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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!

What YAS members think of Volcanoes National Park

Quality of wildlife:
Crowdedness*:
Quality of lodging:
Most-visited month: November
Top animal sighting: Mountain gorilla

* Crowded parks have a lower rating

Volcanoes National Park map

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 236 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.

Tour by: Wild Rainbow African Safaris

Ever wonder why Dian Fossey risked her life to study the mountain gorilla? You’ll see first hand the gentle crea...

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$8660

per person

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Tour by: Zebra Country Tours

Day 1 Arriving at the airport, meet with our representative and drive to your hotel. You may have a tour of Kig...

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From

$3000

per person

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Tour by: Vessel Africa

Kigali / Nyungwe Forest / Volcanoes National Park

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From

$3500

per person

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Tour by: Kubwa Five Safaris Limited

Prepare yourself for a journey of a lifetime! This gorilla Rwanda safari starts with a complimentary tour of the...

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From

$3811

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: 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: Paradise Safaris Africa

This 3 days safari uniquely blends two of Rwanda’s national parks with the magnificent scenic beauty and a home ...

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From

$2700

per person

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Tour by: Hakuna Matata Safaris

This is a 7 day tour of Rwanda, a Country of Thousands Hills, found in East Africa with fascinating scenic beaut...

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From

$2400

per person

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Tour by: Paradise Safaris Africa

Of all Africa's untamed life, none has caught the creative ability more than those species that have come throug...

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From

$3986

per person

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Showing 10 of 236 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.