VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Volcanoes national park is located in the northwestern Rwanda. It covers an area of 160km2 about 62 square miles of the rainforest and include 5 of the 8 volcanoes the greater Virunga Mountains, Karisiba, Bisoke, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo. This national park boarder the Virunga national park of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the of Uganda. This national park is known for the harboring of the mountain Gorillas and the golden monkeys.
What you should know about the Volcanoes National Park
This national park was gazetted in 1925 as a small area bounded by Karisimbi, Bisoke and Mikeno, and the main aim was to protect the mountain Gorillas from the poachers. This was the first national park to be established in Africa and by 1929 it was extended far as Rwanda and into the Belgian Congo from the Albert National Park with a huge area of 8090saquare kilometers under the Belgian colonial authorities. By 1958 about 700hectares of land was cleared for a human settlement and by 1969 and 1973, pyrethrum was started to be crown from in this national park on an area of 1050 hectares deducted from the park.
The park later became a base for the American Naturalist Dian Fossey to carry out her research about the Gorillas. She arrived in 1967 and set up the Karisoke Research centre between Karisimbi and Visoke. From then on, she spent most of her time in the park and widely credited for saving the mountain gorillas from extinction from the poachers and bringing the plight to the attention of the international community. She was later killed in her home in 1985 and said to be the poachers she had spent time fighting with. Her life was later portrayed in the big screen ay the movie the Gorilla in the Mist, after her biography and was buried in this national park near her research centre she had established.
This volcano become a battlefield during the Rwandan Civil War and the headquarters attacked in 1992, the research centre was abandoned the visiting gorillas in this place was stopped not until 1999 when the area was deemed to be safe and under the control. There have been occasional infiltrations by Rwandan Rebels from the Democratic Forces of the Liberation of Rwanda in the subsequent years and later stopped and announced no threat to visitors by the Rwandan Army. The Buhanga Eco-park, an ancient woodland containing Rwanda’s most interesting folklore, and Musanze caves, constructed 62 million years ago after last estimated volcanic explosion are both located inside the limits of the volcanoes National Park.
This national park first of all is known for the habituation of the mountain gorillas. The other mammals within, golden monkeys, black-fronted duiker, spotted hyenas, bushbucks and the population of these is estimated to be over 1760-7040 animals and the elephants also recorded here. The national park recorded over 178 different bird species with at least 13 and 16 are only in the Virunga and Rwenzori mountain only
Activities in Volcanoes National Park
This is the most known destination in the Rwanda safari destinations and among the activities include,
Gorilla trekking safaris
This is the main reason why visitors came to this national park. The mountain gorilla trekking is the best wilderness adventure activity on the African continent that gets travelers more personal than ever to wildlife. Mountain gorillas trekking safaris into Rwanda are adventurous, exciting fun and educative.
During the hike, you will embark on you different Virunga mountains depending on the gorilla group assigned to you. And during this interesting hike, you will also have to see animals like the monkeys, birds and others. The bamboo trees are also seen during the hike, and this is where the gorillas are, you will enjoy the behavior of these like feeding, breast feeding and also take photos with them though they don’t like flash or something that would make them fear you and here you get the best moment ever
This national park has a unique bird watching because of the rare bird species in here and very rare be seen anywhere and in this bird watching, there a lot of things seen during the activity like gorillas, monkey birds are always on the trees singing and its said 16 of these bird species can’t be seen any ware
the Virunga volcanoes are very interesting with the steep mountains touching skis and mist covered them and the rainforests surround their berries. Visitors coming to this national park are given a chance to hike into anywhere to see what’s hidden goodies there.
Hiking on mountain Karisimbi of which is 4507 meters high of which is a dormant volcano bordering the DRC and the Tallest of those in the Virunga and eleventh in Africa. Hiking on the mountain Bisoke is also interesting thing
The cool breezes and excitement of the tour into Rwanda raise the adventure adrenalin. Most travelers on safari into Rwanda raise the adventure adrenalin. Most travelers on the safari into Rwanda are enticed to drawn into the greenery of lush vegetation, wonder into the wilderness and discover the beauty beyond many people reach.
The nature walks lead you to Musanze cave. This is underground ancient cave forms after the volcanic eruptions. This a long cave of 2km long that entering this cave is more interesting with the entrance. The nature walk can also drive you to Dian Fossey trail, a researcher who from America who fought so much for the plight of the mountain gorillas and was killed by poachers she had been fighting with and she was buried near her research centre within the park.
There are other activities like, monkey trekking, community walks, visiting the Kings hut, participating in the traditional dances and many others
The best time to visit Volcanoes national park
Because the main activity is the national park is gorilla trekking, the mountain gorillas are trekked throughout the year however knowing the time for gorilla trekking is very helpful since each season comes with its great advantage and disadvantage.
Best time for gorilla trekking in Rwanda volcanoes national park and Uganda can be specified because there are two rainy seasons. The short one taking place in October and November, the longer one from mid-march to May. The remaining months mainly are dry seasons
This is a top travel destination with a wide range of places for the accommodation facilities. The establishments provide luxury, upmarket, mid-range to basic depending on services, rates and traveler’s budget. Most establishment are few minutes-drive to the park, easily accessible, Baste lodge, Virunga lodge, Sabyinyo silverback lodge, gorilla volcanoes lodges. Da Vinci Gorilla, mountain gorilla view lodge, Le Palme hotel, Kinigi guesthouse, Muhabura hotel, mountain gorillas Nest lodge.