Volcanoes National Park

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

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

These gentle giants were the inspiration of the 1988 Hollywood blockbuster Gorillas in the Mist. In Volcanoes National Park, you will also have a chance to visit the Karisoke Research Station and grave of their greatest defender, scientist Dr. Dian Fossey.

Gorilla families in Volcanoes national park

There are ten families of gorillas to see in Volcanoes National Park. 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. Volcanoes National 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 therefore, 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. There have also been sightings of elephants in the park though their numbers are yet to be verified.

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

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