Volcanoes National Park


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Climb a volcano and you may just stumble on a gorilla or two!

Written on: January 24, 2014   |   I visited in April 2013 Deciding the gorilla trekking was just too expensive for mid-twenties budgets, my travel partner and I decided to do a volcano hike. We chose Bisoke based on our guidebooks review and the tour operator's recommendation. It's the second-easiest hike, but don't let that deceive you because man, is it challenging! The total hike takes about six hours and climbs in elevation from 8,000 to 11,000 feet, with the trail following natural volcanic paths up the mountain. We went in April and it was quite muddy despite it being unseasonably dry. In fact, there were times I was worried I was going to lose a shoe in the cakey, sticky mud we'd sink into! Additionally, the plants aren't the friendliest either. They have nettles bordering the trail which you very easily bump into and instinctively grab onto when you slip, which leaves a pins and needle feeling on the part of your body that touched it for up to an hour after.

Why would I recommend this, you ask? Because it's the most gratifying feeling to be able to make it to the top and look below into the water-filled crater, peering over the the DRC just on the other side. We were beyond lucky enough to also spot two gorillas on our decent back to the base, one pregnant female making herself visible to our group as she climbed into a tree to continue munching on leaves. Fortunately for us, the gorillas don't pay attention to who paid the permit to see them and who didn't. We were one lucky group!
Quality of wildlife
Crowdedness*
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Jan 29, 2016   |   Visited: Nov 2015.
I was fortunate to have the possibility to visit the park at the end of 2015. It was a totally amazing experience.
At first I was really impressed by the country of Rwanda. So different from what I expected. A well-organized country that still had managed to keep the origin.

We stayed at hotel in Musanze and the hotel helped with arranging transportation to th... read more

I saw

Mountain gorilla
Chameleon
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Jan 15, 2016   |   Visited: Jan 2016.
Volcanoes National Park has 8 habituated groups of gorillas available for daily tracking and up to 8 visitors are allowed per day, for one hour only. Gorilla treks can be over and done with in less than 3 hours or, in adverse circumstances, take 8 or more hours. The guides are well-trained, fluent in English and it's best to make use of the blue uniformed porters, ... read more

I saw

Mountain gorilla
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Dec 22, 2015   |   Visited: Nov 2015.
This is a really nice place to go. Theo have 12 different gorilla families in the mountains and we visited the amazing Sabyinyo group. Our guide was very good and knowledgeable. Usually they recommend a distance of at least 7 meters to the gorillas but this time the gorilla silver back came up to us very close as you can see on my profile pictures. The weather was ... read more

I saw

Mountain gorilla
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Nov 17, 2015   |   Visited: Jul 2013.
For a number of years now we've wanted to see the silver back gorilla. It's KAE that allowed us to realize this dream. Our guide was extraordinarily kind and patient. His knowledge of the fauna helped us discover some remarkable animals that others wouldn't have had seen.
As for the mountain gorilla, to see these animals get up close to us is a rare and moving ex... read more
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Jul 24, 2014   |   Visited: Jun 2014.
Nothing can prepare you for your first sighting of a silverback gorilla. He is HUGE! He could easily rip you limb from limb and you immediately respect and admire this docile creature and wish man were more like his primate cousin.
The trek was tough, and there were leeches and mosquitoes to deal with, but I would do it again in a second, even with the increased p... read more

I saw

Mountain gorilla
Vervet monkey
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Mar 15, 2014   |   Visited: Apr 2012.
The existence of gorillas in Africa's rain forests has been known for centuries not only in Africa but the whole world. 2000 years back,early records were taken by the sailors that landed from the North African province as they tried to capture some apes in the western lowland and the eastern lowland. in the early 1900, the other specie of the mountain gorillas was... read more

I saw

Mountain gorilla
Vervet monkey
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(4/5 stars) Written on: Dec 27, 2013   |   Visited: Dec 2013.
Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcans) is situated in northwestern Rwanda bordering Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.

Volcanoes National Park’s main attraction is the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) living in the lush hills within the park.

There are about 10 go... read more

I saw

Mountain gorilla
African buffalo
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(5/5 stars) Written on: May 17, 2013   |   Visited: Feb 2011.
If it’s mountain gorillas you want to see, then the Volcanoes Park in Rwanda is where you need to be! I’ll try and keep this brief...even though that’s not usually my forte.

We based ourselves in Ruhengeri (sleeping in a converted convent which was rather sombre) and headed out to the park at first light. Apparently many moons ago one had to hike for hours on en... read more

I saw

Mountain gorilla
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This is when I fell in love with merino wool socks! They really do wick away the water and keep your feet warm for hours of swampy, muddy hiking!

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