Volcanoes National Park

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Volcanoes National Park (Parc National Des Volcans)

Activities in Volcanoes National Park

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) runs several activities for tourists, including:

  • Gorilla visits – as of January 2015, there are ten habituated gorilla groups open to tourists, allowing for a total of 80 permits per day. Each permit costs $1500. Tourists report at the park head office by 7:00 for a pre-tracking briefing. Once tourists meet the gorillas they spend an hour with them.
  • Golden monkey visits.
  • Climbing of Karisimbi volcano – this is a two-day trek with overnight camping at an altitude of 3,800 m.
  • Climbing of Bisoke volcano – one day.
  • Tour of the lakes and caves.
  • Visiting the tomb of Dian Fossey.
  • Iby’Iwacu cultural village tour

The “Parc National des Volcans” French for Volcanoes National Park (or PNV as it’s known by locals) 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’s list, the dramatic landscape also offers thrilling hiking and visits to the fascinating golden monkeys.

Volcanoes National Park is also one of Rwanda’s conservation epicenters, where many non-profit organizations base their operations. Visitors can pay homage to the legendary scientist and gorilla advocate Dian Fossey with a hike to her tomb or a visit to the Dian Fosse Gorilla Fund that continues her legacy of research and advocacy to this day.

Near the park, the bustling and vibrant markets of Musanze are a place to immerse yourself into everyday Rwandan culture. Go deep into the earth with Musanze’s caves – one of the area’s newest attractions.

Activities in Volcanoes National Park

  • Primate Tracking & Hiking
  • Musanze Caves
  • BuhangaEcoPark
  • Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village

Tracking the endangered mountain gorillas on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes is a magical experience. Hike through mountain forests to experience these gentle creatures or make your way through airy bamboo forests to find the charming Golden Monkey.

Also available is the ‘Dian Fossey Tomb Trail’ – a beautiful yet challenging hike to 3,000 meters up the slopes of Mount Bisoke or a hike to the beautiful Ngezi Crater Lake at the top.

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