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Activities in Volcanoes National Park

Activities in Volcanoes National Park

Activities in Volcanoes National Park, Volcanoes National Park is one of the most rewarding National Parks in Rwanda where Tourists can visit and have an amazing time as they participate in a variety of activities. Among them include;

Gorilla trekking

Gorilla Trekking is the most popular activity in Volcanoes national park, Rwanda. This activity happens once daily with 8 individuals visiting a gorilla group per day. The visitors expected to arrive at the Rwanda development board (RDB) offices at 7 am. Briefed about the expectations and later distributed among the different gorilla groups. Once you have been allocated a gorilla group and the briefing is concluded, you follow your ranger guide and start your trek in search for these gentle giants. The trek can take anything from a few minutes to 6 hours depending on the location of the group you are tracking.

Once you have spotted this group, you will stay in their presence for a maximum of one hour. Remember the details shared in the briefing and ensure to follow them for your own safety and that of the gorillas. Among other mammals to spot in Volcanoes National Park except the Mountain Gorillas include; buffaloes, spotted hyenas, elephants, duikers, bushbucks and golden monkeys.



Volcanoes National Park is one of the 3 Important Birding Areas (IBA) in Rwanda with the rare Albertine rift endemics. You will enjoy some of the spectacular birds in the Virunga with the main focus on the Albertine rift endemics as you enjoy the great scenery. Some of the bird species here include; the Rwenzori Turaco, Paradise fly-catcher, Red-faced woodland warbler, Grey-throated tit, Handsome Francolin, Common moorhen, Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird, Rwenzori Night jar, Kivu ground thrush and Lagden’s Bush Shrike among others.


Golden Monkey Tracking

Golden monkey tracking takes place in Volcanoes national park once a day in the early morning much like gorilla trekking. Expected to arrive at the briefing place at the park headquarters as early as 7 am for briefing about how to behave and relate with these creatures in the wild. You will be divided into 2 groups if you are many and then start your trek led by experienced ranger guides. Enjoy the traditional dances from a local troupe and a hot cup of coffee before your briefing.

Volcanoes national park currently has 2 habituated groups that are open for visiting. The total number of individuals from both 80 habituated for tourism. Golden monkeys live mostly in the bamboo vegetation because of their love for bamboo shoots. Unlike the mountain gorillas, golden monkeys are active which makes the tracking very engaging and interesting. You will be following them as they hope from one area to another looking for food.


Iby’Iwacu Community Visit (Gorilla Guardians Village)

Iby’Iwacu cultural village an initiative for local people formerly involved in poaching of gorillas and now on the conservation road. Edwin Sabuhoro started the village when he worked as a warden at Volcanoes national park with a desire to transform the then notorious poachers into conservationists. A visit to this village will continue to expound on conservation efforts and provide a livelihood for many of the community members. Enjoy an experience of the village by taking part in the activities like; joining royalty by being crowned King or Queen for the day, learn about the traditional lifestyles and as well enjoy music and dance.


Hiking Mount Bisoke and Mount Karisimbi

The Mount Bisoke hike is a Life giving adventure which rewards hikers with a spectacular Crater Lake at the summit. The hike takes about 6 hours which includes 2 hours spent descending. Nonetheless, some experienced hikers take as little as 3 hours and an hour to descend. Another hike is on Mount Karisimbi which sits at 4,507m above sea level. This is the highest of the Virunga volcanoes and the 5th highest Mountain in Africa.

Situated on the Western Rift Valley between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Karisimbi hike a challenging but rewarding hike which begins in Bisoke and lasts 2 days. During the hike, you rewarded with breathtaking scenery, chances of spotting primates including gorillas on rare occasions and birds.Hire porters to help you with your luggage at a small fee and it is highly recommended to do so.


Visiting Musanze Caves

Musanze caves are due to volcanic eruption which formed an underground space which is large enough for humans to enter. 2km long with walkways and stairs that take you to the dark interior of the caves. This activity done after your morning gorilla tracking.


Dian Fossey tomb tour

Trekking to the Dian Fossey tomb gives you an insight into the life of Dian Fossey and gorilla conservation in the Virunga region. You will also learn more about her interest in the gorillas and how over the years gorilla conservation picked on which later led to gorilla tourism. Have chances of spotting some forest animals like the elephants, buffaloes, forest hogs and several bird species.

Also visit Dian Fossey house where she was mysteriously murdered in 1985 and later buried next to “Digit” her favorite gorilla friend. The gorilla grave yard has about 20 gorillas buried there,  killed either by poachers and others by natural causes.