Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is the oldest park in Africa, founded in 1925 and remains one of the must-visit places. An ardent traveler will relish the challenges and rewards the Park has to offer.

Volcanoes National Park is one of only two parks in the world; where one can see the endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in their natural habitat. The dominant male gorilla called the silverback has a streak of silver running from their back to their hips.

These gentle giants were the inspiration for the 1988 Hollywood blockbuster Gorillas in the Mist. Have a chance to visit the Karisoke Research Station and the grave of their most excellent defender, scientist Dr. Dian Fossey.

Gorilla families in the park

There are ten families of gorillas. The families are Amahoro, Sabinyo, Agashya, Susa, Karisimbi, Kwitonda, Hirwa, Bwenge, Ugende and Umubano. The gorilla families do not occupy one part of the park or even stay in one place for long. So tourists need to put in a bit of trekking time to find them.

The mountain gorillas are, however, just a fraction of what the Park has to offer. The Park has five spectacular volcanoes with lush bamboo and rainforest; of which Karisimbi is the tallest, standing at over 4500 meters high. Nature lovers will treasure the experience of climbing these volcanoes for an unrivaled view of the park and three countries.

Located in northwestern Rwanda,  borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.

The park hosts other large mammals apart from the gorillas. In the park has the rare golden monkeys, the spotted hyena, bushbuck, the buffalo, and black-fronted duiker.

The park is also a birder’s haven with approximately 178 recorded bird species. 16 subspecies only endemic to this park.

The Park reopened in 1999, after the Rwandan civil war of 1990 to 1993 and 1994 genocide.