Wondering about what to do in Volcanoes National Park? There are lots of Adventure Activities that await you to engage in within the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.
From the popular gorilla treks to the rare opportunity to track there are lots of things to do during your holiday in Volcanoes National Park.
The top adventure activities in the park include;
- Gorilla trekking
- Volcano Hiking
- Dian Fossey Hike
- Golden Monkey Tracking,
Mountain Gorilla tracking
Gorilla tracking is undoubtedly the main activity that takes place in Volcanoes National park. This Park is a home to over 300 of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas and 10 habituated gorilla groups (including Susa A, Sabinyo, Bwenge, Karisimbi/Susa B, Umubano, Amahoro, Hirwa, Ugenda, Agashya family and Kwitonda) can be visited by tourists. With the maximum of 8 persons allowed to visit a gorilla family per day, only 80 permits are sold for Volcanoes National park. Gorilla trekking starts by reporting at the Kinigi Park Headquarters at 7am for pre-tracking briefing, then tracking begins at 8am. Gorilla permits for this Park cost $1500 for all tourists in all seasons. Every morning, gorilla treks start from the Kinigi park headquarters at the foot of the Volcanoes and lead you to one of the habituated gorilla family in the park.
Dian Fossey Hike
Visiting the grave of Dian Fossey and her gorilla Digit is one of the experiences that you should not miss. Any tourist who visits Volcanoes National park should not miss to visit the grave of the woman who dedicated over 18 years of her life to conserve the mountain gorillas. Dian Fossey gave up her own happiness for the wellbeing of the mountain gorillas, which even costed her life in 1985. After your gorilla trekking or golden monkey tracking adventure, make an effort to visit her grave where she was buried near her favorite silverback-Digit, who was also murdered by poachers as he was saving a baby gorilla. Besides her grave, you will also be able to see her old Karisoke Research camp that was established between Mount Karisimbi and Bisoke. This hike takes about 3 hours and some wildlife and bird species can be observed on your way to the grave.
Birding activities which offers tourists a chance to see different bird species like, strange weaver, dusky crimson-wing, collared Apalis, red-faced woodland warbler, handsome francolin, Rwenzori turaco, Archer’s ground robin, Rwenzori double collared sunbird and Rwenzori batis.
Golden Monkey Tracking
Tracking the golden Monkeys is another inspiring activity with a total of up to 40 permits issued daily, eight for each of the five habituated troops. Apart from golden monkeys, there are other associated activities like hiking for example from, mountain Bisoke to the Crater Lake, trekking, Nature Walks, Climbing Karisimbi, Climbing Bisoke, Visiting the Musanve Cave and the natural bridge.
Golden monkey tracking
Volcanoes national Park is also a home to the endangered golden moneys. Just like Gorilla trekking, this activity also starts by reporting to the Park headquarters for pre-tracking briefing and the actual activity starts by 8am. Golden monkeys are a sub-species of the Blue Monkeys and are distinguished by the Grayish-brown hairs on their skins, that makes them outstanding and worth visiting. A golden monkey tracking permit costs $100, but the number of persons who visit a golden monkey group is not limited hence tourists can book for their permits on the day of tracking. Tourists who visit to track these unique creatures will be assigned to one of the two (2) habituated golden monkey families.
The fact that Volcanoes national Park is a haven to over 180 bird species including 16 species that are Albertine Rift Endemic and 13 species limited to the Virunga Mountains, this Park is definitely a birdwatcher’s Paradise. Some of the common bird species to be sighted include Rwenzori Turacco, Handsome Francolin, Grauer’s Rush warbler, Rwenzori Double-collared sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Collared Apalis, Dusky Crimsonwing, Red-faced woodland, Archer’s ground robin, strange weaver
With the numerous wildlife, bird and plant species found in this park, Nature walks are undeniably conducted in Volcanoes National park. Popular nature walks include those that lead tourists to the Musanze market to interact with some of the local people, community walks to the Nyange community, and walk around the Twin Lakes of Burera and Ruhondo as tourists enjoy the magnificent scenery of the area. Popular Walking trails include the 3 hours’ Ngezi Lake trail (considered the shortest trail in the Park) where tourists can encounter monkeys and some bird species. Lake Ngezi a small Crater Lake on Mount Bisoke. Another famous walk is the hike to the Sacred Buhanga forest (with breathtaking nature walking experience to explore the rich historical and cultural encounters of Rwanda and visit to Musanze Caves (outside the Park) in Musanze Province.
There is also the Iby’Iwacu cultural village walk where tourists can experience the cultural customs and traditions of the three tribes of Rwanda (Hutu, Tutsi and the Twa). While in this cultural village, tourists are entertained in cultural dances, music and drama, tourists visit the King’s house, participate in preparation of traditional dishes using firewood and grinding millet using traditional grinding stones.
Volcanoes National Park is a home to 5 volcanoes that comprise the Virunga Massif, and they include Mount Bisoke (at 3711 meters), Mount Karisimbi (at 4507 meters), Mount Sabinyo (at 3634 meters), Mount Gahinga (at 3474 meters) and Mount Muhabura (at 4127 meters). Hiking/climbing is mostly conducted for Mount Karisimbi, Bisoke and Muhabura where tourists enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding areas and the other Volcanoes. Hiking Mount Karisimbi (that costs $175) leads tourists to its white-capped summit. Tourists can also climb Mount Bisoke which is not as strenuous as Mount Karisimbi and leads to the Crater Lake that characterizes the summit of this Volcano. The Mount Bisoke hike costs $75 per person (cost includes $50 for the guided trip and $25 for the Park entrance fees). All these mountain hikes start by arrival to the Park headquarters by 7am for briefing then the actual adventure starts by 8am.