Volcanoes National Park or Parc National Des Volcans.
Volcanoes national park is Rwanda’s gorilla park located in Ruhengeri district in the Northern Province and protects the Virunga Mountains. Located close to Mgahinga National park and Bwindi park it is home to some of the worlds remaining that are in Rwanda and it is a contiguous with Mgahinga and Bwindi national park as it is at the boarder of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. Volcanoes national park is home to over 300 mountain gorillas and therefore the park where gorilla tracking safaris take place in Rwanda. In addition to gorillas it is also home to plenty of birds , golden monkeys, elephants, and so much more.
Like any other park, safari enthusiast always wonder about the different activities to do in Volcanoes national park. Below we have listed a number of safari activities that you can include in your visit to Volcanoes national park or safari.
This is the major tourism activity that takes place in the park because more than half of the world’s mountain gorillas live in this reserve. You walk through the Bamboo forests resulting from the high altitude of the area that ranges from 2500m to 4500m at the Karisimbi peak. This is an exciting adventure that most tourists never ever miss. Whilst on a tour in Rwanda as it’s the most selling tourism activity. Join some of our Rwanda gorilla safaris and explore the beauty that these gentle giants have to offer , for us to appreciate the different conservation efforts.
Besides gorilla tracking, the second selling activity in the volcanoes is golden monkey trekking. Golden monkeys are sub species of the blue monkeys. Golden Monkey tracking is an amazing experience, that is worth it. More so by those interested in Chimpanzee and Gorilla tracking in Uganda and Rwanda. Watch them play in the bamboo forest for 1 hour in addition to the mothers taking care of the young ones.
Visit the Twin Lakes of Ruhundo & Bulera
These two create beautiful scenery between Musanze and the boarder of Uganda. Twin lakes are very useful to the communities that live close. You can take a dug out canoe ride on the lakes. Walking or cycling along the shores of these lakes can be organise. It is home to plenty of birds hence making a birders paradise. Located closer to Volcanoes national park, the twin lakes can be visited after gorilla tracking safaris.
Mountain Bisoke hike
Mt. Bisoke is one of the Virunga Volcanoes among others like Mounts Karisimbi, Gahinga, Sabinyo, and Muhabura. It is a sheer climb thus a most easy to climb during the short or long dry season. At the top is the biggest crater lake of the Virunga chain called the Bisoke crater lake. On days without fog you can see the lake and other volcanoes easily.
Dian Fossey was a famous gorilla researcher who was assassinated. But her work had a great impact towards mountain gorilla conservation. She had established a research centre called the Karisoke research centre and you can always take a hike to Karisoke. Dian Fossey devoted her life to mountain gorilla conservation and therefore buried in the park. Treks to the Dian Fossey tombs can be organised in addition to your 3 days Rwanda gorilla safari.
Join the two days hike to mountain Karisimbi , one of the 8 volcanoes that combine Uganda, Rwanda and DR.Congo. Standing tall at about 4,507 above sea level is Mt Karisimbi. Mt Karisimbi is the 5th highest mountain in Africa and a stratovolcano. You need a minimum of two days to hike Mt Karisimbi.
Mt. Karisimbi derives it name from a Kinyarwanda word amasimbi. Meaning “white shell” in reference to the white-capped summit that is often seen on top of this volcano. Close to Mt Karisimbi are Mikeno, Bisoke and Nyiragongo the active volcano. While at the peak of Mt Karisimbi you can be able to see the active Nyiragongo volcano.
With just 2 and half drive on a paved road, you can reach volcanoes national park and participate in all the above and more activities. Spare a couple of days to visit Volcanoes park, we promise you will not regret your decision.
How to get to Volcanoes National park?
Located about 120 kms from Kigali, 90kms from the southern part of Bwindi and about 50kms from Gisenyi the shores of Kivu, Volcanoes can be easily accessed by Road and air. Unlike other gorilla parks, the park is just mere 2 and half hours drive from Rwanda’s capital city and that explains why a 1 day Rwanda gorilla trek is possible.
If time is against you, you can also opt to fly to the park by using Akagera aviation helicopters, which take just 45 minutes of you to land in Volcanoes national park.
Where to stay when visiting Volcanoes national park?
Given the fact that volcanoes park is the most popular tourist destination, in Rwanda, there are a variety of lodges and hotels where you can stay for night before and after your gorilla tour. Grouped into 3 options it is hard to fail to find a hotel that suites your budget. Find below some of the hotels you can stay at whilst visiting the park.
Bisate lodge :
A luxurious lodges with excellent services that sits on the edge of one of the hills overlooking the forest. With excellent services and operated by wilderness safes, this is one of the lodges, that we highly recommend if you are looking for luxury. Prices range between USD 1500 to USD 2500 per person per night. Bisate has very few rooms and therefore, you are advised to book months in advance in order to secure a room.
Singita Kwitonda luxury lodge
Nestled on the edge of Volcanoes forest park, Kwintoda lodge that is strategically located to make your gorilla trekking experience easy. The lodge has 8 luxury suites with a heated swimming pool , a wellness area and an indoor and outdoor fie places to make you stay comfortable.
Sabyinyo silverback lodge
One of the fist luxury lodges to be set up new volcanoes national park. Sabyinyo lodge overlooks the Sabyinyo volcanoes and hence the name. Under the management of Wilderness safaris, one should be ensured of the best experience during their stay.
Five Volcanoes lodges.
Are you looking to stay in luxury but a lower prices comped to the above lodges, Five volcanoes lodge is the perfect option. With excellent services and luxury facilities at a good rate. Room prices go for USD 500 to 1000 per person.
Mountain Gorilla view lodge MGVL
One of the best 3 star lodges near the park and it has a capacity of hosting large groups of uptown 20 people. Therefore perfect for large group gorilla safaris. All rooms are self-contained and they offer excellent services. MGVL is perfect for all those looking to stay in standard or mid range accommodations.
Le Bambou Gorilla lodge.
Owned my a national and with part of the proceeds going back to the communities. Le bamboo lodge is a perfect 3 star hotel for you It is just 10 minutes drive from the start point, and overlooking the forest with self contained cabins, that are separate from each other to ensure privacy. Le bamboo is another lodge that is worth using. We can attest to the excellent services offer at this facility.
King Guest House.
Right at the start point is king guest house, which offers budget accommodations for those on a tight budget. The rooms are basic but clear and self contained and with the experience they have, they offer excellent services.
Hotel Muhabura Lodge.
Located in the closest town to Volcanoes national park, this is the perfect spot for those on a tight budget. Musanze is the last stop o city before heading into the volcanic mountains , so it is just about 15 minutes drive to volcanoes national park. Further more, Muhabura is also used by the locals, and therefore, making it the perfect to meet and mix with the locals.