Volcanoes National Park, also known as Parc National des Volcans in french and Pariki y’Igihugu y’Ibirunga in native Kinyarwanda sits on the north-western province of Rwanda in a small town known as Musanze (formerly known as Ruhengeri). This park is apparently the oldest national park in the entire African continent and harbors the endangered Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda that are always available for tourists who would love to carry out gorilla tracking Rwanda Volcanoes National Park borders Virunga National Park in DRC and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in south-western Uganda. Besides its huge population of Mountain Gorillas, this park also harbors the endangered Golden Monkeys, a primate specie that apparently offers the best diverse tourism activity within the national park at the moment. Volcanoes National Park also shelters five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains which are: Mount Karisimbi, Mount Bisoke, Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga and Mount Sabyinyo) covering over 160 km2 of rain forest and bamboo. Several years ago, this same park acted as a base for American zoologist Dian Fossey - A lady who turned out to be so passionate about Gorilla conservation that her works still live on till today. The prime attraction of the park are the endangered mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) with a lot other mammals that also inhabit its plains. Some of these mammals include: golden monkeys, buffaloes, black-fronted duiker, hyenas then bushbucks. A few reports also clam that a small number of elephants can be found at the park but on very rare occasions. The bird life spans at 178 species, with about 12 of the main species and 15 of the subspecies being endemic to the Virunga conservation area and the great Ruwenzori Mountains. Several activities are run by the Rwanda Development Board for tourists with the main one being gorilla trekking. Other activities however include Golden Monkey tracking, twin lakes visit, mountaineering, visiting Dian Fossey's tomb, touring Iby'Iwacu cultural village plus a few community visits.
How to get there Volcanoes National Park is located in a small village called Musanze previously well-known as Ruhengeri, which is very accessible by public transport from Gisenyi or Kigali or from the airport. The drive to Volcanoes national park is 2 hrs and hence one can do gorilla tracking on the same day and drive back to Kigali after the trek. You will be required to arrive at the headquarters of ORTPN in Kinigi, at the park entrance, by 7:00 am, therefore, if you hope to trek gorillas for one day, you have to wake up very early for your journey so that you are on time. However, there isn’t any public transport from Musanze to the headquarters of the park at Kinigi.