What to do in Volcanoes National park?
What to do in Volcanoes National park? Yes, a number of activities can be done in the park and they range from gorilla trekking experiences to golden monkey tracking
Gorilla trekking tours/safaris
Volcanoes National Park is one of the few areas or parks in Africa where visitors can go and see the endangered mountain gorillas. The chances of Seeing Mountain gorillas are high in Volcanoes National Park since the park has about 12 habituated mountain gorilla families that are available for trekking by visitors. Gorilla trekking safaris in Volcanoes National park are very exciting and adventurous with 8 people allowed to visit a particular gorilla family daily and visitors need to come and arrive at the park headquarters to attend the briefing before the actual activity commences. You need to obtain a gorilla trekking permit to access volcanoes national park for gorilla trekking. Rwanda development board offers the gorilla trekking permit and you can also book it through a reputable local tour operator or travel agency. Gorilla trekking is done under the guidance of experienced ranger guides and once you see a gorilla family you will be allocated only 1 hour as you take photos, learn how they behave, feeding and copulation. One will need to pay 1500 United States dollars to be allowed to track endangered Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
Golden monkey tracking safaris
Similar to mountain gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking in Volcanoes National Park commences in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters and then the activity starts, briefing helps to shape your conduct while on the long walk to search for golden monkeys in the forest. You will be divided into groups and then assigned a ranger guide who is fantastic when it comes to guiding visitors in the wild. Golden monkey tracking now racks as the second-best adventure activity in Rwanda after gorilla trekking. You will have an opportunity to see how these rare species feed troops and behave while in the wild, golden monkey tracking permit costs 100 united states dollars, and it not vigorous activity as compared to gorilla trekking. There are 2 groups of habituated Golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park that are available for tracking by visitors. Each group consists of about 90 individuals and each led by the dominant male monkey.
Volcanoes national park consists of 4 major volcanoes that form part of Virunga Mountain Rangers. These volcanoes are highly elevated stretching a to the sky surrounded by vast forests which forms a green attractive color to visitor hiking the mountains the mountain volcanic ranges that you can hike while in Volcanoes National Park include the following;
Hiking the highest mount Karisimbi
Mount Karismbi is an extinct volcano found in Volcanoes National Park and it stands at approximately 4507 meters high. Karisimbi offers the best tourist attractions and offers the best experience. The hiking safaris to this park need you to be physically fit since it’s the 5th highest Volcano in Africa and you will need two days to finish hiking this endangered mountain. Upon rewarding the top of mount Karismbi, you will be regarded with great views of the snow-capped mountains of Rwenzori, Nyiragongo, and other Volcanoes in the Virunga conservation area.
Hiking Mount Bisoke
Mount Bisoke is also a dormant volcano that can be accessed in this park. Visitors will take a day hiking this mountain the hiking safaris here are no heavy compared when hiking Karisimbi the highest. Still, visitors are briefed before the activity starts and there are porter services that will help you carry some of your luggage. You’re so instrumental in providing employment opportunities to these porters here. All the hiking activities costs 75 United States dollars.
Visitors can also hike mount Muhabura in volcanoes national park. The volcano stands at 4,127meters and this makes it the 3rd highest Mountain in Virunga conservation areas. You will be amused by the magnificent sceneries of the green vegetation as you get the wider and clear views of Volcanoes National Park.
Vising tours to Dian Fossey Grave
Diane Fossey was the key figure in championing the research and protection of mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. Dian Fossey established the Karisoke Research center amidst Karisimbi and Bisoke mountains where she based to carry out her research work. You never know without her efforts in gorilla tourism, we would not be proud of mountain gorilla trekking in the world as the activities such as poaching, deforestation was high before her arrival. Dian Fossey’s trail will track you how bests Dian was, what motivated her to concentrate on mountain gorillas and how best she did this conservation. As you follow her trail, you will explore different wildlife encounters including birds and animals such as forest hogs, elephants among others. Finally, you will land on her grave where she was buried after her murder in 1985. The gorillas that would be killed by poachers would also be buried here.
Bird watching tours/Safaris
Volcanoes National Park is regarded as one of the important Birding areas in Rwanda with over 200 species of birds registered. The park shelters some of the best birding destination areas that you can rarely see in other places in Rwanda. Birders will wake up very early in the morning, receive briefly, and after that set for birding within the forest. You will need to be equipped with binoculars, cameras, hiking shoes, a birding checklist, and waterproof bag, and clothes especially a jacket or coat just in case it rains. You will get a chance to spot different bird species including the Ruwenzori double collared sunbird, red-faced woodland warbler, Rwenzori Batis, Rwenzori turaco, and Archer’s ground robin.
Visit tours to Musanze caves
The Musave caves were formed as the result of volcanic eruptions that left behind a hollow space big enough even for a human being to enter into that ground cave. The caves are as long as two kilometers and visitors can walk all these kilometers in the cave which provides them with the nicest experience. Stays were constructed to aid visitors visiting the Musanze cave and as visitors are walking via the cave, they will appreciate the forces of nature and wonder how that magnificence feature could be formed.
Cultural visit tours
Cultural visit tours are conducted around Iby Iwancu cultural village where local community members who used to poach and involve in illegal park activities have now been integrated into the conservation efforts of the park. This was a motive strategy started by Edwin Sabuhoro to transform the people into tourism development activities. Visitors will be able to see how best tourism or conservation is important to local community lives. You will be engaged by different traditional dances, songs, and entertainment by local people as you enjoy storytelling, rituals, artwork, as you participate in the preparation of local traditional foods eaten by local people. People will enable you to share with you the skills on how they used to hunt before Volcanoes were protected for Mountain Gorillas.