Volcanoes National Park

TheEye Magazine Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park

To the north lies the most famous destination in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park which has become
synonymous with mountain gorilla tracking safaris and no visit to the country would be complete without visiting these majestic primates.

It includes Rwanda’s highest point; Mount Karisimbi 4507m and two active volcanoes, Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamuragira. The massif which covers 8000km encompassing six active and three extinct volcanoes is a home to around half of the world’s precious mountain gorilla. This makes Rwanda probably the best place
in Africa for a tracking safari.

Volcanoes national parks headquarters are based in the nearby village of Kinigi the administrative centre for permits and the place where all visitors gather in the morning for briefngs before starting on their gorilla treks. It is important to note that issuing gorilla tracking permits is strictly regulated in Volcanoes National Park so it is advisable to plan your trip ahead, particularly if you want to travel to Rwanda in busy period between June and September.

There are other several tourist sites and opportunities in the park and surrounding area. one gets a chance to climb to Mount Bisoke or even hike to the summit of Karisimbi mountain the 5th highest mountain of Africa.

Within the area there are a number of community based tourism experiences on offer. For example visiting villages, an ethno botany tour, fshing with local fsh men or simply enjoying the breath taking scenery of the area.


Beyond the gorillas that made Rwanda famous, wildlife junkies will be thrilled to know they can track another species of primate called the golden monkey. The golden monkey can be found in volcanoes national park and their rich colours, energetic, demeanour and sizeable troupes of up to 30 individuals are indeed a sight one ought to behold. There are two habituated troops of golden monkeys in volcanoes national park and the larger troop in
Sabyinyo volcano with 800- 100 is the most visited


A silverback (mature male) weighs nearly three times as much as the average man (up to 200kg). The Mountain Gorilla is a distinct species from its cousin the western lowland gorilla and was unknown to western science until 1902.

Gorillas share 97% of their genes with mankind. They are highly sociable, moving in troops of between 5 – 50 animals typically comprising a silverback, three or four wives and several young.

Females reach sexual maturity in their eighth year, males when they are around 13. Gorillas have few natural enemies and can live for up to 50 years in the wild. A female gorilla has a similar gestation period to humans, and may raise up to six offspring if she lives to old age. Gorillas spend most of their waking hours on the ground, but sleep in trees, each building itself a temporary nest. .


Rwanda has one of the highest bird counts on the continent. It has a number of birding species to be seen. This gives visitors the chance to see some of the Albertine rift endemic bird species. There are
over 600 species in Rwanda and this is amazing. 

The key area for bird watching in Rwanda is the vast Afromontane forest of Nyungwe national park and it is recognized as an important bird area.

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