Silverback gorilla rests in the lush greenery
Destination Details

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park, nestled in the heart of Central Africa, is a haven of natural wonders and biodiversity. This awe-inspiring destination in the far northwest of Rwanda is home to the endangered mountain gorillas, making it an essential stop for wildlife enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. This comprehensive guide will provide you with valuable insights into the diverse ecosystems, wildlife, and the captivating experience of gorilla trekking. Discover why Volcanoes National Park is a must-visit destination and how you can plan your unforgettable Rwanda safari.

Spanning over 160 sqkm, Volcanoes National Park is an integral part of the Virunga Massif, a chain of dormant volcanoes reaching almost 15,000 feet high. The park's lush montane ecosystems, including evergreen and bamboo forests, open grasslands, swamps, and heaths, provide a sanctuary for a wide variety of wildlife.

Beyond mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is a treasure trove of biodiversity. Visitors may encounter golden monkeys, Spotted Hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), buffaloes (Syncerus caffer), elephants, black-fronted duikers (Cephalophus niger), and bushbucks (Tragelaphus scriptus). The park is also a birdwatcher's paradise, hosting 178 bird species, including 29 endemics to the Rwenzori mountains and the Virungas.

To ensure a memorable gorilla trekking experience, it is essential to plan ahead. Gorilla permits are in high demand, and due to conservation regulations, only 80 permits are issued daily. Therefore, booking your permit through a local tour agent at least six months in advance is highly recommended. The peak tourist seasons are during the drier periods from December to early March and June to September, offering ideal weather conditions for gorilla tracking.

Volcanoes National Park's strategic location, just a two-hour drive from Kigali International Airport, makes it one of the most accessible gorilla destinations globally. Visitors can choose from various lodging options, including lodges and camps, catering to different budgets and preferences.

The Park plays a crucial role in the conservation of mountain gorillas and their natural habitat. Rwanda's efforts in protecting these gentle giants have led to an increase in their population, making the park a shining example of successful conservation initiatives.

It offers an unforgettable journey into the heart of Africa's natural wonders. From the captivating mountain gorillas to the rich biodiversity of its montane ecosystems, the park provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience for wildlife enthusiasts. Plan your gorilla safari well in advance, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of this remarkable destination, leaving with lasting memories of your Rwanda adventure.


Volcanoes National Park, situated in northwest Rwanda, is a captivating destination known for its extraordinary wildlife and stunning landscapes. Here are some of the key highlights that make this park a must-visit:

Mountain Gorilla Trekking: The park is renowned for its critically endangered mountain gorillas. Visitors can embark on guided treks to observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat, creating unforgettable and emotional encounters.

Diverse Wildlife: In addition to gorillas, the park is home to golden monkeys, Spotted Hyenas, buffaloes, elephants, and various antelope species.

Dramatic Landscapes: The park's lush rainforests, bamboo forests, and towering dormant volcanoes create breathtaking scenery, making it a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.

Cultural Interactions: Travelers have the opportunity to engage with local communities, gaining insights into their traditional lifestyles and cultural heritage, adding depth to the overall experience.

Virunga Conservation Area: Volcanoes National Park is part of the Virunga Conservation Area, a transboundary effort promoting wildlife protection and regional collaboration among neighboring parks.

Golden Monkey Tracking: Besides gorillas, the park offers the chance to track the playful and endangered golden monkeys, adding to the diversity of wildlife experiences.

Dian Fossey's Legacy: Volcanoes National Park holds historical significance as the base for Dian Fossey's groundbreaking research on mountain gorillas. Visitors can learn about her legacy and the ongoing conservation efforts.