Volcanoes National Park is most famous for hosting the mountain gorillas. However there are lots of other things to see in the Volcanoes National Park. From the rare golden monkeys to the Virunga Volcanoes, there are many other attractions within the park. Below is a list of amazing things that you should not miss during your visit;
Volcanoes National Park alone offers refuge to over 30% of the world’s 1063 massive mountain gorillas. With a significant mountain gorilla population, and already habituated gorilla families, a visit to Volcanoes NP is a lifetime to enjoy up close with these unique apes in the wild. 12 habituated gorilla families in Volcanoes Park are all open for tourism in Rwanda, and these include among others Sabyinyo, Hirwa, Kwitonda, Umubano, Amahoro, Ugenda, Bwenge, Susa A, Susa B –(Karisimbi) and Titus.
Visiting mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park starts at Kinigi after briefing about gorilla trekking rules. Gorilla tours in Volcanoes Park allow you soak yourself into the bamboo and tropical forest to see and also have a deep learning about gorillas’ daily behaviors. Rwanda gorilla permits are available for reservation at USD1500 per person, and you can book a permit via a registered tour operator on ground.
Apart from the Mountain gorillas, the park contains other animal species like; the black fronted duiker, the golden monkeys, buffaloes, some bird species some of which include; beautiful francolins, Rwenzori turacos and others. These attractions are not just for decorations, they act as influencers of several individuals.
Golden monkeys exist mainly in the Virunga Conservation Area, and interestingly, this is where Volcanoes National Park is found. Golden monkeys are part of the strikingly stunning blue monkeys, and some of them have been habituated and set for tourism in Volcanoes Park. Before you come across golden monkeys, you may spend about 2-4 hours trekking through the steep slopes, bamboo forest etc.
The lakes, this Park is enriched with L.Ruhundo and Burera in the vicinity which are very good components of attractions. Look at the Virungas with their five peaks. These include; Karisimbi (4507m), Sabinyo (3634m), Mgahinga (3474m), Muhabura (4127m) and Bisoke (3711m).
More still, that Crater Lake on top of Bisoke also attracts several visitors from quite many countries around the world.
Volcanoes National Park gets its name from the Virunga Volcanoes, thanks to its strategic location within the Virunga Massifs region. 8 volcanoes make up the Volcanoes NP, and 5 of them are all located on the Rwandan side- Volcanoes N/Park. These include Karisimbi (4507m), Mount Bisoke (3711m), Gahinga (3474m), Muhabura and Sabyinyo (3634m). The most preferred volcanoes for hiking tours in Rwanda include Karisimbi and Bisoke volcanoes.
Dian Fossey graveyard is one of the key attractions that visitors should expect to explore while on Rwanda safari tour in Volcanoes National Park. Dian Fossey is remembered for her full dedication to save the lives of mountain gorillas. She died because of her love for these endangered species. She conducted research for over 18 years in the Virunga Volcanoes, and she focused on gorillas. To assist her carry out her duties, a research centre was established “Karisoke Research Center” lying between Mt. Bisoke and Karisimbi volcanoes. To visit Dian Fossey tomb site, it can take 2-3 hours and participants can pay USD75.
A record of 200 species of birds inclusive of 17 endemic species to Albertine rift valley do exist at Volcanoes National Park. These include the common stone chat, Baglafetch weavers, Rwenzori turacos, Black crowned waxbill, Rwenzori double collared sunbird, Rwenzori batis, scarlet tufted sunbird, red faced woodland warblers, brown necked parrot, Archer’s robin chat, African long eared owl, lagden’s bush shrike, handsome francolins, strange weavers, etc.
Volcanoes are enriched with the Afro-alpine (4000+m), Bamboo (base altitude), Hagenia and Hypericum forest (2600-3300m), Sub-alpine (3300-4000m) High altitude makes it generally cold, especially during the evenings which makes gorilla viewing possible all the year round.