Why you need to visit volcanoes national park Rwanda
Why you need to visit volcanoes national park Rwanda? There are so many reasons as to why you need to visit volcanoes national park and, in this article, we are going to look at some of them. We are going to look at the attractions and the activities you might engage in when you choose to visit the park. Volcanoes is found in the northwestern part of Rwanda and it’s famous for the endangered mountain gorillas.
Apart from the mountain gorillas, the park is home to golden monkeys, mona monkeys, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, mammals, over 178 bird species and not forgetting 5 Virunga volcanoes – Karisimbi, Sabyinyo, Gahinga, Bisoke, and Muhabura. Below are the reasons as to why you need to visit the volcanoes national park.
Volcanoes national park is home to mountain gorillas
One of the reasons you need to visit volcanoes national park is to encounter the primates that do share 98% DNA with human beings and these are the mountain gorillas. You should visit volcanoes national park and encounter the habituated mountain gorillas on the slopes of mountains like Bisoke, Karisimbi, Gahinga, Muhabura, and Sabyinyio.
If you are intending to visit volcanoes national park and trek the mountain gorillas then you will have to first book a gorilla trekking permit for yourself because it will be asked in the park before doing any activity related to gorilla trekking. The gorilla trekking permit for volcanoes national park can be got from any trusted tour operator or Rwanda Development board at a fixed price which is $700.
The gorilla trekking activity takes you to the jungle and you use different trekking trails with the armed ranger guides who take you through these trails. When looking for the mountain gorillas, you get opportunities of seeing some of the park animals like the golden monkeys, buffaloes, spotted hyenas, duikers, and much more. You will spend 1 hour with these giant apes and this will enable you to know about their habits, watch them do daily activities as you take photos.
Volcanoes national park is home to golden monkeys
Another reason you need to take a visit to volcanoes national park in Rwanda is that it harbors the golden monkeys. It’s the only place you can encounter golden monkeys and to do so you need a golden monkey trekking permit first that costs $100 from the Rwanda Development Board. The permits come with paid ranger guide fees, but not accommodation or park entrance fees.
Before searching for the golden monkeys, you have a briefing and then the ranger guide will take you through different hiking trails on the slopes of the Virunga mountains to locate the golden monkeys. During the search that takes 2-4 hours, you will encounter animals like buffaloes, elephants, gorillas, duikers, hyenas, and much more. Golden monkeys are normally found in bamboo trees because the shoots are their food.
Volcanoes national park is home to Dian Fossey grave
Visiting volcanoes national park gives you a special opportunity to take a visit to the grave of the most beloved Dian Fossey who was an American primatologist. Dian Fossey was killed on 26th December 1985 and her body was discovered in her cabin. She was later laid to rest near the gorilla cemetery next to her favorite gorilla called Digit.
Visiting Dian Fossey’s grave takes a few hours of hiking the slopes between Mountain Karisimbi and Bisoke and while carrying out this you spot a few park mammals, primates, and different bird species. The hike will also give you an opportunity to know about his works towards the mountain gorillas, her background, and her time in volcanoes national park.
Volcanoes national park is home to several birds
Yes, volcanoes national park hosts over 178 bird species of which 16 are endemic to the region. Birders should visit this park to see all these bird species. With ranger guides leading you to different birding spots, you will be able to see birds such as Grauer’s rush warbler, Baglafecht weaver, Rwenzori batis, African long-eared owl, Rwenzori turaco, Dusky Crimsonwing, Rwenzori double–collared Sunbird, dusky turtle dove, handsome francolin, Rwenzori nightjar, strange weaver, collared Apalis, red-faced woodland warbler, scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird, and Archer’s ground robin among others.
Volcanoes national park hosts 5 out of 8 Virunga volcanoes
Another reason why tourists need to visit volcanoes national park Rwanda is to hike any of the Virunga volcanoes. The park hosts mountains such as Karisimbi, Gahinga, Muhabura, Bisoke, and Sabyinyo and hiking is open on all these mountains. The hiking requires one to have a permit and the prices of the permits for different mountains do differ. Hiking any of t6he mountains gives you an opportunity to spot some of the park animals on the way and the summit gives you an aerial view of the surrounding areas, vegetation, lakes, and mountains.
Volcanoes national park is safe
Volcanoes national park is very safe for any activity and there are several safety measures you go through as you enter the park or while you are already inside the park. The park has a lot of armed ranger guides that are all over the park to protect the trekkers from dangerous wildlife and attacks from rebels. On reaching the volcanoes national park entry gate, the security personnel will search for any security threats like knives, firearms, pistols, and much more that can cause pain to people.
Volcanoes national park is easily accessible
Volcanoes national park happens to be the easily accessed national park in Rwanda and it can be accessed in just 2-3 hours using road transport from Kigali city or Kigali international airport. Upon arrival at Kigali international airport, a driver guide from the tour company you decided to travel with will pick you up and take you to the park which is about 90km away. It’s in Musanze town.
Volcanoes national park can be visited at any time of the year
Yes, volcanoes national park can be visited at any time of the year depending on the activity you want to do. Those going for primate trekking or hiking activities can visit volcanoes national park in the dry season because there is little and sometimes no rainfall which leaves the grass short with clear views of the park animals, the trekking/hiking trails are which doesn’t affect the speed of tourists and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourists can still visit volcanoes national park in the rainy season and do any activity but during this season, there is plenty of rainfall which makes the hiking/trekking trails slippery and this reduces the speed of tourists, the vegetation in the park is tall giving unclear views of animals and the roads leading to the park are impassable. The rainy season favors the birders because it’s at this time of the year that the migratory birds are in the park and the food is plenty for mountain gorillas to go far from the starting points. Lastly, people do get huge discounts on accommodation facilities.