Volcanoes National Park

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Craig Kaufman
Craig Kaufman Africa Travel Specialist
"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 one of the two largest remaining populations of Mountain gorilla. No wildlife experience can surpass meeting a troop of these great apes 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, African buffalo, African elephant, Bushbuck, Duikers and various small predators. There are many rare plants and more than 200 bird species - any keen birders would thoroughly enjoy the birding walks on offer here. 

Watching the gorillas

Visitors meet at the park HQ in the early morning. People are split into groups to seek the resident habituated Gorilla families. Tracking is usually not very 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 very expensive at US$ 1,500 a visit, the money raised protects the park and these endangered animals. This is one of the world’s most endangered apes – there are only 1,064-odd surviving, around half of which live in PNV. The whole park is patrolled by the army to prevent poaching.

There are several lodges near the park. One& Only Gorillas Nest is a modern lodge at the tracking trail-head. Singita also recently opened the impressive Kwitonda Lodge. 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 such as Mt Bisoke, or visiting the Twin 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.
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.
Rwanda - Primates, Nature & Landscapes
  • Wildlife
From £16085 per person
11 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
This itinerary is for people who wish to explore Rwanda's forested sites of biological importance; track its great apes and explore...
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