Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park

The Volcanoes National Park was Africa’s first national park, and it is most known for its mountain gorillas, which account for one-third of the world’s mountain gorilla population. The Volcanoes National Park Mountains, which are made up of thickly wooded extinct volcanoes, form a border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, and form part of the watershed between the Congo and Nile river systems.

The 62-square-mile (160-square-kilometer) park is home to a variety of ecological zones, including lush bamboo stands, luxuriant mountain forest, and Afro-alpine. The core forest rises from 9,020 to 10,825 feet (2,750 to 3,300 m) and is dominated by hagenia trees that grow 30 to 60 feet (9 to 18 m) tall. Hagenia trees have twisted trunks and low branches coated in lichen, from which epiphytic orchids, moss, and ferns sprout.

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Blue monkey, golden monkey (a rare subspecies of blue monkey), black-fronted duiker (quite common), bushbuck, huge forest hog, African civet, genet, and buffalo are among the other animals found in the Volcanoes National Park. There are 119 bird species reported, including magnificent mountain turacos (the Rwenzori turaco is the most frequent) and forest francolins.

The majestic mountain gorilla may reach a height of 6 feet (1.8 m), weigh up to 450 pounds (205 kg), and is found in the Virunga Mountains, a series of volcanoes with elevations ranging from 11,480 to 14,783 feet (3,500m to 4,507 m). The high altitude woods that surround these mountains are home to gorillas.

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African Safari Wildlife

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African Safari Climate

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Volcanoes National Park has a constant stream of rain and mist. When combined with the high altitude, this results in a rainy and cold environment. Temperatures do not vary significantly throughout the year. During the day, temperatures hover around 16°C/61°F. It cools down to about 6°C/43°F at night. The park’s diverse altitude range results in a diverse set of climatic conditions. For every 1,000m hiked, the temperature reduces by around 6.5°C (or 3.5°F per 1,000ft).

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Volcanoes National Park is a great place to go birding, with over 180 species documented. However, the majority of the park’s unique species can also be found in Nyungwe Forest, which is better equipped for birdwatching. The rare swamp-dwelling Grauer’s swamp warbler is a local specialty, and there are at least 16 Albertine Rift endemics (birds unique to the Albertine Rift), including handsome francolin, Ruwenzori turaco and Ruwenzori batis, Ruwenzori double-collared sunbird, and Archer’s robin-chat.

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African Safari Birding

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Best Time to Visit

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Volcanoes National Park is open all year for gorilla trekking and hiking. Gorilla sightings are practically certain and are not affected by the weather. However, after heavy rain, the routes become quite slippery, and trekking is undoubtedly easier in the dry season months of June to August, and to a lesser extent in early September, December, and January.

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African Safari Attractions & Activities

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Gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking is a must-do experience when on safari in Rwanda, with 11 habituated gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Park alone. Only three nations in the world have a declining and endangered gorilla population: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda. The Volcanoes National Park is home to nearly all of Rwanda’s gorilla population. Among the families to visit are Amahoro, Ugenda, Umubano, Karisimbi, Sabinyo, Susa, and Hirwa.
Golden monkey tracking
Golden monkeys are an endangered primate species that should be on your bucket list if you go on a safari in Volcanoes National Park. They have been trained to improve the tourist experience. The bamboo forest near the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes is home to the majority of the golden monkeys. The golden monkey tracking experience includes a guide who will help you along the trip by sharing the Park’s history, facts about the primates, and directing you to the golden monkey hotspots.
The Volcano hike
If you enjoy hiking and find yourself in Volcanoes National Park, you will have two hiking options: the Day Hike and the Overnight Hike. The Day Hike takes you to Mount Bisoke, one of the Virunga mountains’ volcanoes. It is 37,000 meters tall and has a crater lake at the top.
Musanze Caves
These ancient caves were formerly utilized to store food supplies for Rwanda’s rulers during times of conflict. They are now quite a sight to witness when visiting Volcanoes National Park. The cave ceilings are strewn with bats, whose eyes gleam when you shine a flashlight on them. All you will have heard in the midst of the cave’s silence as you approach towards the cave’s end and into the daylight are your footsteps and the thick dew drops hitting the cave’s floor. A visit inside these caves is a trip down memory lane.

African Safari Rwanda Deals

Examples of Itineraries

Please take a look at our sample African Safari below for inspiration. Every Safari you take can be tailored to meet your individual needs. You can choose any number of days. You can choose any departure date. Feel free to choose any experience.

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Primates Safari in Rwanda

This low-cost tour has been created to put you in touch with the greatest parts of this country…
7 Days

$4000/person

african safari to kenya

Safari Rwanda Tanzania

Ideal for those looking to combine Safari Rwanda Gorilla trecking in Rwanda with Tanzania Safari ….
9 Days

$6500/person

Rwanda african safari

Best of Safari Rwanda Gorillas

The locals are welcoming, and you can track the Safari Rwanda gorillas and enjoy beautiful lakes….
10 Days

$4900/person

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Visa prerequisites
All travellers to Rwanda must have a passport valid for at least six months. Visas are required for all visitors except citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Hong Kong, Kenya, and South Africa. Tourist visas with multiple entries can be obtained at your local Rwandan embassy or consulate. Visas are normally valid for three months and can be extended in Kigali on a month-to-month basis.
Medical requirements for Rwanda

Before traveling to Rwanda, you must obtain a document demonstrating that you have got a yellow fever vaccination. Furthermore, your health practitioner must document all required immunizations on a certified vaccination certificate. This document must be carried with you at all times during the tour. Malaria prevention medications should be taken by all visitors. We also recommend that you pack mosquito repellent. For the most up-to-date requirements, immunizations, and personal suggestions, always see your doctor or pharmacist!

