About Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park is a renowned national park located in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda, Central Africa. Established in 1925, it is one of the oldest national parks on the continent. The park spans an area of approximately 160 square kilometers and is renowned for its rich biodiversity, stunning landscapes, and its significant population of endangered mountain gorillas.
The main attraction of Volcanoes National Park is its population of critically endangered mountain gorillas. It is one of the few places in the world where visitors can engage in gorilla trekking, a unique and unforgettable experience. Trekking through the lush forests of the park, visitors have the opportunity to observe and interact with these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. It is a truly remarkable and humbling encounter that raises awareness about the importance of conservation.
Besides gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is home to several other wildlife species, including golden monkeys, spotted hyenas, buffaloes, and various bird species. The park's diverse ecosystems range from bamboo forests to alpine meadows, offering breathtaking scenery for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The park derives its name from the chain of volcanoes that dot the landscape, including the prominent volcanoes of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo. These towering peaks not only add to the park's natural beauty but also provide opportunities for adventurous activities such as hiking and mountain climbing.
Volcanoes National Park is not only a haven for wildlife but also plays a crucial role in conservation efforts. It has been instrumental in the conservation of mountain gorillas, contributing to the increase in their population over the years. The park is actively involved in research, monitoring, and anti-poaching initiatives to safeguard these incredible creatures and their habitat.
In recent years, Volcanoes National Park has gained global recognition due to its association with the famous primatologist and conservationist, Dian Fossey. Fossey conducted groundbreaking research on mountain gorillas in the park and dedicated her life to their protection. Her work was highlighted in the movie "Gorillas in the Mist," which brought international attention to the park's conservation efforts.
Visiting Volcanoes National Park requires obtaining permits in advance, particularly for gorilla trekking. These permits are limited in number to ensure the well-being of the gorillas and their habitat. It is advisable to book permits well in advance to secure a spot for this incredible wildlife experience.
Volcanoes National Park stands as a symbol of Rwanda's commitment to wildlife conservation and offers visitors a unique opportunity to connect with nature, witness incredible biodiversity, and contribute to the protection of endangered species.