Attractions in Volcanoes national park – Rwanda
Attractions in Volcanoes national park – Rwanda : Rwanda is a must-visit destination in Africa receiving thousands of tourists from different parts of the world every year. It’s a small landlocked country located in East Africa, bordered by Uganda to the north, Tanzania in the East, Burundi in the south, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the West. Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda accessible via the Kigali International Airport. The country has several principal attractions with a diversity of wildlife found in the three national parks including; Akagera national park, Nyungwe forest national and Volcanoes national park. History buffs will revel in the historical and cultural sites, on that note, you can learn about Rwanda’s sad recent history at the genocide memorial museums located in all parts of Rwanda especially at the Kigali genocide memorial located at the centre of Kigali city.
Volcanoes National Park is the top tourist destination in Rwanda. Visitors can spend more than just a 3 Days Rwanda gorilla tour in Volcanoes national park and here is what you can expect from a visit to the park.
Mountain Gorilla Tracking
Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park Rwanda is the main tourist attraction in Rwanda attracting the highest number of tourists numbers into the country. The mountain gorillas are critically endangered. Volcanoes national park hosts about 150 habituated mountain gorillas divided into 12 groups and several wild ones. Volcanoes national park issues about 96 gorilla trekking permits every day to visitors and each group contains only 8 people to visit the mountain gorillas per day. Some of the gorilla families available include; Susa, Amahoro, Sabyinyo, Ugenda, Hirwa, Umubano, Karisimbi just to name a few. Rwanda’s gorilla permits cost US$1,500 per person. Rwanda’s high end tourism strategy is attracting the most exclusive resorts and lodges, promising higher income to the local communities on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park where the mountain gorillas live. This also means that a gorilla safari in Rwanda is one of the most expensive travel experiences there is with two nights at the most premium gorilla lodges. A maximum of 88 gorilla permits is on offered each day and are given on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Mountain gorilla trekking starts in the morning with assembly at the park headquarters for a briefing about the activity. This is followed by a hike through the bamboo forests of Volcanoes national park, keeping an eye out for the gorillas in their natural habitat. The trek can take anywhere from 2-8 hours, depending on the movement of the mountain gorillas across their habitat. You will spend a maximum of one hour with the gorillas where you will be able to take photos and videos. Trekkers are accompanied by trained Tour Guides who are well-informed about different wildlife in the park and will lend a hand along the trek. They carry your daypack or offer you a helping hand if you were to get stuck in the mud!
Golden Monkey Tracking
Rare golden monkeys have been sighted in the magnificent Virunga Mountains in Volcanoes national park. Tracking the beautiful golden monkeys is another popular tourist activity in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. A glimpse of these golden monkeys is considered to be a wonderful lifetime experience. While on a 3 Days gorilla Rwanda Safari, it is possible to combine the gorilla tour with a golden monkey experience in Volcanoes National Park. Like gorilla tracking, this activity starts in the morning with an assembly at Kinigi Park Headquarters. However, golden monkey tracking is less strenuous than to gorilla trekking, so you’ll be finished by around midday. A golden monkey permit is priced at $100 per person.
Adventurous Hike to Dian Fossey Tombs
A visit to Volcanoes National Park for gorilla trekking can be mixed up with a hike to the tomb of the late Dian Fossey. Dian Fossey was an American primatologist who spent close to two decades in the park, studying the mountain gorillas. Dian Fossey’s life was made into a movie in the late eighties, titled “Gorilla’s in the Mist”. She was murdered by poachers in 1985. Her grave is nestled between the beautiful volcanic peaks of Bisoke and Karisimbi, near Karisoke Research Center. The hike through the forest to the tomb takes about six hours (there and back). Along the way, you may be lucky enough to see elephants, buffalo, primates like golden monkeys, and sometimes even the mountain gorillas that Dian dedicated her life to.
Mountain Hiking Adventures
Adventurous travellers can combine gorilla trekking with mountain hiking on the Virunga Mountains. There are 2 main mountains available for hiking in Volcanoes national park. Mount Bisoke stands at 3,700 meters above sea level, with a deep crater lake on the top. Hiking Mount Bisoke does not require prior hiking experience; you only need to be physically fit, due to the high elevation and length of the climb. The whole trek takes five to seven hours, depending on your speed and the frequency of stops.
Mountain Karisimbi is the second highest volcanic peak in the Virunga ranges and takes two days and one night to experience. While at the top of the volcano, you will enjoy fantastic views of the other five volcanoes and the beautiful Twin Lakes. Near the summit is the Crater Lake, which features drier vegetation than other parts of the park, with giant heather growing all over the slopes of the volcano while on a Rwanda safari.
Guided Walks and Mountain Bikes Excursions
There are many guided and unguided walks around Volcanoes National Park which is one of the main Attractions in Volcanoes national park – Rwanda. One of the most popular walks will lead you to the Musanze market, where visitors can interact with the local people. The park features a nature walk to the beautiful Twin Lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. You can stroll around the lakes, snapping photos and videos of the scenery as you go. If you don’t fancy a journey on foot, you’ll have the option to go via canoe.
The Nyange Community walk is designed to show all aspects of village life in Rwanda. A guided walk through the Nyange community will allow you to see how locals work and earn a living.
You will visit the homes of ironsmiths, mat weavers, local banana-beer brewers, and carpenters. You will also witness, and if you choose, partake in the preparation of traditional Rwandan food – not to mention sample the meal at the end!
Another option is a guided visit to Iby’ iwacu Cultural Village, on the edge of Volcanoes National Park which also serves as Attractions in Volcanoes national park – Rwanda. There are many cultural performances held here, where you can take part. The Iby’ Iwacu Cultural Village convinced ex-poachers to turn their back on gorilla poaching. They now make their living performing for tourists. A tour to Iby’ iwacu Cultural Village allows you to see the traditional house of a local king as well as the preparation of an herbal mixture by a traditional medicine man. You can take part in arrow and bow shooting, or enjoy Kinyarwanda cultural music, dances, and drumming performed by local people. You will have the option to explore local areas on mountain bikes through different routes with a guide.