Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park is located in northwestern Rwanda on the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Volcanoes are well known as a home to endangered mountain gorillas and were the base research area for primatologist Dian Fossey.

Volcanoes National Park covers 5 of the total 8 Virunga mountains, that is; Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga, and Sabinyo. In DRC, the parks border directly with Virunga National Park, while in Uganda it shares a border with Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

volcanoes np gorilla

Apart from the mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park also has a good population of golden monkeys, birds as well as the Musanze caves which were formed from the last volcanic eruption.

Activities

Here are some of the activities you can engage in to enjoy your visit to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

  • Gorilla tracking
  • Golden Monkey tracking
  • Dian Fossey Hike to Karisoke
  • Climbing Karisimbi Volcanoes
  • Climbing Bisoke Volcanoes
  • Community Visits

When To Visit

You can visit Volcanoes National Park at any time of the year. 

Since gorilla tracking is the most popular activity and is done by limited numbers each day, it is important to get your gorilla tracking permit in advance. Summer is a high tourism season and might require solid preparation and early booking in hotels and lodging areas.

Related article: Best time to travel to Rwanda for holiday

Getting there

Volcanoes National Park is located about 106 kilometers from Kigali City. Getting from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park by road will take you an estimated 2 hours of driving.

Activities in the park start at 7:00 AM, so if you are to spend your night in Kigali you have to remember to drive very early in the morning. It is advisable to stay as close as possible.

Where To Stay

There are plenty of accommodation options in Volcanoes National Park. As the most popular safari destination in Rwanda, you can be sure to find both 5-star luxury lodging as well as mid-range and budget options.

Staying in the nearby town of Musanze will provide much more options for your budget. It is advisable to spend your night close to the park headquarters such that you are ready to start your planned activities at 7:00 AM.

The temperatures in the Volcanoes National Park are quite cooler due to the altitude. You should therefore carry some clothing to keep you warm in these highlands.

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