How to get to Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda Gorilla safaris – Guaranteed Rwanda Gorilla permits
How to get to volcanoes national park – Volcanoes National Park is about 105 kilometers (65 miles) away from the Country’s city and Airport (Kigali), it can be accessed by road and by air. By air you can land in Kigali International Airport after which you drive/be driven for 2 hours to reach the Park. When planning to participate in the remarkable gorilla trekking, you can choose the cozy accommodation facilities around the Park or in Kigali town because regardless of your choice you will leave totally satisfied, and you will not take long to reach the Park for your adventurous activity. However, wherever you choose to spend your night ahead of the adventure, you will be required to arrive at the Kinigi Park Headquarters by 7:00am for your pre-tracking briefing.
You will have to use a private means to access the Park since there are no public transport services from Musanze to Kinigi Park Headquarters. Public transport services are only available from Kigali town/ Airport or Gisenyi to Musanze town. In order to make your trip smooth, use the services of tour operators like Great adventure safaris who will book for your transport to and from the park and your accommodation. There are also exciting self-drive services from Kigali to visit the Park
Unlike Uganda where Gorilla trekking cannot be performed on the same day of departing (going back home), tourists visiting Volcanoes National park are blessed because they can trek the gorillas for one day and still go back home that same day due to the small size of the park and country and also the short distance/less time from Kigali to the Park.
Volcanoes National Park is a spectacular and most visited destination in Rwanda because it is a home of the incredible mountain gorillas, the golden monkeys and other wildlife species besides the thrilling and scenic views of the Volcanoes. Visitors should access/visit this park and have the spellbinding memories of their lives.
How to get to Volcanoes National Park – Volcanoes National Park (also Known as “Parc National Des Volcans in French and as well as Pariki y’igihugu y’ibirunga in Kinyarwanda”) is found in the Northwestern parts of Rwanda sharing borders with Mgahinga Gorilla National park in Uganda and Virunga National park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Volcanoes National Park is the origin to five of the ancient eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains which include Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo, the rainforests and the bamboo vegetation covers an area of 160 km2. The park is home to one of the world’s greatly endangered species that are the Mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.
The park was gazette in 1925 as a small area encompassing only Bisoke, Karisimbi and Mikeno with an aim of combating poachers from hunting the Gorillas and hence making it the first national park to be created in Africa.
Volcano National park is a must visit park and is the leading tourist destination in Rwanda though Rwanda has got her sister game parks like the Nyungwe and Akagera national park.
The offers a lot of memorable experiences to a tourist while on an adventure in Rwanda for example An amazing hike to Dian Fossey tombs who was an American primatologists who arrived in Rwanda in 1967 to study Mountain gorillas, she did her research for almost two decades and she was murdered by poachers in 1985, trekking magnificent golden monkeys which are a rare species to be sighted is another interesting activity, Mountain gorilla tracking is the first priority of every tourist who’s doing a tour in Rwanda.
The gorillas are critically endangered with less than 1000 gorillas left in the whole world and gorilla tracking in Volcano starts at Kinigi the park headquarters (the park has 11 habituated gorilla families) and each gorilla family can be tracked by a group of eight people per day and gorilla permit goes for $15000 USD each.
Volcanoes National Park also offers an additional experience of rare golden monkeys trekking in the highlands of the Virunga Mountains. This another beautiful adventure in the park as most visitors book 3 -4 days to as well enjoy the beautiful Golden monkeys in the park. Trekking the Golden monkeys goes for around $100USD per individuals permit. This is a less tiresome activity because it takes only few hours unlike gorilla trekking in the thickets of the park.
The park boasts of yet another excursion that led to the famous Tombs of the Late Dian Fossey. Dian Fossey was an American primatologist who did her research on the Mountain gorillas for almost two decades. She named her research center as “Karisoke Research Center” combined the two mountains (Mt. Karisimbi and Bisoke). In 1985, she was murdered by poachers and she was laid to rest between the Volcanic peaks Mt. Karisimbi and Mt. Bisoke, near Karisoke Research Center.
For all mountaineers, mountain climbing and mountain hiking lovers, Volcanoes National Park is yet another park to visit and include on your travel list. Mt. Bisoke is at an altitude of 3,700m above sea level with a deep crater lake on top. Hiking Mt. Bisoke doesn’t require Mountain climbing gears but rather you just have to keep fit for climbing up high in the Mountains. This activity goes for 5 – 7 hours and Mt. Karisimbi is the second highest volcanic peaks in the Virunga Mountains.
Another popular activity is the bike riding experience in Rwanda, there are a lot of guided and guided nature walks around the Volcanoes National Park. For example a walk or a ride to Musanze market (Allowing interaction with the locals), a nature walk to yet amazing Twin lakes that are Burera and Ruhondo, a guided walk through the Nyange community brings you to the locals socio-economic lifestyle, a tour to Ibyiwacu Cultural Villages opens Rwanda’s tradition to foreigners like seeing the Traditional house of a local king, herbal mixtures by an authentic medicine man, Kinyarwanda traditional dance and music and many more interesting experiences.
Activities in volcanoes national park
- Mountain gorilla tracking
This is a priority for most travelers to Volcanoes national park. The national park is a home to 10 habituated gorilla families available for trekking. Also, Volcanoes Park covers Rwanda’s share of the great Virunga massif bordering Virunga national park in Congo and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda. Travelers to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda are required to buy gorilla permits each costing $1500 for an hour’s interaction. All permits are issued out by Rwanda Development Board.
- Golden Monkey trekking
Golden monkey trekking is yet another most done activity in Volcanoes national park which attract thousands of travelers into this jungle. Golden monkeys are exceptional creatures which every traveler should not miss out on his/her Rwanda safari. It’s only in Volcanoes national park and Mgahinga gorilla national parks that travelers can see golden monkeys in their natural habitats. Fortunately, golden monkey trekking costs $100 which is relatively cheap compared to gorilla trekking.
- Volcano climbing
besides wildlife, Volcanoes national park is a home for three extinct volcanoes. Travelers to this park therefore have an added advantage of hiking to the top of any Volcano which reward them with spectacular views of Rwanda’s rolling hills, Kigali city, Virunga volcanoes and local communities. MT Karisimbi is the most hiked Volcano and the experience is worthy the hike.
do not miss out visiting the Musanze caves on your Rwanda safari to Volcanoes national park. Experienced guides lead you into these caves while telling you the mysteries of the caves, history and all other facts about Rwanda.
Other activities to do in Volcanoes national park include cultural tours especially to Ibyiwacu cultural village, bird watching, visiting the twin lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo among others.