Perhaps best known as the home of the rare mountain gorilla, the Virunga are that and so much more. Trekking through the park in far northwest Rwanda, one will find a tapestry of sensory delights. The visitor in the rain forest can hear the calls of birds and monkeys, and through the forest see the peaks of the ancient volcanoes. In addition to the rain forest, the park offers evergreen and bamboo forest, grassland, swamp and heath.
Volcanoes National Park is part of the Virunga Conservation Area and covers more than 125 km². the park is home of five Virunga volcanoes: Sabyinyo (3.674 m), Gahinga (3.474 m), Bisoke (3711 m), Muhabura (4.127 m), and the Karisimbi, the highest volcano with an altitude of 4.507 m. All five volcanoes are extinct; the active ones are located in Congo. Two of them erupted recently; the Nyiragongo erupted in January 2002 and Nyamuragira in July 2002.
An important part of Rwanda’s revival is its wildlife ecotourism, centered on the rare and remarkable mountain gorilla that lives in the dense forests of the volcanic Virungas range in the northwest. About a third of the world’s approximately 800 remaining mountains gorillas live in Rwanda. Your visit to their natural habitat may be the only hope for their future.
There are 8 gorilla families available for tourists with 8 tourists allowed per group:
Susa – the largest group with 41 gorillas, Sabyinyo – led by the powerful silverback Guhonda, Amahoro – led by the calm and easy going Ubumwe, Amahoro is made up of 17 members and means “peaceful”, Group 13 – when first habituated this group had only 13 members hence its name, Kwitonda – this 18-member group is led by Kwitonda which means “humble one” and has two silverbacks and one black back, Umubano – a family of 11, Hirwa – this group emerged recently and was formed from different existing families, namely from Group 13 and Sabyinyo, Karisimbi – a family of 15, a new group.
Accommodation in Volcanoes National Park
There are a number of hotels in Volcanoes National Park. They include Bisate Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Panorama Du Nord Motel, Home Inn and La Palma hotel
Parc National des Volcans has different kind of hotels depending on what the visitors want.
Golden Monkey Trekking
Aside from the Gorillas, few people know that the golden monkeys, are also listed as endangered species that need our attention to conserve.
The golden monkeys live in the bamboo vegetation towards the base of the volcanoes and have overcome their initial shyness to accept their daily visit by researchers and tourists.
You will trek to find the golden monkeys in a similar way to the gorilla trek – in a small group of no more than eight people, and you can spend one hour with the monkeys once you find them.
choosing to trek gorillas with us in Volcanoes National Parc is the only way you will be able to see other primate species such as vervet monkeys, baboons, and a variety of bird species and butterflies.