Situated in the country’s far northwestern region and is famously known as a habitat for Mountain gorillas and hosts around 12 habituated gorilla families; these are an endangered primate species which share around 98% DNA as humans and tracking them through the montane rain forest is a rewarding experience. Tourists can trek one of the gorilla groups using a Gorilla permit which costs $1500 and only 8 people are allowed to spend time with each family daily.

Yes, this park mainly known for Gorillas but there is plenty to do and see while in Volcanoes NP. If you would like more adventure and nature hiking, you could do it on Mount Bisoke which is part of the Virunga Mountains; it is 3,711m tall and can be hiked in a day for both experienced and non-experienced hikers. Hiking Bisoke gives an opportunity to see the Crater Lake on its top and see spectacular views of DR Congo.

Volcanoes also hosts Golden monkeys which are found in the lush bamboo forests at a high altitude and permit to enable you track the costs $100 per person. Also various bird species, forest elephants, buffaloes and spotted hyenas can be seen in the park.

While in this Park, you can visit the Dian Fossey’s camp where Dian used to carry out her research on the gorillas from. In this camp is the grave of Dian and graves of some gorillas. The park has other things to offer including various lakes such as the twin lakes known as Ruhondo and Burera and Lake Ngezi which offer picturesque scenery.

Also just outside the park is a cultural village known as Iby’Iwacu Village where you can experience Rwanda’s culture and heritage. There are also the Musanze caves that neighbor Volcanoes with a beautiful history and Buhanga Eco Park, an icon of Rwanda’s hidden treasures with both cultural and biological significance.

Gorilla Permits – What You Should Know

We greatly advise you to book and make payment for your gorilla trekking permits at least a year, six or three month prior the trekking date. So you can book you permits directly through us Tranquil Safaris or through the Rwanda Development Board.

All gorilla trekkers must reach at the Park head offices in Kinigi town at around 0700 hours, that’s where gorilla permits are presented such that you are given the gorilla group to trek. Only one hour is given to trekkers the moment they meet the gorillas.

Only trekkers above 15years are allowed to trek gorillas in Rwanda. However in case you travelled with a child below that age and you didn’t know, you could leave them at the lodge, go and trek and find them safe where you left them.

When to Visit volcanoes National Park

Always the best time to trek gorillas is the dry season because the hike can be less muddy and more pleasant. Rwanda has two dry seasons; from June – September and from December – early February.

However, the rainy season is less crowded hence tourists can choose to trek gorillas in these months to. Also note that regardless of the season you trek in always carry a rain jacket and sweater plus sturdy shoes since the temperatures keep changing.

How to Get to Volcanoes NP

Most certainly you will get to Rwanda through Kigali International Airport. And visit Kigali city for a few minutes in case you would like to move around. Then how to get to Volcanoes is if you booked through a tour operator automatically the driver from that company will pick you up and transfer you accor5ding to the itinerary.

But in case you are moving alone, you can board a public bus from Kigali to Musanze for around $5. Most lodges in Musanze can rent out vehicles with a driver to you who can take you around even to the Park.

Where to Stay

Bisate lodge

Tourists on holiday receive exclusive/luxury accommodation. Bisoke lodge sits on the foothills of Mount Bisoke at the edge of the Park. The lodge is well built with a good ambiance, delicious food, breathtaking views, and attentive staff. It takes you forty minutes to drive from the Lodge the starting point of gorilla trekking.

Virunga Lodge

This is a remote but classy lodge, seated on a ridge between Lakes Bulera and Ruhondo giving tourists spectacular views. It has luxurious features with spacious rooms, huge bathrooms which enable you see spectacular views, and great staff. It takes you 45 minutes to get to the gorilla briefing point.

Singita Kwitonda Lodge

Kwitonda lodge has 8 luxurious suites, fireplaces, wellness area, a private swimming pool and large windows that give visitors great views of the volcanoes. The lodge lies at the edge of the park and it takes visitors about 40 minutes to get to the trekking starting point.

Sabinyo Sliverback Lodge

Guests at this lodge see amazing views of the Virungas and the surroundings. The lodge is made up of two buildings; the stone building and the suites, so the choice of where to stay is yours. They are both with spacious rooms, stylish bathrooms, and a cozy ambiance, also offering great sights of the Virungas.

Other lodges include; Gorilla’s Nest one that is surrounded by lush eucalyptus trees and Mountain Gorilla View Lodge; it’s made up of 30 well-spaced cottages with en suite bathrooms and fireplaces. Both these Lodges are near the trekking starting point and it can take around 40 minutes to get there.