Volcanoes National Park Group Safaris

Volcanoes National Park Group Safaris

Extremely amazing it is a group safari to one of the most famous tourist destinations in Africa, Volcanoes National Park that has and still welcomes several academicians, researchers, families, and primate lovers globally to engage in their prime activity, Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkey trekking.

A traveler takes roughly two hours to drive from Kigali international airport to Volcanoes national park, located in a remote village of Rwanda called Musanze, in the northern part of the country, on the foothills of Virunga volcano massif, which is shared among Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In the entire world, Mountain gorillas can only be found in Volcanoes National park (Rwanda), Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda, and Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As such, you get to be lucky to visit these gentle apes, that happen to be possessing up to 95% human DNA, in Volcanoes national park

Despite the 1994 genocide incident that saw the research center deserted and gorilla trekking activities brought to halt when the park was converted into a battlefield during the Rwanda civil war, the situation is now stable, and the activities have resumed in full gear.

The park has a wide range of biodiversity, Bamboo trees, montane forest, cool climate, classic accommodations, good security, rare primate species, few notable mammals, over 178 bird species and unique tree species.

Why Choose Volcanoes National park?

Volcanoes National park gives any visitor a true taste of primate trekking activities, mountaineering experience, birding adventure, jaw-dropping sceneries and unforgettable African savannah encounters.

You should also know that Volcanoes national park harbors Mount Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabinyo, and Muhabura among others, used for Hiking. Also, the park was the foundation for Gorilla research and conservation that commenced in 1967, with the arrival of American naturalist, Dian Fossey, who established Karisoke Research center where she dedicated her life into researching about the Mountain Gorillas, only to be murdered in 1985 by unknown attackers who saw her as a threat to their poaching practices.

You can watch her contributions in the film “Gorillas in the Mist”, her body was laid to rest beside her fallen friends “the gorillas”, few kilometers to her research center that has now been upgraded for global primate research and studies.

The best time to Visit the park

During dry season is the best time to visit Volcanoes national park, in the long holiday of December to February when there is very little/ no rain to disrupt your hiking, birding, or trekking activities. Park stewards always recommend this season because the Gorillas and other creatures are easily seen as they come out in search of what to eat, and drink.


Mountain gorilla and Golden monkey trekking

This is the prime safari activity in Volcanoes National park, which receives hundreds of tourists each year. The tracking permits sales at 1500usd per person aged 15 years and above per day, the highest in the whole of east Africa, with Uganda following at 700USD and the Democratic Republic of Congo at 450USD.

Mountain Gorilla tracking commences at exactly 8:00 local time, at the park’s headquarters with the park rangers verifying your documents, explaining to you the dos and don’ts, as well allocating you to one of the twelve families recorded at the park, namely; Amahoro gorilla group which is the most peaceful, Kwitonda group, Hirwa gorilla group, Agashya group, sabyinyo group, Ugenda group, Hirwa group, Titus Gorilla group, Susa group, Bwenge group, and Karisimbi group among others.

Golden monkey trekking is also amazing as you encounter one of the most interesting creatures to watch in the wild, they are very playful, jumping from one tree branch to another and depend on main vegetables, fruits, and stems. Tracking them takes a shorter time. Tracking permits go for approximately 100usd for foreign non-residents

Note that gorilla and golden monkey tracking is done in groups of up to 8 people, per day, to ensure conservation of environment and some of the set rules have to be carefully followed such as obeying the seven-meter distance rule, no littering, and making less noise, respecting the creatures at their home, no using flash cameras, and many more.

Mountain Hiking and Nature walk

Interestingly, mountain hiking and nature walk are some of the activities not to miss out on volcanoes national, they leave visitors with strong and unforgettable memories that last for centuries.

Hiking takes hours to two days, with the main volcano being Karisimbi, which is ranked as the 5th tallest in Africa with a snow-capped peak, mount Bisoke, and Muhabura. Then nature walk is often done in Buhanga sacred Forest, and Walking around Musanze caves among others. These activities are less strenuous and very affordable with very interesting spots and attractions to look out for.

Dian Fossey Graveyard walk

In recognition of her sacrifice towards conservation of mountain gorillas, visitors hike to Dian Fossey tomb, where she was laid to rest besides her friends – the fallen gorillas after unknown assailants assassinated her in 1985. This hike lasts for approximately 4 hours with a fully loaded narration of the benefits of conservation.

Birding expeditions in Volcanoes National park

With over 700 rare bird species recorded around the Albertine Rift region dwelling in the park’s thick flora and mountain slopes, birding is the ultimate step to take. 27 species are believed to be endemic to this place, including the sought-after shoebill stork, broad-tailed warbler, papyrus Gonolex, Rwenzori Turaco, Yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Bennett’s woodpecker, and the mountain sooty Boubou among others. An expert birder leads you to all the different corners of the park with a good selection of birds.

Cultural encounter

An offer of a cultural adventure around Volcanoes national park will reveal to you the village life of Rwandan citizens. You can visit the organized group of Iby’Iwacu village or the Nyange community, who will take you through exciting stories, history, show you how to brew liquor locally, iron smelting, sewing, cooking and so many more activities.

Boat Cruise / traditional canoe expedition

Twin lakes of Ruhondo and Burera is the place to spend your evening while at the Park, with a 2/3 hours’ exciting boat cruise, which exposes you to several water inhabitants namely, the crocodiles and Hippos, plus several mammals, primates and birds that come to quench their thirst here.

The boat cruise starts at 8:00am local time, and at 2:00pm, though booking can be done upon arrival.

Joining a group to visit Volcanoes National park

Group tours get better when the whole group has similar likes and dislikes, cooperate, and communicate freely. Therefore, before joining, you will need to research about the different people in the group to properly fit in. choices differ but the experience remains the same, a teenager cannot perfectly fit in a group of old people and vice versa, so, contact your tour operator who will recommend you to an amazing group for the safari.

A maximum of eight people is permitted to go for primate trekking at Volcanoes National park.

Choosing accommodation

The type of accommodation you stay in contributes a lot in the quality of experience you will have by the end of the trip. However, depending on your taste and preference and the group size, you can select either accommodation in or out of the park, either, budget, Midrange or luxury.  Camping is another amazing experience, more so if you want a close interaction with nature, campsites are available for hire at very pocket-friendly rates.

Some of the most common accommodation facilities in the place include; Mount Gorilla View Lodge, Bisate lodge, Gorilla solution lodge, Muhabura Hotel, Le’ Bambou Gorilla Lodge, and Da Vinci Lodge among others.

Finally, Volcanoes National park group tours in Rwanda can be truly rewarding and a lifetime opportunity worth grabbing; you come empty but return filled with joy, unforgettable sweet memories, and classic photos.