Normally you need the following vaccinations but please always consult a doctor

-Yellow Fever (you must have this can even be checked on arrival, especially when flying within East Africa)
-DTP
-COVID19

Hepatitis

For Malaria you need to take tablets, Malarone or Lariam. Malarone is mostly used (please always consult a doctor).
Hygiene is not at the same standard as in your home country, so we advise you to bring a disinfectant cream with you. Always drink bottled water instead of tap water.

On arrival
When you arrive at the airport, our guide will be waiting for you. During safari, we use specially designed safari vehicles that allow us to have the best possible view of the wildlife. Luggage space is limited in safari vehicles (and small planes). It is therefore advised to travel with light bags, as heavy suitcases would overburden the plane and may be difficult to transport.
Money information
Money can be withdrawn from an ATM in the majority of cities. Travelers Cheques are not generally accepted, and paying by credit card is difficult or impossible outside of cities. The US dollar has typically been the preferred hard money. We recommend bringing several dollars for everyday costs and tips, and dollar bills should be no older than ten years old.
Currency Information
The Rwandan Franc is the country’s currency. Please check the most recent exchange rates before departing for your trip. This will serve as a guideline. Please keep in mind that you will get a higher exchange rate in larger cities.
AMREF Flying Doctors
We recommend that you apply for a Flying Doctors membership. If necessary, the membership enables a speedy and dependable air evacuation as well as medical assistance. AMREF Flying Doctors provides two covers (Annual and Tourist). You can pick from Maisha Silver (Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar), Maisha Gold (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi), and Maisha Platinum (Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar) (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia). Please visit the AMREF Flying Doctors website for additional information and to join.
Language in Rwanda
Rwanda’s official languages are French and English, and the local tongue is Kinyarwanda.
When to visit Rwanda
Rwanda is open all year and can be visited at any time. However, mountain hikes, gorilla tracking, and other forest walks are more difficult during the rainy seasons (March – May and October – November). The rainy season is thought to be the greatest time to visit Rwanda for birders. It rains more frequently during the rainy season, although not every day and not all day.
What Should You Wear in Rwanda?
Daytime temps range from pleasant to hot, so pack plenty of light clothing. Evenings are chilly, especially at high altitudes (areas around Volcanoes National Park and the Virungas), so bring a sweater or two. Mountain hikers will be exposed to alpine temperatures and should dress appropriately. For woodland walks, good walking shoes and sturdy clothing are essential. Because of the dense flora and thorns, gardening gloves come in helpful during gorilla tracking. Remember to pack a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a waterproof jacket. We recommend that you avoid wearing black or dark blue clothing on safari (because they can attract tsetse flies). We recommend that you dress appropriately if you are going on a community stroll or visiting the locals. Women, for example, may wear long skirts and a blouse that conceals their shoulders. We also recommend that you avoid wearing purple clothing. Following the 1994 Genocide, Rwanda “adopted” purple as the official color of mourning.
What to bring during Rwanda Travel ?
A valid passport is required (valid for at least three months after re-entry), and visa requirements for all countries you intend to visit should be confirmed before you travel. We recommend that you bring binoculars and field guides with you to make the most of your visit to the game reserves and national parks. Wildlife photography will necessitate the use of a zoom lens (70-300 or more). Please bring plenty of memory cards with you. Toiletries and other necessities can be purchased in towns, and a torch (flashlight) can be extremely beneficial.
Rwanda Electricity
We recommend that you bring an international adaptor for your electrical equipment. The Western European system is applied in Rwanda. Most lodges allow you to charge your batteries.
Driving in Rwanda
Driving is done on the right side of the road in Rwanda. Visitors who are unfamiliar with African roads are encouraged to travel in a 4WD vehicle driven by a knowledgeable driver/guide rather than self-drive, and all of our guides are properly educated in “Defensive Driving.”
Stopover Points

Please keep in mind that washrooms along the road are not always up to European standards, such as squatting toilets, no flushing toilets, or a lack of toilet paper. T.I.A. stands for This Is Africa, as the people say.

Facilities and accommodations

When traveling on a medium to low budget, bathroom facilities and accommodations may be more basic. Keep in mind that water reserves in eco lodges are limited, and in most cases, there are no plugs in the room, but you can always charge your electronics at the reception.

Tipping

Tipping is always graciously accepted. In hotels and restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip of 5-10%. Tipping guides, drivers, and carriers is always appreciated. Indication: USD 1-3 for carriers and USD 5-15 for your driver/guide each day, depending on group size, number of days, and your pleasure.

Need More Information ?
The Lonely Planet and Bradt Travel Guide are the most detailed guidebooks for Rwanda. For wildlife, the best guidebook is ‘Watching Wildlife East Africa’ from the Lonely Planet and The Bradt ‘East African Wildlife’. For birding, the best guidebook is ‘birds of East Africa’. It is advisable to get the most updated copy.

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Meet Some Happy Safari Travellers

Sight View Safaris, thank you again for a brilliant safari and stay in Uganda. Everything scored on A plus. The Ugandan people are a joyful and welcoming…….

Martin and Stella

Canada

When traveling to Uganda, there are many choices for safari companies but the service and experience provided by Sight View Safaris cannot be matched……

Isabella and Gary

USA

We went on safari with Sight View Safaris in August 2015. We cannot rave enough about what a fantastic experience this was. The most memorable experiences of my life…..

Amy

Australia

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