How to access volcanoes national park Rwanda to spend 1 hour with mountain gorillas?
How to access volcanoes national park Rwanda to spend 1 hour with mountain gorillas? So many people have been asking themselves about how they can access volcanoes national park? Well in this article we are going to help you with how to get to the park by either road or air transport. Volcanoes national park is the only place to trek mountain gorillas in Rwanda and it’s located on the northwestern side of the country. The park is the easiest to access of all gorilla national parks taking only 2 hours and its neighbors with Virunga national park of DR Congo and Mgahinga national park of Uganda together make the Virunga conservation area. Volcanoes national park is not only home to mountain gorillas but also other animals like the golden monkeys, buffaloes, duikers, elephants, bushbucks, and over 200 bird species. The park also hosts mountains like Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura.
How to access volcanoes national park Rwanda to spend 1 hour with mountain gorillas? By road transport
From Kigali airport or Kigali city, volcanoes national park is just 2-3 hours’ drive away and a safari driver guide who is well informed about the routes to use will drive you to the park so there is no need of worrying that you will get lost. From Kigali, the driver guide can drive you to your booked lodge or to the park depending on the time of arrival. It’s very possible to leave Kigali city early in the morning and trek mountain gorillas in volcanoes nationals national park unlike Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga national park or Virunga national park which are located far from airports. It’s also possible to trek mountain gorillas in volcanoes national park and move back to the city, unlike other parks where you will have to spend a night and travel in the morning. Travelers from Uganda can access volcanoes national parks using the Katuna border or Cyanika border in Kisoro and this takes them 6-7 hours.
How to access volcanoes national park Rwanda to spend 1 hour with mountain gorillas? By air transport
There is no airstrip near volcanoes national park but since its located near the city, travelers will have to fly to Kigali airport and use road transport to the park or book accommodation taking only 2-3 hours
Where to have a comfortable night in volcanoes national park?
There are several accommodation facilities that are in and around volcanoes national park where travelers can stay based on their budget. The accommodation facilities at volcanoes national park Rwanda range from luxury to mid-range to budget options as well as campsites. Some of the accommodation facilities in volcanoes national park include Mountain Gorillas’ Nest Lodge, Five Volcanoes Hotels, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Virunga Volcanoes Lodge, Mountain Gorilla Views Lodge, Davinci Lodge, Lebambou Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Solution Lodge, Virunga Hotel, Villa Gorilla Lodge, Kinigi Hotel, Faraji Hotel, Hotel Muhabura, and La Palme Hotel among others. Travelers intending to visit volcanoes national park in the high season are advised to book in advance since the lodges get served out quickly. You are as well advised to book hotels that are near the park so as to keep time in the morning for the briefing session.
How much does it take to see in volcanoes national park?
Volcanoes national park has the most expensive gorilla trekking permits in all gorilla national parks costing $1500. The gorilla trekking permits are sold to persons above the age of 15 years and they are issued out by the Rwanda Development Board. You can book your gorilla trekking permit directly from the Rwanda Development Board or from any trusted tour operator such as Africa Adventure Vacations and we strongly advise those going to track in the high season to book in advance since the permits are few and are served in a first come first serve basis.
When to take a visit to volcanoes national park Rwanda?
Rwanda’s volcanoes national park can be visited at any time of the year for gorilla trekking or any other activity but the best time is the dry season. The dry season in volcanoes national park happens in June to September and December to February and is characterized by little or no rainfall, thin vegetation cover giving clear views of animals, less muddy and less slippery trekking trails and the roads leading to the parks are always passable.
The rainy season of March to May and October to November favors budget travelers since the accommodation facilities give out huge discounts but there is too much rainfall during this time, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is thick, and the roads leading the park are impassable.
Other activities to do in volcanoes national park apart from gorilla trekking
Golden monkey trekking
Golden monkey trekking is among the most done activity done in volcanoes national park. To take part in the golden money trekking activity, you need to have a golden monkey trekking permit which is issued out by the Rwanda Development Board. The golden monkey trekking activity starts with a briefing at the park headquarters where trekkers are taught about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity. After the briefing, the ranger guides lead the trekkers into the jungle to search for these endangered beautiful primates and during the search, the trekkers have opportunities of meeting animals such as mountain gorillas, buffaloes, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, spotted hyenas, duikers, and different primates. on locating the golden monkeys, you will be given a maximum of 1 hour to be around them while observing their habits, watching them do daily activities like eating and taking photos.
Volcanoes national park is home to over 200 bird species meaning it offers good birding activities. Birding is one of the most enjoyed activities in volcanoes national park apart from gorilla trekking and golden monkey trekking that have made the park so famous. Birders in volcanoes national park have opportunities of seeing birds such as Archer’s ground robin, Rwenzori batis, Red-chested Owlet, Great Blue Turaco, Doherty’s bush-shrike, Montane Oriole, black-headed waxbill, Mountain Illadopsis, Pink-footed Puff back, barred long-tailed cuckoo, Regal Sunbird, Ruwenzori Batis, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, archer’s robin-chat, Sharpe’s Starling, Slender-billed Starling, Mountain Sooty Boubou, Striped-breasted Tit, Stuhlmann’s Double-collared Sunbird, cinnamon bracken warbler, regal sunbird, black and white manikin, Stuhlmann’s Starling, blued headed sunbird, Ruwenzori Blue-headed Sunbird, Thick-billed Seedeater, White-eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Albertine owlet, Grauer’s rush warbler, strange weaver, White-starred Robin, Eastern Mountain Greenbul, francolins, and the Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher
Volcanoes national park is a great destination for mountain hiking trips apart from gorilla trekking. There are 5 Virunga mountains in volcanoes national park and these are Mountain Karisimbi, Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Bisoke, Mountain Gahinga, and Mountain Muhavura. Hiking any of the mountains is a dream come true for hikers with opportunities of passing through lush forests, different vegetation zones, breathtaking scenery, beautiful crater lakes, and unique mountain animals like buffaloes, elephants, monkeys, as well as different bird species. To hike any of the mountains you need to come along with good waterproof hiking shoes, long pants and shorts, a rain jacket, gaiters, and garden gloves among others.
How to book a gorilla safari for volcanoes national park Rwanda?
There are different ways of booking a gorilla safari in volcanoes national park and the first one is by booking it yourself. You can book yourself the gorilla trekking permits direct from the Rwanda Development Board, book transport, and lastly accommodation in or around the park but this is not an easy task as the service providers might take long to respond. You can book a gorilla trekking safari in volcanoes national park by using a tour operator who will be possible book for you a gorilla trekking permit, transport, and accommodation but while using a tour operator you need to use someone you trust and that someone should be licensed or a member of tourism organizations in the country.
What to do with Africa Adventure Vacations?
Africa adventure vacations is a tour company based in Uganda licensed by the Uganda Tourism Board and a member of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators. Booking with Africa adventure vacations provides you safety and confidence during your safari courtesy of well-trained safari driver guides who are well conversant with all routes and tourism destinations in Africa. You can book with us any of the activities you want to do in Africa such as mountain gorilla trekking, mountain gorilla habituation, birding, game drives, hiking, nature walks, and community tours among others. Booking can be done at any time of the year.