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Things to do while in Volcanoes National Park

Things to do while in Volcanoes National Park

Among Rwanda’s conservation areas, you can’t miss out on visiting Volcanoes National Park, it is situated in the northern province of Rwanda, in the Musanze district, it was initially called Parc national de volcanos, it boasts several plants, animal and tree species. The national park is among the oldest conservation areas of Africa, established in 1925 as a way of protecting critically endangered species, common sights include birds, primates like mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys to mention a few. Here is a list of the top activities you need to do while visiting Volcanoes National Park.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking is one of the most popular activities, there are a total number of 18 habituated gorilla families in the conservation area, for visits, mountain gorillas leave without captivity in the forest, they are mostly herbivorous primates, feeding on edible plants, herbs fruits, it is on rare occasions that you find the gorillas feeding on insects. There is a briefing in the morning from the park rangers on the dos and don’ts while with the gorillas, groups of eight are allocated to a gorilla family they visit on that day beginning at 8:00am, tracking can last for 2 or more hours depending on how far the gorilla families have moved. Rwandan permits for trekking mountain gorillas go for 1500 USD, and it is advisable to make bookings before the arrival date for convenience and avoid missing out.

Volcanic mountain hikes in Volcanoes national park, Rwanda is home to a thousand hills named so because of its Numerous mountains, you will have the best hikes in Volcanoes, the park hosts 3 of the eight series of Volcanic mountains of the great Virunga volcanic region, other parts being shared with Uganda and the democratic republic of Congo. Mountains of the park include, Karisimbi, Gahinga, Sabinyo, Muhabura, and Mount Bisoke. Hiking mountain Karisimbi, the highest mountain standing at an elevation of 4,507m above sea level it is possible to hike to the summit in two days, there are several beautiful vegetative zones, primates, and beautiful birds along the hike.

Golden monkey tracking in volcanoes national park is the second-best there are two habituated families for tracking, just like the mountain gorillas, the activity begins at 8:00am with a morning briefing, they live in the bamboo forest region, an hour is allowed while with the primates, avoid using flash photography while with the monkeys, they are tricky to take pictures so mostly it’s wise to set your camera ready.

Hiking the Dian Fossey Tombs is one thought activity in the national park, the American primatologist was buried at the Karisoke research center where she did her great works on mountain gorillas and other primates of the national park, the walk to the tombs is scenic as you will experience different vegetative zones and birds singing swiftly in the forest. The plant species and underground creepers are unlimited, Most times hiking the Dian Fossey tombs are combined with golden monkeys compared to the mountain gorillas, it is difficult and tiring to hike mountain gorillas, and telling the time one will spend while doing the activity depends on how far they have moved it could take a full day and therefore not advisable to do the Golden monkeys and Mountain gorillas at the same time.

Cultural encounters, around the surrounding villages, are keepers of the forest, the Gorilla community performs Rwanda’s cultural dance, and way of living, and Visitors can be actively involved in the activities. People in the Ibyiwacu Cultural Villages in the old days used to be poachers however the involvement of the community members has led to a change and appreciation of Tourism and the forest at large.

Volcanoes National Park can be visited anytime of the year, however, the drier months are much more comfortable because the animal routes are less slippery and hence easy access to the park, Accommodation is around the national Park some of it takes only 5 minutes to walk to reach the park headquarters an example include the five volcanoes hotel.

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