About a 2-3 hours’ drive from Kigali City, in the northwestern part of Rwanda; a beautiful tiny landlocked country in the continent of Africa is one of the most gifted tropical jungles of Africa – Volcanoes National Park. The undulating hills and vegetation cover makes this park one of the most stunning destinations on earth. Volcanoes National Park is one of the premier gorilla trekking destinations in the world. It sprawls through approximately 160sqkm land, covered by a misty rainforest and five of the eight mountains which make up the Virunga network of mountains, sprawling through Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
These mountains are; Mount. Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Gahinga, Muhabura and Karisimbi. The park’s neighbours are Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Volcanoes National park was a research destination by a famous Primatologist – Dian Fossey, who dedicated her life and time to researching, rescuing and protecting mountain gorillas, which were on the verge of disappearance due to poaching and hunting. The experience at Volcanoes national park can be discovered in some pieces of her work as portrayed in the film “Gorillas in the Mist”.
This is one of the very first national parks to be established in the continent of Africa. In 1925, a small portion of the park was gazetted to protect endangered mountain gorillas and it included mountain karisimbi, Mikeno and Bisoke. In 1929, the park was further expanded to a greater portion of Rwanda, the then Belgian – Congo as Albert National park, managed by the Belgian colonial powers who were governing both territories. About 700 hectares of the land were cleared for farming activities and human settlements in 1958 and also for pyrethrum growing between the years 1969 to 1973.
What you can do while visiting this destination