Volcanoes National Park is a breath-taking unforgettable place where culture, adventure and conservation intersect.
The Volcanoes National Park “Parc National de Volcans” (or PNV as it’s known by locals) lies along the Virunga Mountains, with 8 ancient volcanoes, which are shared by Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s a two hour drive from Rwanda’s capital of Kigali, the park is a central location for exploring some distinctly Rwandan experiences. While a visit to the mountain gorillas is often at the top of visitor, the dramatic landscape also offers thrilling hiking and visits to the fascinating golden monkeys.
History of Volcanoes National Park (Parc Nationals Des Volcans)
This Rwandan national park was founded in 1925, making it Africa’s oldest national park on the whole continent. The Park was established in 1925 in order to safeguard the park’s mountain gorillas and other natural resources from poachers.
Volcanoes National Park (Parc Nationals Des Volcans), PNV is also one of Rwanda’s conservation epicenters, where many non-profit organizations base their operations. Visitors can pay homage to the legendary scientist and gorilla advocate Dian Fossey with a hike to her tomb or a visit to the Dian Fosse Gorilla Fund that continues her legacy of research and advocacy to this day.
Near the park, the bustling and vibrant markets of Musanze are a place to immerse yourself into everyday Rwandan culture. Go deep into the earth with Musanze’s caves – one of the area’s newest attractions.
Activities in Volcanoes National Park (Parc Nationals Des Volcans)
1. Gorilla Trekking
2.Golden Monkey Trekking
5.Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village
Trekking the endangered mountain gorillas on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes is a magical experience. Hike through mountain forests to experience these gentle creatures or make your way through airy bamboo forests to find the charming Golden Monkey.
Also available is the ‘Dian Fossey Tomb Trail’ – a beautiful yet challenging hike to 3,000 meters up the slopes of Mount Bisoke or a hike to the beautiful Ngezi Crater Lake at the top.
Park fees at Volcanoes National Park (Parc Nationals Des Volcans).
1.Permit costs per person:
2.Mountain Gorillas: $750
3.Dian Fossey Hike: $75
4.Golden Monkey Tracking: $100
5.Crater Lake Hike: $75
Permits should be booked 3 to 6 months in advance, especially during Rwanda’s high season of June – September.
How to easily access Volcanoes National Park (Parc Nationals Des Volcans).
The park is accessed from Uganda, Kigali town of Rwanda and from democratic republic of Congo by either air or by road. For tourists flying into Rwanda, the only main gate away is by using a flight to Kigali international airport which is 116.3 kilometers from the park, approximately 2-3 hours’ drive
When is the best time/season to visit Volcanoes National Park (Parc Nationals Des Volcans).
The best time /season to visit Volcanoes Park is during the dry months of June through September where the maximum temperatures hover between 25C and 27C (77F to 81F) degrees during the day and fall to between 13.5C and 15C (56F to 59F) at night.