Volcanoes National Park


The haven to Rwanda's mountain gorillas


Volcanoes National Park, 'Parc National des Volcanes' in French, lies in northern Rwanda and borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. The national park is known as a haven for the mountain gorilla - 300 of these gentle giants make the park their home and there are four habituated families that tolerate the presence of humans in their midst.

The park is also home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo), which are covered in rainforest and bamboo.

The park was the base of operations for famed naturalist Dian Fossey. She spent 20 years here living and working with the gorillas and campaigning for their protection. She was murdered here and although her death remains a mystery the likely culprits were the poachers she had fought against for so long. Her life here is immortalized in the film; "Gorillas in the Mist". It is largely because of her influence and her setting up of the Karisoke Research Centre that saved these fantastic creatures from extinction - and now you can see them on your Gorilla tracking safari!

From one of these lodges you will launch your hike into the forested slopes in search of one of the gorilla families. Be warned though that gorilla tracking is no walk in the park. You do literally have to track down the gorillas who could have moved a significant distance from the day before. Relatively few permits (32 per day) are issued to see the gorillas and your time with them is restricted to one hour. 

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