted her research in the Visoke and Karisimbi volcanoes that was yet to be known as Karisoke research center.

She fought tooth and nail to stamp out poaching activities out of Rwanda and Without her persistent efforts and the work of committed locals since her death, there is possibly wouldn’t be any gorillas remaining in Rwanda. She also made the Volcanoes National Park and Rwanda popular. She was killed by the said poachers in 1985 that she had made herself very unpopular.

Her work was developed in a film “Gorillas in the Mist” which is a must read to any tourist interested in gorilla tracking in the volcanoes national park, as it gives you an insight on what you will find in the forest.

Would you like to go gorilla tracking in this park? The Volcanoes national park is home to twelve gorilla habituated groups ready to receive visitors every day. Each group has a carrying capacity of only eight members who are allowed to go gorilla tracking. This means 80 members track in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park every day. There are also several gorilla groups are reserved for research purposes.

How to access Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is in Northwestern Rwanda, accessible about 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali capital and 3-4 hours’ drive from Bwindi/Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

When to visit Volcanoes National Park

The dry season is considerably the best time to go for Rwanda safari in Volcanoes National Park to enjoy amazing wildlife experiences. This season is characterized by low rain-fall, relatively dry trails/wildlife habitat making it the best especially if you are interested in gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, hiking or nature walks in Volcanoes National Park.

Where to stay in Volcanoes National Park

There are numerous most comfortable places to stay while on wildlife safari in and around Volcanoes National Park. They include Muhabura Hotel, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Kwitonda Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Gorilla Volcanoes Hotel, Virunga Lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Kinigi Guesthouse, La Palme Hotel, Garr Hotel and many more.


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