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Volcanoes National Park

Visit Volcanoes National Park


Volcanoes National Park – or Parc National des Volcans as it's called in French – is, for many, the main reason to visit Rwanda. The volcanoes in question are those belonging to the Virunga Mountain range, shared with the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. And, five of the eight volcanoes in the range are located in this national park. The highest of them being the 4,507-metre-tall Mount Karisimbi.

These rainforest-covered mountains are one of the few remaining habitats of the mountain gorilla. There are believed to be no more than 700 in the world, around a third of them living in Rwanda. The volcanic mountain region is known as the place where American primatologist Dian Fossey undertook her pioneering studies of mountain gorilla behaviour. The fact that there are any gorillas left at all is largely down to her dedication to curtail poaching, prior to her still-unsolved murder. Her life was recounted in the Hollywood classic – Gorillas in the Mist, filmed in the park.

Gorilla trekking enables travellers to get up close to the mountain gorillas, which move in defined troops led by a silverback male weighing over 200 kilos. Harems of females, other males and infant gorillas make up the family groups. Seeing them among the trees, foraging for insects, chewing on leaves or playing around is an exhilarating travel moment. There are ten habituated gorilla troops in the park, among them the 30-strong Susa group originally studied by Fossey and named after the Susa River.


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Top itineraries in Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla, Rwanda

Highlights of Rwanda: Gorillas and Chimpanzees

9-day tailor-made holiday from £6,000 pp incl. flights

This spectacular tour sees you explore Nyungwe National Park where you'll track chimpanzee. Then, relax on Lake Kivu before trekking with gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, deep in the jungles of Rwanda.

One&Only Gorilla's Nest

Rwanda in Style with One&Only

9-day tailor-made holiday from £11,740 pp incl. flights

Track gorillas and chimpanzees deep in Rwanda's verdant rainforests, with stays at some of Rwanda's most luxurious lodges and hotels.

Chimpanzee, Uganda

Best of Uganda and Rwanda

14-day tailor-made holiday from £15,330 pp incl. flights

This in-depth independent tour takes in the the highlights of Uganda and Rwanda, offering several chances to meet the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

Top places to stay in Volcanoes National Park

One&Only Gorilla's Nest

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest

Contemporary lodge

This stunning sanctuary, nestled at the foot of the Virunga Mountains, is a wonderfully luxurious base from which to experience one of the world’s great wildlife encounters – a meeting with Rwanda's mountain gorillas.

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

Contemporary lodge

This stunning hotel is the first ever community-owned lodge in Rwanda, perched on the edge of the stunning Parc National Volcanoes, the gateway for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of tracking mountain gorillas.

Virunga Safari Lodge

Virunga Lodge, Volcanoes National Park

Traditional lodge

The magnificent Virunga Safari Lodge, set on a stunning hillside, has eight bandas with a panoramic view of the Virunga volcanoes and the lakes Ruhondo and Bulera. The terraced gardens on this high ridge are now well established, with a magical sunken paradise garden as their focal point. Aside fro…

Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

Contemporary lodge

In the centre of the Volcanoes National Park, the Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel is beautifully set in landscaped gardens looking over the undulating mounds of the stunning Virunga volcano range, and just moments from jungles dense with mountain gorillas.

Volcanoes National Park articles

Gorilla, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Trip report: Rwanda

Wexas's Katrin Rummer spent a thrilling week in Rwanda, tracking gorillas, chimpanzees and exploring Rwanda's lush green landscapes. Read her review for tips and an in-depth insight into this extraordinary country.

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