Volcanoes National Park
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Volcanoes National Park in the north-west of Rwanda forms part of the larger Virunga Conservation Area. There is a wide variety of habitats that sustain a huge range of biodiversity across plants, reptiles, primates and birds. Of all of the Virunga region, Volcanoes National Park boasts the highest concentration of mountain gorilla, and this is undoubtedly the best place to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Renowned biologist Dian Fossey completed much of her primate research in Volcanoes National Park before her death in 1985.
Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
There are around 400 mountain gorillas living in the national park, and since they don’t stay in one place, to see them requires a hike over the rainforest-clad slopes. Gorilla trekking takes place in groups of up to eigh accompanied by a professional guide. There are several families of gorilla which are habituated to humans, and this enables visitors to get close to these majestic animals, often up to 7 metres away. Each trekking group has an hour with their allocated gorilla family.
Due to the tropical climate rain can occur at any point during the year. However, June to August are generally the driest months and therefore the best time to go gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park.
Other things to do in Volcanoes National Park
As well as gorillas, other animals found here include forest elephants, buffaloes, bush pigs, duikers, spotted hyenas, bushbucks, giant forest hogs and several primate species. The golden monkey is a rare species that is confined to the Virunga range, and there are two habituated groups living here in the forests below 3000 metres. Golden monkey treks in Volcanoes National Park make a great addition to a gorilla experience.
Other highlights within Volcanoes National Park are exploring the 62-million-year-old Musane Caves, mountain hiking and volcano climbing.
Birding in Volcanoes National Park
Recorded species of bird in Volcanoes National Park total approximately 180, 16 of which are endemic to the Albertine rift area. These include Archer’s robin-chat, Rwenzori turaco, Rwenzori batis and the Rwenzori double-collared sunbird.
The nearby Nyungwe Forest is arguably the best place to see the birds found in the Volcanoes National Park.
Best Places to Stay in Volcanoes National Park
There are several high-quality lodges in Volcanoes National Park that serve as an excellent base for a variety of excursions.
Hand-picked Camps and Lodges
Best time to Visit Volcanoes National Park
Gorillas trekking can be done year-round and weather doesn’t affect your chances of finding the gorillas. However, during Rwanda’s dry periods from June to August and December to January trails are less likely to be slippery and walking is easier.
Weather During the Year
How to Book Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park
To discuss your Rwanda safari holiday, gorilla trekking packages and tailor-made itineraries, speak to one of our Rwanda experts today by contacting us.