Volcanoes National Park

This is one of the best private guides to Volcanoes national park Rwanda giving you insights about gorilla trekking in Ruanda, the best time to visit, how to book a gorilla holidays/tours or permits, how to get there, accommodation in musanze and near volcanoesthe different tour operators that organize trips to and around volcanoes national park and the list of item to carry on your Rwanda safari. A visit to volcanoes to see mountain gorillas is a lifetime experience worthy exploring.

Known by the locals as Parc National De Volcans (PNV), Volcanoes National Park was gazetted in 1925 as a small area bounded by Karisimbi, Bisoke and Mikeno volcanoes. Volcanoes National Park was gazetted mainly to protect the Gorillas from Poachers therefore it became the first National Park gazetted in Africa. In 1929 he park boarder was later extended into Congo thereby forming the Albert National Park. The park was later divided into two after the Independence of Rwanda and Congo.

Thereby forming Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park respectively . Both countries agreed to keep the area as a conservation site to protect the gorillas. In the year 1967, Volcanoes National Park became the Home of  the Famous American Nationalist who came to research about the gorillas- “The Gentle giants”. A research centre was then setup  between Karisimbi and Visoke by Dian Fossey who then dedicated her life to protecting and saving the gorillas.

Today, Volcanoes national park lies along the Virunga volcanoes that are shared by Rwanda, Uganda (Bwindi National Park) and DR.Congo. Volcanoes national park is not Far from Kigali . A client an opt to access it by either both road or air.

Volcanoes national park flora

Due to the large altitude range within the park, the vegetation within the park in considerably variable. The park has a lower montane forest, a Neoboutonia forest and a bamboo forest which covers over 30% of the park. Secondary thicket, meadows, marshes, swamps and small lakes also occur, but their total area is relatively small.


Despite the fact that the park is best known for mountain gorillas, it is home to other animals too. Some of these include golden monkeys, black-fronted duiker, buffalo, spotted hyena and bushbuck. The park also has elephants  and over 150 species of birds of which 13 species are endemic to Virunga whereas 16 are endemic to the Rwenzori Mountains.

Mountain-Gorilla-in-Volcanoes-National-Park-RwandaVolcanoes national park is also one of Rwanda’s conservation epicenters. There are many non-profit organizations base their operations.  These organizations include the Karisoke Research centre., The Dian Fossey Tombs, The  Buhanga Eco Centre  and the Iby’Iwacu Cultural village. Those interested in treks and hike can also opt to hike Karisimbi, Bisoke  and also Hike to the crater lakes. Volcanoes national park is located closer to a Vibrant Town Musanze that clients can opt to  explore during their safari in Rwanda. .

The Park is also surrounded by a number of sites that are worth exploring while in Volcanoes national park. Some of the sites closer to Volcanoes park include; the Twin Lakes of Ruhundo and Bulera and the Musanze caves created by the Albertine Rift Valley.

The park is also just one hour away from Lake Kivu, the largest fresh water body in Rwanda. A boat ride on Kivu and a visit to the hot water springs is worth considering.

How to get to Volcanoes National Park.

Volcanoes national park is just 2 hours drive from Kigali city centre and 32minutes flight by helicopter. The road is paved all the way to Musanze the vibrant town located closer to volcanoes. Musanze town was formerly referred to as Ruhengeri and it is closer to Gisenyi. You can use public transport from Kigali to Musanze. However there is no public transport from Musanze to the park. We therefore recommend that you hire a vehicle from Kigali to the park and back. Read More

Other Activities near and around Volcanoes park.

Apart from gorilla trekking, volcanoes  has a great number of activities that one can opt to participate in which include;

Before you travel volcanoes national park soon? Read about the following