Volcanoes National Park (16 000 hectares / 40 000 acres) also known locally as the “Parc National des Volcans” lies in the northwest of the country along the Virunga Mountains. It is part of the Virunga Massif – which is home to six towering extinct volcanoes – and makes up a conservation area that is a World Heritage Site. The area is home to some 480 mountain gorillas and is Rwanda’s premier tourist attraction. People come from far and wide for the thrill to trek to a gorilla family living in the cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, and spend time in close proximity observing these remarkable creatures. Interestingly enough, gorillas are vegans and they eat leaves, flowers, shoots and stems. Much of their time is spent grazing.

The landscape is dramatic and offers thrilling hiking, including the possibility of a day hike to Karisoke Research Station and Dian Fossey’s grave. Fossey (1932 – 1985) was an American zoologist, a legendary scientist and a gorilla advocate who lived and died studying and protecting the gorillas. For wildlife enthusiasts, there is also tracking to see the endangered golden monkeys from the Volcanoes National Park. There are two habituated golden monkeys’ troops that are available for visiting, both of which make about 80 members.


At a relatively high altitude just south of the equator, Rwanda enjoys a pleasant tropical highland climate, although with plenty of rain. Dependent on the altitude, the temperature can vary considerably from location to location, however a specific location will experience more or less the same temperature throughout the year.

During March to May, rain is heavy and persistent after which June brings the long dry season, until mid-September.

For a short period from October to November it is rainy again, followed by a short dry period from December to February. Light cloud cover through the dry seasons and moderate temperatures, bring light rain showers.

Getting There

The park can be reached by means of a vehicle or by flight. From the park headquarters, a 4x4 with high clearance is also necessary to reach the point where you start climbing up to where the gorillas are situated.

Ideal Destination For

  • Adventure
  • Bucket List
  • Safari
  • Solo Travel

Points of Interest

Karisoke Research Centre

The legendary scientist and avid promoter of gorilla protection and conservation, Dian Fossey started the Karisoke Research Centre initially by setting up two small tents in the Verunga wilderness. She initiated the campaign aimed at protecting the mountain gorillas and summoned help to fight against the poaching of the gorillas.

Her grave is at the research centre, where she was buried next to Digit, the gorilla she adored.

Twin Lakes of Ruhondo and Burera

The two lakes situated at the base of a volcano are separated by a 1 kilometre strip of land. The pristine blue waters are surrounded by steep hills and high waterfalls with the Virunga volcanic mountains in the background.

Offering magnificent views over the whole of the Virunga Volcanoes, it is ideal for walking, biking, birdwatching and also a scenic lake cruise.

Volcanoes National Park Activities

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