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Volcanoes National Park

Parc National Des Volcans is located in Musanze and is part of the great Virunga conservation area. As the greatest and oldest national park in Africa, its biodiversity in rich with five volcanic mountains of the 9 Virunga mountains, colorful golden monkeys, endangered mountain gorillas, buffaloes, water bucks and other wildlife.

Taking a blast from the past enables tourists to find out that volcanoes national park was established in 1925 as Albert National Park. The name of the park precisely hints at the fact that it harbors 5 of the Virunga volcanoes.

Parc National Des Volcans is located in Musanze and is part of the great Virunga conservation area. As the greatest and oldest national park in Africa, its biodiversity in rich with five volcanic mountains of the 9 Virunga mountains, colorful golden monkeys, endangered mountain gorillas, buffaloes, water bucks and other wildlife.

Unique mountain gorillas.

Travels should rest assured that they are going to make the most interesting moments from one of the parks that inhabits the gigantic endangered mountain gorillas.  The park harbors 340 mountain gorillas in over 14 habituated groups of these gigantic extinct apes including families like Amahoro, Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Agastya, Susa, Pablo, Titus, Igisha, Muhoza, Ugenda, Bwenge, kwitonda and Umubano.

Tracking these dazzling apes usually takes around two hours but the time reduces to 20 minutes during the wet season since the creatures low their movements. One of the magical moments during the activity is the one hour that is provided to the tourists after the magnificent creatures are met with.  As the saying seeing is believing, only gorilla trekkers have an idea of how this activity is exhilarating and one of the captivating experiences they will ever have in their life time.

Activities to do while in volcanoes N/Park.

It is arguably true that the mountain gorilla trekking dominates most of the safaris undertaken in the park but undoubtedly not the only activity that can be undertaken in the park.

Mountain gorilla tracking

The pristine environments provided by the rich verdant forest of the park and the undulating landscape in the park highly provide a home to the extinct glorious mountain gorillas. Booking a gorilla permit in advance is evidence enough that the tourists are ready to engage in the demanding activity that is also worthwhile undertaking. Dress code is very vital for this activity therefore trackers should be adorned in long sleeves and other favorable clothes to protect them from slapping tree branches and the thick shrubs while hitting the jungle in search for the human close relative creatures found in the park.

Golden monkey tracking

Second only to gorilla tracking comes tracking golden monkeys that is slowly but steadily gaining popularity over the years in offering exhilarating safaris to tourists. Humans are attracted to beauty and the golden color of these monkeys is a charmer that tourists can’t skip. Also cloud nine is the destination of tourists while they watch these human-like creatures enjoy and appreciate nature as they swing and grab on bamboo trees without missing any shot and feeding habits that are similar to humans.

These primates are basically extended in nature considering the fact that a group led by the dominant male has 100 members. This activity is less stressful than tracking mountain gorillas since monkeys prefer jumping on tree branches than trekking to high altitudes in search for food also their permits don’t necessarily need to be booked in advance but its preferably done two days before the activity.

Hiking

Tourists should be both mentally and physically prepared before a start of a hiking trail on one of the mountains found in the park. Tourists meander around lush green thick forests while on their way to summits of the historical Muhabura, Bisoke and Karisimbi. Double preparations are needed on a Karisimbi hike because unlike other mountain hikes, this trail involves resting at the middle of the park for the night to pick up the momentum to get to the summit of this mountain.

Boat cruises

 Relaxing after a tiring day from activities such as hiking and primate tracking is paramount and that’s how the twosome lakes of Ruhondo and Burera step in to provide a boat trip through the deep waters of the twin lakes while aiding tourists with spectacular views of different bird species, undulating hilly landscapes, water falls among others.

A visit to Dian Fossey tombs.

Mountain gorillas are one of the endangered animals in the world but they would totally be in extinction if it weren’t for the efforts of the greatest primatologist of times whose courage and determination reduced mountain gorillas poaching in the park.

Unfortunately, a group of ungrateful poachers killed her to put an end to the services she rendered but this act was in vain considering the fact that most tourists who visit the park can’t miss paying homage to the grave of this mountain gorilla hero and Karisoke Research Centre.

Experiencing Rwanda’s culture at Ibyiwacu village.

After the greatest mountain gorilla hero of all times, primatologist Dian Fossey laid a stepping stone for protecting the lives of these endangered apes. A group indigenous individuals came up with a title and named their area the gorilla guardians’ village to safe guard the lives of the gorillas. New and exciting traditional foods can be experienced by tourists while in this village like banana beer and unleashing the beautiful dances, folksongs and music of the people in the area.

TOP ATTRACTIONS IN THIS PARK.

Musanze cave

Caving is one of the most recent tourist activities in the country as it was launched in 2014 but the rate at which its progressing on is alarming. Tourists enjoy their trails into the caves that are accompanied by the mysterious historical stories that are told by the guides. Indigenous people get to express their traditional way of leaving, sell art crafts to the tourists among other activities.

Twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo

These scenic twosome lakes offer specular views of the environment especially while on a boat cruise. A pair of binoculars is vital for tourists to capture dazzling views of water bird species like kingfishers, herons, cranes, stalks among others.

primates in the park.

Undoubtedly mountain gorillas are the dominant tourist attractions in Uganda and Rwanda and while the volcanoes national park harbors them, it’s a safari that is to die for and booking in advance provides surety of the activity to the tourists.  Another group of ape close to humans with their DNA 98% similar to humans are the beautiful golden monkeys that are worth sighting considering the fact that they are easily spotted while jumping from tree to tree.

Volcanoes in the park

Karisimbi, Muhabura, Bisoke, Sabyinyo and Gahinga are the five peaks out of the nine Virunga mountains that are found in the volcanoes are offer exhilarating hiking trails to their summits with the most challenging and worthwhile is a hike to Karisimbi that is carried out in two days with a night above the ground in the middle of the mountain.

Best time to visit Volcanoes National Park.

The country generally has a good climate but the dry season is preferably ideal for safaris in the volcanoes. Periods stretching from December to early March and June to September are perfect times in which tourist activities can be engaged in while in the volcanoes.

Location of Volcanoes National Park.

The north western region of Rwanda harbors volcanoes national park but it shares its borders with Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park and DR Congo's Virunga National Park.

Getting to Volcanoes National Park from Kigali airport.

After a flight to the Kigali International Airport, the rest of the distance to the park can be covered by public transport like buses or privately hired transport means and it is a 2-3 hours’ drive.

The pearl of Africa and the cleanest country in Africa are a few of the blessed countries that harbor the rare endangered mountain gorillas in their pristine thick lush green forests and meandering landscapes.

While mountain gorilla trekking is the dominant activity carried out in these countries, they offer other exhilarating activities that are life changing and all tourists need is just their passport to encounter hair rising moments while on safaris in these countries.

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