How to get to volcanoes national park rwanda
How to get to volcanoes national park rwanda: Volcanoes national park also known as Parc National Des Volcano is the most visited national park in Rwanda for its habitant of the remaining mountain gorillas in the whole world. Volcanoes national park offers a lifetime encounter with the mountain gorillas for travellers. The park has quite a number of habituated mountain gorilla families living in the forest for visitors to trek. Therefore, when planning a safari in Africa, do not forget to visit the land of a thousand hills to a splendid and prominent national park. Apart from the mountain gorillas, visitors have an opportunity to see the rare Golden monkeys and other primates. In addition to the available primates, the park is blessed with tremendous wildlife and bird species including; the forest elephants, Giant Forest Hog, Bush pigs, bushbucks, Buffaloes, Black-fronted Duikers, Spotted Hyenas and bird species like Rwenzori turaco, Red-faced woodland, handsome francolin to mention a few.
Volcanoes national park is the smallest national park covering an area 160 square kilometres and it is located in Ruhengeri-Musanze district in the Northern Province of Rwanda, West of Kigali capital city. Volcanoes national park is bordered by Virunga national park of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla national park of Uganda. Volcanoes national park was gazetted in 1925 and was recognized as the first national park in Rwanda, purposely to conserve the endangered mountain gorillas which were constantly poached by the communities around the rainforest. Several years ago, a researcher from America called Dian fossey was killed during her study of the mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains which has rough ranges of about 8 peaks and the highest standing at 15,000 feet while of these peaks are inside Rwanda. The foot hills of these peaks are covered with thick rainforest giving a way to beautiful montane grassland, you will find the alphine moorland. Besides being popular for gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking, other activities to do in Volcanoes national park include; Dian fossey graveyard hike, Mount Bisoke hike and Mount Karisimbi hike. These mountain hikes provide scenic views of the different vegetation types for example montane forest, bamboo and grassland forests.
Volcanoes national park is located west of Kigali city about 105 kilometres away from the city and Kigali international airport. It is a 2-3 hours’ drive keeping in mind the driving speed limit of the traffic rules in Rwanda from Kigali to Volcanoes national park. The park can only be accessed by road with both public and private means of transport available in Rwanda. There are no flights available that land in Musanze/Ruhengeri area, travellers can only access the park by driving from Kigali international airport upon arrival from their various destinations. Private means of accessing the park involves booking with a recognised tour company like Achieve Global Safaris to smoothly plan your gorilla trekking experience including transport and other amenities or hiking a vehicle form Kigali airport while public means of transport involves taking a bus or any other means of transport probably taxis from Kigali to Musanze town. Unlike with private meals where you can access the park headquarters called Kinigi, there is no transport services available from Musanze town to the Kinigi park headquarters. There are self-drive tours from Kigali to Volcanoes national park however; the private transport organized by Achieve Global Safaris is most convenient to providing accommodations too based on your budget of the trip
Volcanoes national park can also be accessed from Uganda via Cyanika border which is the closest from Uganda in Kisoro district, allowing visitors to also trek gorillas in Uganda either Mgahinga national park or Bwindi impenetrable national park at a cheaper gorilla permit at $700 per person unless in Volcanoes national park where a gorilla permit is $1,500 per person. However for a closer and easier experience, gorilla trekking in Volcanoes national park is highly recommended. Visitors can also access Virunga national park in the Democratic republic which it shares boundary with Volcanoes national park. It is about 2-3 hours’ drive from Volcanoes to Gisenyi then crossing through Goma border to connect to Virunga national park.
For an organized gorilla trekking trip in Volcanoes national park, travellers’ are advised to at least get to the park a day before their gorilla trekking experience. Gorilla trekking involves reporting at the Kinigi park headquarters with your trekking gears and confirmed permit by 7 am for a briefing about the adventure then by later 8 am, visitors enter the rainforest in search of the mountain gorillas. The experience takes about 2-8 hours depending on the location of the mountain gorillas. So you must plan to stay around the park a day before and after gorilla trekking. There are several accommodation facilities around the park that you can choose to stay depending on your budget because regardless of your choice, the gorilla trekking experience is breath-taking and you will leave the area totally satisfied. Some of the available accommodations around the park include; Mountain gorilla lodge, 5 Volcanoes Gorilla lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla lodge, Kinigi Guesthouse and Hotel Muhabura just to mention a few
Volcanoes national park is an incredible park and is the most visited tourist destination in Rwanda. Tourists must visit this park and have lifetime memory about the adventure of gorilla trekking in Rwanda.