Volcanoes National Park

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Derek Schuurman
Derek Schuurman Product Manager Madagascar and Alternative Africa
"The heart-stopping moment you experience when you make that eye-to-brain connection with a Mountain gorilla in its natural home, is one of the most unforgettable wildlife experiences to be had anywhere in the world."

Volcanoes National Park Holidays

Volcanoes National Park (PNV), two hours drive north of Kigali, is a high altitude park which protects the largest remaining population of mountain gorilla. No wildlife experience can surpass meeting a troop of mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

The Park covers the Rwandan section of the magnificent Virunga Mountains, a range of six extinct and three active volcanoes that also straddles Uganda, and the Congo (DRC).

Bamboo forest, hagenia woodland,grassland, heath and swamp are contained within its boundaries, inhabited by rare golden monkey, buffalo. elephant, bushbuck and various small predators. There are rare plants and more than 200 bird species.

Watching the gorillas

Visitors meet at the park HQ in the early morning. Up to 36 people are split into groups to seek the five habituated gorilla families. Tracking is not that arduous - it can be quick, or it can take a few hours to find the group. The Susa group of 37 gorillas is usually the furthest away and we suggest you visit them if you make a second trek. You are allowed to spend just one hour actually with the gorillas.

Although permits are expensive at £494 a visit, the money raised protects the park and these endangered animals. This is the world’s most endangered ape – there are only 750 surviving, around half in PNV. The whole park is patrolled by the army to prevent poaching.

There are three lodges near the park. Mountain Gorillas Nest is a modern lodge at the tracking trail-head. There is cheaper accommodation close by at the basic Kinigi Guest House. Further away, Virunga Lodge has a stunning position atop a hillside with a splendid view over the twin volcanic lakes.

There are several other activities at PNV apart from gorilla tracking – visiting the golden monkeys, and the Dian Fossey memorial, climbing one of the volcanoes, visiting the crater lakes. We can arrange any of these if you spend another day at PNV.

Read more about Volcanoes National Park

Filter Holiday Ideas:
Holiday Type
Total Holidays: 4      
Rwanda Gorilla Express
  • Adventure
  • Wildlife
From £3245 per person
5 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
This is a brief but action-packed visit to Rwanda's Parc National des Volcans to see the magnificent and endangered Mountain gorillas takes in what is arguably the most impressive wildlife experience to be had anywhere in the world. It makes for a great add-on to a safari in Kenya or Tanzania - or a beach extension to Zanzibar. If you can, we recommend a slightly longer trip in Rwanda such as the Northern Rwanda: Gorillas & Kivu Private Tour.
Rwanda - Culture, Primates & Nature
  • Wildlife
From £5095 per person
11 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
This comprehensive 10-day tailor-made tour encompasses the highlights of Rwanda: Mountain gorillas, Chimpanzees, the...
Tanzania Safari and Rwanda Gorillas
  • Safari
  • Wildlife
From £5705 per person
10 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Tanzania     Rwanda
Combine a safari in the best of Tanzania’s northern parks with tracking gorilla in Rwanda for an exceptional game and gorilla...
Rwanda, Kenya & Zanzibar
  • Safari
  • Wildlife
From £5880 per person
15 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Rwanda     Kenya     Zanzibar
This is a superb trip with gorilla trekking in Rwanda's Parc National des Volcans, a Big-Five safari in the Masai Mara in Kenya, a visit to the Unesco World Heritage Site of Stone Town and time on the beach in Zanzibar.
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