With a leg on each side of Rwanda, Uganda and DRC, the notable Virunga Volcanoes are among the most inspiring sights to be enjoyed in East Africa. Dian Fossey once wrote that “You are so high up that you shiver more than you sweat”! The rough series of 8 peaks projects so high to a height of 15,000 feet in some areas, and 5 of these peaks are sheltered within Rwanda. The base of each is sheltered with thick rainforest, which later gives way to the eye-catching montane plains as well as alpine highlands as you move high.
Voclcanoes National Park, a habitat to the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda occupies an area of 160 sq km and it shelters the Rwandan part of the Virunga Mountains, 6 extinct and 3 active volcanoes that extend beyond the borders of Rwanda with Uganda plus the DR Congo. The extraordinary Volcanoes Park is a section of the neighboring 433 sq km across boarder conservation added together comprises of the Virunga National Park as well as Mgahinga National Park, which shelters the Ugandan plus the DRC portion of the Virunga ranges correspondingly. These three national parks are in reality managed unconnectedly at present. At independence era, Rwanda’s newly elected leaders established that they would certainly maintain the mountain gorillas which are at the moment being celebrated globally in spite of of the urgent complexity of overpopulation.
The Park has an elevation ranging from 2400 km to 4507 km. the chain of sheer, all free-standing mountains is connected by fertile shamble which were essentially formed by hard-boiled volcanic emission flows and is among the most exciting and memorable sights in the whole of East Africa .
A little experience can liken to that of being face – to – face with the peaceful eyes of any of the Mountain Gorillas, as they chew on bamboo shoots; and actually, it is almost certainly one of Africa’s undeniable best travel things to see. There are 8 habituated Gorilla groups living in the Volcanoes National Park, each as charmingly chaotic as well as unforgettable as the rest of them, although the walks to find them may vary considerably. Trekking through the verdant foothills of these Virungas, also be on the watch for the uncommon Golden Monkeys, a overabundance of vivid birds, as well as the scent of the hard to pin down Buffalos plus Elephants.
At the park, the Karisimbi is the most eminent mountain on this sequence and is positioned on Rwanda’s border with DR Congo. Roving eastward, you will find other major peaks in the national park among which are the Visoke on the border of DRC; Sabinyo at the meeting of the DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, and the Gahinga as well as Muhabura on the edge of Uganda.
Volcanoes National Park is prominent to the world as the destination where nearly for over 20 years; Dian Fossey an American primate researcher conducted her pioneering studies about the behavior of the endangered mountain gorillas. Three years after her death, Dian Fossey’s work was uncovered to a crowd audience with the launch of “Gorilla in the Mist”, a cinematic tale of her inspiring life filmed right on site within the Volcanoes Park.
The “Gorilla in the Mist” attracted the attention of the international community to the predicament of the mountain gorillas and created unmatched attentiveness in the gorilla-tourism programme which had been launched in the park about 10 years prior. Back in 1990, the remarkable Volcanoes Park was in reality the most planned as well as most admired mountain gorilla habitations in the entire of Africa and so gorilla tourism was possibly the most important earner of Rwanda’s tourist proceeds. In June 1993, the park was re-opened to tourism although in 1994 in the month of April the park was abandoned due to the massive genocide. Towards the finish of 1995, it yet again re-opened to the tourism industry, and regrettably close few months afterwards.
Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda was at last recommenced permanent in the month of July 1999, and ever since, the number of visitors traveling to the Virungas very much augmented. You will find additional details about gorillas as well as gorilla-tracking in this very section. Other than Gorillas plus golden monkeys, primates are not well represented as compared to other forested areas in Rwanda as well as Western Uganda. Less details about the current standing of large mammals is available, although more than 70 species have actually been recorded in the adjacent Mgahinga National Park found in Uganda, most of which perhaps are only found in the bigger Rwanda part of the Virungas. Elephants plus buffalos are still to some extent rare; basing on the sum of spoor met on forest paths, although is very shy and rarely observed. In addition present are huge forest hogs, spotted hyenas, bush pigs, black-fronted duikers and bushbucks, in addition to a number of various small predators. Latest extinctions, most likely resulting from deforestation, include the leopard plus the yellow-backed duiker.
