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Volcanoes National Park.Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, Virunga Volcanoes Park Rwanda, Mountain gorilla treks Volcanoes National Park PNV Rwanda. Trek mountain gorillas in Rwanda's PNV.

Rwanda gorillas

Volcanoes National Park Rwanda is located in the  North Western corner of Rwanda. The park is home to the rage endangered mountain gorillas and forms the northern border of Rwanda with Uganda and DRC.  Volcanoes National Park is made up of the majestic Virunga mountains which are found in Rwanda's Northern province. The Volcanoes make up over 125 square kilometres of mountain rainforest and are home to now well over 10 habituated mountain gorilla families which are available for tracking by tourists and local Rwandans. In addition to hosting the rare mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is home to the golden monkeys, and a wide array of rainforest ecosystems which are habitat to swamps, bamboo forests and lots of other flora and fauna.

Rwanda Volcanoes National Park  gazetted first in 1925, as a protected area bordering  Karisimbi volcano, Bisoke  volcano and Mikeno Volcanoes. At the time the motive was  protection of the rare mountain gorillas from poachers.  Volcanoes National Park is the first National in the whole of Africa.

There is a number of tourism activities that can be embarked on, including Gorilla trekking the major reason why most visitors come here, golden monkeys tracking, spotting of  elusive buffalos and elephants, bird watching, forest walks, Musanze caves excursions, volcanoes hikes, guided walks, sport fishing  and boat rides on  the twin lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo as well excellent birding opportunities in the mountain rainforest. Visitors are also able to visit mountain gorilla conservation projects and projects aimed at involving locals of the Volcanoes National Park in community tourism projects, including visits to Iby'iwacu cultural village, local schools like Mwiko Primary School, and local markets in Musanze which sell and promote handcrafts.

Musanze also sometimes referred to as Ruhengeri is a bustling town that is located on the base of the Virunga Volcanoes. Visitors who travel from Kigali by bus, will disembark here, and then proceed to Kinigi at the park headquarters either by private taxi or by motorycles or bodabodas. Self drive and with driver 4x4 car hire can be arranged by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Recently November 2013, the Musanze Caves were officially opened for tourism by RDB. Visitors to Musanze and tourists alike are able to explore these deep historical caves network. Why not combine a gorilla trekking visit to Volcanoes Park with a Musanze caves discovery tour? Musanze town is within proximity of the rarely mentioned and rarely visited beautiful lakes of Burera, Ruhondo and Karago. The lakes can be visited as part of a day tour or after tracking the mountain gorillas. Musanze town has a number of hotels and lodges that offer very decent accommodation. These include, LaPalme Hotel, Muhabura Hotel, Virunga Hotel, Ishema Hotel and other guest houses options that are functional and extremely good value for money.

The volcanoes that form the majestic Virunga Mountains chain are dormant volcanoes, with the exception of  Mountain Nyiragongo and Mountain Nyamuragira which are located on the Virunga side of  the DRC. Of the Virunga Mountains ranges chain, the highest volcano is Mount Karisimbi which is 4507m, high . The oldest volcano  of them all is Mountain Sabyinyo which is an imposing 3634m. Mountains Bisoke, Mgahinga, Mikeno and Muhabura volcanoes are the  ones that  make up the Virunga Volcanoes mountain chain within  Volcanoes National park, PNV Rwanda. In addition Volcanoes National Park is home to  a crater lake, Lake Ngezi on Mountain Bisoke. 

Dian Fossey dedicated most of her adult life to the conservation and preservation of the endangered mountain gorillas. Dian Fossey was buried at Karisoke research centre which was appropriately named after her. The forest trek trail leading to her tomb and Karisoke Research Center is a rewarding and yet challenging 1 hour 45 minute hike up steep slopes where orchids, birdlife and even occasional mountain gorillas can be seen.  The Dian Fossey trek can be combined with a gorilla trekking expedition when you choose to visit the gorillas in Rwanda.

Gorilla Tours Rwanda

Other often overlooked but equally impressive visitor attracts in the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda include; Lake Karago, a beautiful lake located between Rubavu and Musanze areas of Rwanda.Lake Nyarakigugu : A beautiful lake with good fishing and birding opportunities.

The Rugezi Swamp is composed of old rocks and forms a part of the Buberuka Highlands.
The Rugezi hill Swamp is recognized as one of Rwanda's Important Birding Areas (IBA's). The other IBA in the area is the Volcanoes National Park. The swamp is home to a number of  highly sought after birds species  one of these being Grauer's Swamp-warbler which can be seen here.

Buhanga Eco-Park is a small forest situated 8km outside Musanze. The eco-park  offers opportunities for guided nature walks,  escorted cycling routes and camping facilities. The forest is dominated by magnificent dragon trees and is home to a number of rare birds species. Avid birders will love visiting the park..

For volcano adventure hike enthusiasts, the much sought after volcano for hiking is Karisimbi mountain . Karisimbi derives its name from a Kinyarwanda  word which is literally translated as  "white  shell". Karisimbi volcano usually has a white-capped summit which is often viewed from a distance . Climbing Mt Karisimbi is  a challenging 2 day hike. The hike starts very  early in the morning and takes 6 hours. You will climb further via the Bisoke side, before reaching the 1st hike stop-over which is  at an altitude of 3700 m for overnight camping.

Permits for Gorilla Trekking, Golden Monkeys, Chimpanzees & Angolan  Colobus Monkeys, Birding, Game drives, Nature walks, and more are all  available through the RDB's Reservation Office, BUT
Bookings can be made through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Mountain gorillas; US$750 for 1 day / pp

Golden Monkeys; US$100 for 1 day / pp

Dian Fossey Tomb; US$75 for 1 day / pp

Bisoke hike ; US$75 for 1 day / pp

Natural walk; US$ 55 for 1 day / pp

Muhabura hike(4127Alt.). US$100 ppn 1 day

Gahinga  hike US$75 ppn

To make an accommodation booking for any lodge/hotel in Volcanoes National Park PNV Rwanda or 4x4  private car hire(self drive or with driver) , to book your gorilla permits, golden monkey permits or any other hikes, and for any further enquiries, please contact us;

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