Volcanoes National park or Parc National de Volcans was first gazetted in 1925. Some years later, this park was internationally recognized when, in 1967, Diana Fossey an American naturalist arrive and set-up the Karisoke Research Centre. Diana’s research and exposure of the plight of the endangered gorillas decorates her legacy over three decades since her demise. “Gorillas in the Mist” is the movie that explains Diana’s life.
The presence of 8 ancient volcanoes shared by Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda, the park is endowed with a vast altitudinal range thus vegetation varies reasonably! There is lower montane forest and between 2500 to 3200m, bamboo forest occupies the section of the park. Lobelia, meadows, marshes, swamps and small lakes cover the land at height of between 3600 – 4500m.
The fauna is rich and most famous with the Great Gentle Apes; the Mountain Gorillas. Additionally, golden monkeys, black fronted duikers, buffaloes, spotted hyena and bushbuck are residents in the park. Bird watchers have a total of 178 recorded bird species to look out for; 13 bird-species and 16 subspecies are endemic to the great Albertine Rift Biodiversity area that also covers the Virunga Conservation area.
The capital of Rwanda’s Conservation, Parc National des Volcans is situated about 2hrs from Kigali (the Capital of Rwanda). Gorilla tracking, Golden Monkey Tracking, Volcano Hikes and the Hike to Diana Fossey’ Grave (the Iconic scientist buried in the park) are the major tourist activities.
Day 1: Arrival & Transfer to Kinigi
Our driver/guide will be ready to pick you upon arrival at Kanombe – Kayibanda International airport in Kigali and transfer to Kinigi – Ruhengeri near Parc National de Volcans. The transfer takes about 3hrs. And you will have ample time to spend the rest of the evening relaxing at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.
Day 2: Gorilla Tracking & Cultural Performance
This is the long awaited day!! Early morning preparations for the activity, pack lunch, attend briefing by the Ranger-guide, get hold of a walking stick and follow the Ranger to the Sanctuary. It is imperative to respect and abide by the conservation rules therefore leave nothing but a footprint and take nothing but memories and photographs. Maximum time allowed with the fascination Gorillas is 1 hour. After gorilla tracking, return to Kinigi and attend a cultural dance performance. You may participate in the famous “Intore Dance”. Return to Mountain Gorilla View Lodge for the rest of the evening.
Day 3: Kigali – City Tour.
After an early breakfast, exit Kinigi or Parc National des Volcans area and transfer back to Kigali. Lunch break and embark on a Kigali City Tour, You will be privileged to witness the apex of human misery at the Gisozi Genocide Museum where the earth speaks of hatred and horrible brutality! The museum also serves a platform to learn more about other Genocides in the history of mankind. Proceed and visit local markets as well as places of worship and then overnight at the Kigali Serena Hotel.
Day 4: Airport Transfer
Dawn breaks in Kigali city; enjoy your final moments in the Land of 1000 hills, check-out and transfer to the airport to arrival on time for your onward flight to Kilimanjaro.
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