Located in the northwest of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park, or Parc Nationals de Volcans (PNV), borders neighbouring Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The land approaching the park is comprised of farmland, turning into dense evergreen forest upon crossing the park border. Covering a vast 8,000 kilometres square, this stunning area protects five of the nine staggeringly beautiful Virunga Mountains, each characterised by steep slopes that are blanketed in thick green, tropical rainforest.
There are a total of nine volcanoes in the Virunga Mountain Range (the highest being Karisimbi at 4,507 metres), six of which are extinct and the other three still active, providing the perfect habitat for the last few surviving mountain gorillas in the world.
There are now seven groups of habituated mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, and trekking in the PNV to see these endangered animals is a poignant experience that you will never forget. Here you will have every chance of successfully tracking a 400lb silverback, or mother caring for her young as they show off in front of you. We only use the best guides who, with their expert knowledge and tracking abilities, are there to lead you in your quest to find these endearing creatures in their natural habitat.
The park was made famous by the work of American primatologist, Dian Fossey, whose pioneering studies on the behaviour of mountain gorillas became known to the outside world through the film ‘Gorillas in the Mist’, which was released three years after her death. During your time here you have a great opportunity to trek the jungle to visit her grave, right next to the grave of digit, her favourite gorilla.
Most people visit the park to encounter the mountain gorillas, but that’s not all you will find in the PNV. You might spot mammals, such as elephant and buffalo, giant forest hog, Colobus monkeys, bush pig, bushbuck, black-fronted duiker, spotted hyena and over 200 colourful bird species.
“TRACKING THE DISTINCTIVE GOLDEN MONKEY IS ANOTHER POPULAR ACTIVITY WITHIN THE PARK, WHERE THEY ARE NOW FULLY HABITUATED – GREAT TO SLOT INTO ONE ITINERARY ALONGSIDE YOUR GORILLA TRACKING.”
There is a variety of accommodation options clustered in and around the park, many of which focus on setting. The most dramatic of these is the Virunga Lodge, which is set into the hillside with outstanding views out to the Virunga volcanoes and Lakes Ruhondo and Bulera. Other lodges offer settings with close proximity to the park as well as enviable settings and comfortable accommodation. Our prime aim here is do get you as close as possible to the wildlife without sacrificing your comfort and we have a number of lodges that will do just that, enhancing your all round experience and providing that little touch of luxury when you return after a hard day in the wild.