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Volcanoes National Park

11 reviews

About Volcanoes National Park

Country found in: Rwanda
Parks total area: 150 km² (58 mi²)
Year established: 1925
Park wildlife: 3 animals listed
Anti-malarial: Absolutely!

Volcanoes National Park map

Volcanoes National Park highlights

  • Mountain gorillas
  • Active volcanoes
  • Limited number of visitors to help ensure animal sustainability

Situated in the northwest corner of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park, or Parc National des Volcans, is one of three parks that encompass the Virunga Mountains. The other two parks to include this chain of nine volcanoes, six of which are still active, are The Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, with DRC possessing the largest portion of land. While it is difficult to obtain exact figures on the size of the park due to historical border changes, it is estimated that Volcanoes National Park is roughly 150 km² (58 mi²) in size.

The star of Volcanoes National Park is undisputedly the mountain gorilla. It is estimated that approximately 350 gorillas live in the Volcanoes Park area, making Rwanda one of the top places for gorilla-viewing. Due to the primates’ susceptibility to human viruses, such as the common cold, gorilla tours are strictly regulated. Guests are permitted only one hour of viewing and are required to remain within a certain distance of them. Visitors who are ill or who are recovering from an illness must not go on safari and, in most cases, will be refunded 100% of their fees when they properly notify their tour operators. In addition to the mountain gorilla, the endangered Golden Monkey species can also been seen and heard in Volcanoes.

A gorilla safari requires a basic level of fitness from all travelers, as the only way to view these lovely creatures is on foot. The trek to see the gorillas can take several hours and consists of hiking uphill through dense rainforest foliage such as bamboo and wild celery. Due to the high levels of precipitation, the ground is often wet and slippery and sturdy hiking boots and full-length trousers are strongly recommended. There is currently no accommodation inside the park and visitors are required to lodge outside of the borders. This makes for early starts but all tour operators are accustomed to this and have well-established itineraries for getting guests to and from the park.

When is the best time to visit Volcanoes National Park?

Rwanda experiences four seasons and depending on your tolerance for precipitation, you may wish to plan your trip accordingly. The heavy rain season is mid-March to mid-May. During this time there are normally less visitors to the park but the trekking is also more strenuous and the gorillas may be harder to spot due to the misty conditions and dense foliage.

Dry season of Volcanoes National Park
Mid-May to mid-October is the dry season. This is the most popular time to visit Volcanoes as the trekking tends to be slightly easier and the gorillas may be easier to spot due to the reduced vegetation.

Rainy season of Volcanoes National Park
Mid-October through November is the short rain season, which makes for slightly more difficult trekking than in the dry season, but not as strenuous as in April or May. The short dry season runs from December through March and is another good time for trekking and gorilla viewing.

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Volcanoes National Park tour packages

Showing 10 of 231 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.

Tour by: Harmony Safari Expeditions

2 Days Gorilla Trekking Tour

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$830

per person

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Tour by: Rwanda Eco-Tours

Trekking amongst the Mountain Gorillas in Parc National des Volcans is admittedly one of the most memorable expe...

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From

$2800

per person

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Tour by: Great Lakes Safaris

Experience all the highlights in just one trip! From the Genocide Memorial sites in Kigali to the wilderness in ...

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From

$3500

per person

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Tour by: Eastern and Southern Safaris

Rwanda is a tiny landlocked country in the Equatorila Africa, bordered by the Congo to the west, Tanzania to the...

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From

$1500

per person

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Tour by: Majestic Safaris Ltd.

Rwanda is a landlocked country in tropical Africa, situated on the eastern rim of the Albertine Rift, a western ...

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From

$9850

per person

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Tour by: Mahlatini Travel

This itinerary takes in the best of Rwanda including: gorillas at Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest Nation...

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From

$5600

per person

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Tour by: Trek East Africa Safaris

Highlights: · Gorillas in the mist · Scenic views · Kigali Genocide Memorial and Education centre.

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From

$1500

per person

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Tour by: Volcanoes Safaris

This extensive program affords you the opportunity to make the most of your safari. You visit all four Volcanoes...

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From

$10500

per person

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Tour by: Zebra Country Tours

Gorrilas & Gisenyi

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From

$2000

per person

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Showing 10 of 231 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.