Tourism activities in volcanoes national park Rwanda
Tourism activities in volcanoes national park Rwanda- The park was gazetted to protect wild animals in 1925 which makes it the oldest national park on the African continent. The park was not as famous as it is now but who made the park be one of the best safari destinations in Africa was Dian Fossey an American primatologist who came into the park in 1966 and showed people that mountain gorillas were of a big importance in the community. Mountain gorilla trekking is the most sought-after safari activity in the volcanoes national park though there are some other tourism activities in Volcanoes national park Rwanda such as golden monkey trekking, birding, hiking, nature walks, and community visits.
Gorilla trekking activities
Volcanoes national park in the northwestern part of Rwanda has been and will always be a popular place simply because of mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas have made gorilla trekking the most done adventure in the park that attracts thousands and thousands of people flow into the country. Most of the tourists that do come to volcanoes national park want to spend time with the closest creatures to human beings and these are the mountain gorillas.
When the day of mountain gorilla trekking comes, you will go for a briefing first and then later armed ranger guides will lead you and your group members to hike different Virunga volcanoes where these mountain gorillas have found their home. Different mountain gorilla families of Volcanoes do stay in specific areas, for instance, Karisimbi gorilla family lives on the slopes of Mt Karisimbi, Ugenda family on Mt Sabyinyo, and much more.
Searching mountain gorillas in volcanoes is amazing because you get to meet different park animals like golden monkeys, bush pigs, duikers, buffaloes, elephants, different bird species, and vegetation covers. Meeting the mountain gorillas is the most interesting thing because you get to see them doing their day to day activities like feeding, playing, hunting, nesting, take photos and you can learn more about their habits by asking the ranger guides about different questions connected to mountain gorillas.
Bird watching activities
Birding is one of the key tourism activities in volcanoes national park Rwanda. The park is one of the most important birding areas in Rwanda with over 178 bird species so far recorded in the park. Birding activities in the park do start early in the morning with birders having birding books and a pair of binoculars into the thick jungles of the park. Birders to get to spot different bird species and some of them include Archer’s robin-chat, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Bateleur, Doherty’s bush-shrike, red-faced woodland warbler, Baglafecht weaver, blue-spotted wood dove, brown-necked parrot, handsome francolin, dusky turtle dove, scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird, Rwenzori apalis, Rwenzori turaco, red-backed shrike, African long-eared owl, and strange weaver among others.
Golden monkey trekking
Golden monkeys are other endangered primates found within the Virunga Conservation Area in two national parks of Mgahinga and Volcanoes. Just like mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking does start with briefing trekkers about the dos and don’ts of the trekking activity, and thereafter they head out to where the bamboo is and look for these endangered primates. When you meet the golden monkeys 1 hour of being around them will start counting and during this period you can learn about their habits, watch them do daily activities, and take pictures.
The biggest population of volcanoes national park is covered by Virunga mountains which are of different heights. The mountains in this park are all up for hiking activities and these include Karisimbi at a height of 4,507m, Bisoke at 3,771m, Sabyinyo at 3,674, Muhabura at 4,127m, and Gahinga at 3,474. The hiking starts with a briefing at the starting points of the mountains where hikers are taught about the rules and regulations as well as expectations during the hike.
Hiking begins early in the morning with the armed ranger guide leading trekking along the steep slopes of the mountain that are densely covered by rainforest and bamboo. While hiking to the summit of different mountains you can find mountain gorillas, hyenas, buffaloes, duikers, giant forest hogs, forest elephants, different bird species as you pass through different vegetation covers. On top of different mountains, you will have spectacular views of the park surrounding, great lakes, surrounding mountains, see cultivated farmlands as well as local settlements around the area.
Hike to the grave of Dian Fossey
Tourists to volcanoes national park can hike to Dian Fossey’s grave and get to see where the great American primatologist was buried. The hike starts with the briefing after which the ranger guides lead you to the grave found between the slopes of mountain karisimbO and Bisoke. On your hike to the grave, you will see different park animals, birds, and vegetation and on reaching the grave, you will get to learn more about this lady, how she came into the park, her works, and what led to her death.
Visit the Iby’Iwacu cultural village
Tourists that do love the African cultures can visit the Iby’Iwacu cultural village an area near volcanoes national park. The visit to these Rwanda local people is led by the local people themselves that do take you around their communities. The visit will help you to get how these people live their day-to-day lives because they do share their life experiences. Tourists can then take part in different community activities such as dances, songs, ceremonies and you can visit their local art shops where you can support the local people by buying some of their crafts.