VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

The easier Mountain Gorilla Trek

Volcanoes National Park

Set high on the jungle-covered slopes of the volcanic Virunga Mountains, Parc National des Volcans is best known as a sanctuary for the region’s rare mountain gorillas. Highly regulated treks through the reserve allow visitors to spend an hour at a time with these incredible primates in their natural habitat.

The park was first gazetted in 1925, as a small area bounded by Karisimbi, Visoke and Mikeno, intended to protect the gorillas from poachers. It was the very first National Park to be created in Africa. Subsequently, in 1929, the borders of the park were extended further into Rwanda and into the Belgian Congo, to form the Albert National Park, a huge area of 8090 km², run by the Belgian colonial authorities who were in charge of both colonies.

Much later, the park became the base for the American naturalist Dian Fossey to carry out her research into the gorillas. She arrived in 1967 and set up the Karisoke Research Centre between Karisimbi and Visoke. From then on she spent most of her time in the park, and is widely credited with saving the gorillas from extinction by bringing their plight to the attention of the international community. She was murdered by unknown assailants at her home in 1985, a crime often attributed to the poachers she had spent her life fighting against. Fossey’s life later was portrayed on the big screen in the film Gorillas in the Mist, named after her autobiography. She is buried in the park in a grave close to the research center, and amongst the gorillas which became her life.

Best time to travel to Volcanoes National Park

Eventhough one can visit the country of Rwanda throughout the year, it is still best to travel in between the two rainy seasons. The longest rain period mostly lasts from March until May. The shorter rainy season takes place in November. During these rainy seasons, the mountain gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park may be very difficult due to many slippery paths. Our summer holiday (July and August) is therefore a very good period to visit Rwanda. The temperature is almost the same throughout the year, about 26 degrees celcius. Keep in mind that the nights on the mountains in Volcanoes National Park can get very cold and humid. 

Special interests? Talk to us and we can include these in your itinerary.

WHAT TO EXPERIENCE

National parks & highlights

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WHERE TO STAY?

African Travels will send you to the most beautiful and unique accommodations in Africa. They are not only runned by excellent staff, they also give back to the local community and operate as eco friendly as possible. Located in the most beautiful locations, they will contribute to the your ultimate safari experience.

From tented safari camps to luxury boutique hotels. We will make sure they tick all the boxes!

  • All accommodations are carefully selected by us
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The Retreat by Heaven – Rwanda

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The Retreat by Heaven is a luxury boutique hotel that offers a five-star experience in the city of Kigali in Rwanda.

Singita Kwitonda Lodge – Rwanda

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Kwitonda Lodge shares a 1.2km border with Volcanoes National Park – the only lodge within such close proximity of the park.

Mantis Akagera Game Lodge- Rwanda

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Mantis Akagera Game Lodge in the Akagera National Park, the only Big Five Reserve in Rwanda, offers guests an exceptional wildlife experience

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