Welcome to Volcanoes National Park which is among the most visited national parks in the republic of Rwanda and it’s found in the North West, it’s a 2-3hours drive from Kigali the capital city of Rwanda, it’s situated in the province of Musanze though part of the Virunga mountain ranges. It’s located on a 160km² of land, Volcanoes National Park is home to Mountain Gorilla, golden monkeys, Spotted Hyena, buffaloes, elephants, black-fronted duiker, and bush buck.
The park also harbours 178 bird species including at least 29 endemics to Rwenzori Mountains and the Virunga. Gorilla tracking is the main activity performed in the park by the enthusiastic gorilla trekkers, the park contains over thirteen Gorilla families and tracking each of the group depends on the availability of the permits and the visitor’s preference of the group, some of the gorilla families include Sabyinyo group, Amahoro, the Umubano group, Susa group, Kwitonda, Agashya, and Hirwa. Gorilla habituation is also done too at the park.
Dian Fossey Tomb trail, she spearheaded the conservation campaign of the mountain gorillas and mobilized resources to fight against poaching in this area, a fight she put up until her murder in 1985. She was buried at the research centre next to the grave of her favourite gorilla called “Digit”. This is mostly visited by the tourist who wishes to have an experiential hike within the park.
Mount Bisoke Crater Lake hike, this is a 3711m above the sea level and its located on the Congo and Rwanda border, this crater was formed as a result of the volcanic eruptions that occurred in the 1957 and this formed a crater which was later filled with water to form a crater lake known as lake Ngezi. Hikers use this opportunity to hike for four hours vial the steep trails from Bisoke which is the departure point to the summit and this forms the shortest hiking trail around the park
Kinigi Iby’Iwacu Cultural village, this is one of the best cultural tourism centres which has attracted visitors for a couple of year due to the experience gained by the tourist as passed to them by the local community, from this place, visitors gain an added advantage of interacting with the Rwandese who later share with them their traditional norms and customs, they perform the traditional songs and dances. The cuisine including how to grind millet using stones and cycling wooden bicycles within the region. Shooting arrows with the Batwa people is another experience to tell including how to make beers using the bananas
Markets in Musanze, this is where tourists meet with the local people after caving and buy some crafts that are locally made by the Batwa and the Rwandese
Musanze Cave, this is a 2km long cave and ranks one of the most visited caves in the province, the cave is found in the volcanoes region within the Albertine rift valley which was formed over 65 million years ago due to the flowing lava, the cave has 31 entrances and it is attributed to be part of Bisoke and Sabyinyo volcanoes. It has got a wide entrance exceeding over 10km with numerous other passages, the cave is mostly occupied by the Bats though mostly valued by the local people as a place of spiritual worship.
The Busasamana Cave, this is a 1km long cave connecting to numerous other caves around the area, the Kazenze, Mudende and Busasamana which are attributed to have formed the Mugongo Cave which is the easiest part for caving with a lot of camping facilities around.
The Volcanoes National Park is so much working with different agencies towards the conservation of the mountain gorillas, the Dian Fossey Museum has it all as far as gorilla conservation in the Virunga mountains is concerned. Tourist visit this museum to experience the conservation work of the mountain gorillas that Dian Fossey did to advocate for the gorillas in the Virunga massifs. Together with the Gorilla Doctors the projects are run in the 3 countries where mountain gorillas are found (Rwanda, DRC Congo and Uganda). More so Rwanda every year organizes a calendar event “Kwita Izina” entitled at naming new born gorillas and this creates the awareness of gorilla conservation to the local and international communities.