GORILLA TRACKING IN VOLCANOESNATIONAL PARK.
Trekking of Mountain Gorillas is the major in the park, with a sum of close to 80 gorilla permits being issued every day, with 8 assigned to each of the 10 habituated groups. Though Volcanoes National Park is not only focuses on gorilla tracking, but also perform additional activities like trekking and hiking which today are well organized, varying from 2 day ascent of the impressive Karisimbi to a non – tiring nature walk to a group of stunning crater lakes, although the most thrilling innovation is that today tourists can actually visit the habituated groups of the endemic golden monkeys.
BIRD SPECIES IN THE VOLCANOESNATIONAL PARK
Volcanoes National Park conveyed jointly a sum of 180 bird species in 1980. Close to 15 previously recorded bird species were prominent during a biodiversity appraisal conducted in 2004, conversely it is likely that a number of additional forest specialists have in fact gone off track since the time 1980. The Grauer’s rush warbler a susceptible local bird species exist in the swamp, whereas at least 16 Albertine Rift widespread are also present, among which are the good-looking francolin, Archer’s ground robin, darkish crimson-wing, Rwenzori turaco, red-faced woodland warbler , Rwenzori double-collared sunbird, collared-apalis, Rwenzori batis and the strange weaver among others.
HIKING IN VOLCANOESNATIONAL PARK
Opportunely, hiking activities nowadays are being offered to the various visitors that come to this park. Climbing the Karisimbi is a 2 day tour by ORTPN guides though trekkers must have suitable garments as well as camping gear. Nonetheless a shorter alternative is the climb of Mount Visoke all the way to its stunning crater lake found at 3,711 meters; the climb goes for close to 2 hours. The less bodily fit walk close to 2 or 3 hours to the closer crater lakes as well as in the verdant forest are quite pleasurable and will by and large be rewarding to those fascinated by bird watching.
It is possible to stop at Dian Fossey’s grave as well as the nearby gorilla burial ground found at the previous Karisoke Research-Camp. This meticulous trek involves a half an hour’s drive from the headquarters of the park to the beginning of the track followed by a 10 minutes’ hike to the frontier of the park. After here, you will ascend through the green forest from 90 minutes to close to 3 hours, basing on your bodily strength as well as how many stops you will make to enjoy the stunning scenery, whereas the push lasts about 1 to 2 hours. All preparations for all these activities can be made directly through the ORTPN-offices, in Kigali, Kinigi or even in Musanze with help of us as your trip organizer. Bear in mind that all the hikes start from the headquarters of the park at Kinigi at about 0730 hrs (with the check-in time being 07.00), this is in fact the alike to departure time as for all gorilla tracking activities, meaning that visitors can take part in just a single activity each day inside the park.
ACCESSIBILITY TO THE VOLCANOESNATIONAL PARK
As tour operators and your gorilla safari organizer, we transfer you from Kigali to the park. The common base for visiting the captivating Volcanoes National Park is Musanze formerly well-known as Ruhengeri, which can basically be accessed Kigali on the very day of your tracking. You will be required to arrive at the headquarters of ORTPN in Kinigi, at the park entrance, by 7:00 am, although this is not a very reliable option for those who hope to arrive by public transport. On the other hand, there isn’t any public transport from Musanze to the headquarters of the park at Kinigi.
ACCOMMODATION AT VOLCANOESNATIONAL PARK
More descent accommodation facilities are available close to the park at Kinigi or at the distant Virunga Lodge that overlooks Lake Burera. It is actually probable to on the other hand be accommodated in Gisenyi or in Kigali the night prior to the trek, although this is not so practical at hand day since the time for assembly at the park is 7:00 am, yet you require at least 2 hours for the somewhat lengthy drive from the capital Kigali as well as ninety minutes from Gisenyi, meaning that you are likely to be late in case of a puncture or even a breakdown.