Situated in the far northwest corner of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcans) protects the steep rainforested slopes of the magnificent Virungas mountain range.

Straddling Uganda, the DRC and Rwanda are the Virunga Volcanoes Mountains, a dramatic, thickly forested range comprising six extinct and three active volcanoes. The Volcanoes National Park is the Rwandan portion of the Virungas Volcanoes range and besides the wealth of extraordinary rainforest life it safeguards, the park protects 300 mountain gorillas – around half the world’s existing population – and is the scene for what is often described as Africa’s easiest gorilla trekking.

Easily accessible from Rwanda’s capital Kigali, located only 80kms away, the Volcanoes National Park offers several comfortable lodges set in the foothills of the range. Gorilla trekking permits must be arranged before arrival, and potential trekkers should be aware not only of the rigours of hiking through mountainous rainforest but the strict conservation rules governing this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Volcanoes National Park: The Experience

Volcanoes National Park is named after the chain of dormant volcanoes making up the Virunga Massif: Karisimbi – the highest at 4,507m, Bisoke with its verdant crater lake, Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura. Tracking endangered mountain gorillas through the mysterious intimacy of the rain forest, alive with the calls of 200 species of colorful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey, is only one of the truly unique experiences in the area. Within the boundaries of Volcanoes National Park are Buhanga Eco-Park, an ancient forest holding Rwanda’s most intriguing folklore and Musanze Caves, formed 62 million years ago after the last estimated volcanic eruption.

Gorilla trekking is the main reason why people are attracted to Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. Gorilla treks begin early in the morning at the park headquarters. With a trained guide, you’ll make your way through the forest following signs of the animals’ whereabouts. If you’re lucky, you’ll have the chance to spot some eating bamboo and enjoying life in the forest. You’ll likely spend a few hours in the mountains before heading back to the camp.

Volcanoes National Park: Birdlife

With about 200 species recorded (including 17 Albertine Rift endemics), Volcanoes National Park offers great bird watching. However, most of the park’s special birds can also be seen in Nyungwe National Park, which is set up better for birding. Local specialties are the vulnerable Grauer’s swamp warbler and the scarlet-tufted sunbird, which can be found on the summit of Mt Bisoke.

The birdlife in Volcanoes NP is good year-round, but the volcanoes are especially wet and often shrouded in mist. This means that birding in this area is easiest during the Dry season, from June to August, and to a lesser extent in September, January and February when it rains slightly less. This is also the best time for gorilla trekking.

For more information, Go TO



For more information, Go TO


Tour details

  • Tour Type Game Drive
  • Country Rwanda
  • National Languages English & Swahili
  • Time Zone GMT+3