VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK/ VIRUNGA CONSERVATION
Found in the Northwest of Rwanda, a visit to the Volcanoes National Park is a must and, in many cases, the very reason one visits Rwanda. The park is home to around 10 Gorilla families (8 permits are given per family so a total of 80 permits per day).
It is an area of thickly vegetated rain forest and bamboo. It is where the legendary Dian Fossey, made her home for over 18 years. She spent the years studying the life of Africa’s gorillas and their habitual ways and becoming a force against the poachers seeking out gorillas for meat and trade. She left a legacy behind and began the process of conserving our Gorillas.
The Volcanoes National park is a part of the Virunga Conservation area. The Virunga Conservation area traverses over 3 countries, (Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda), covers 2 national parks (Virunga NP in DRC, Volcanoes NP in Rwanda and Mgahinga in Uganda) and houses eight volcanoes (5 of which sit in Rwanda) and forms the borders – these are Mount Karismibi, Mount Sabinyo, Mount Muhabura, Mount Bisoke and Mount Gahinga). Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamulagira, which sit in DRC, are the only active volcanoes. This incredible formation is all part of the Albertine Rift.
This is the terrain; the endangered gorillas call home. The eco-system and fertile volcanic soil is what makes the region so attractive for the gorillas. The eco-system is divided into 4 vegetation zones and also provides habitat for the golden monkeys, as well as many bird species.
Thanks, so all conservation efforts and rules, gorillas have increased in numbers and continue to contribute hugely to the economy of Rwanda which in turn finances the anti-poaching team and creates jobs for the locals, which minimises the need for poaching and black-market gorilla sales.
Further to gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park, hiking tours are a must. There is no better way to appreciate the parks rich flora and fauna.
Gorilla tracking in Rwanda is often described as “life changing” and with good reason. With only an estimated 880 Gorillas left in the world, to see these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a truly unique moment.
Gorillas make their homes in and amongst the bamboo-covered slopes of the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in northern Rwanda. Trek to see them and you’ll be introduced by your expert trackers and guides to one of the fully-habituated families of mountain gorillas and you can stay with them for an awe-inspiring hour, often crouching just a few feet away, whilst the gorillas go about their daily lives.
Hikes in the mountains can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours + depending on the family allocated to your group and their location. The journey back can take just as long, but you are often carried along by the euphoria you feel at seeing the gorillas!
Expert guides give a pre-trek briefing on specific protocols and rules for visiting the gorillas that live within an altitude of 2500 and 4000m. Porters are available to help carry backpacks and cameras, as well as helping you with your footing along your hike which can be hard work, but well worth it.
If you are ready for a “life changing” experience and an adventure of a lifetime, contact us so we can make your dream come true.
Our preferred guide for Gorilla Trekking is Nelis Wolmarans, his pictures captures the profoundly amazing adventure.