Volcanoes national park : The largest population of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Conservation area may be found in Volcanoes National Park, which serves as the starting point for all Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris. The Volcanoes National Park is the most accessible gorilla national park in the world due to its advantageous location just over two hours’ drive from the international airport Rwanda( Kigali international airport). In addition to gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is home to a wide range of birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other animals that together make up a comprehensive Rwanda safari itinerary.
Volcanoes National Park, which covers a 160 sq. km area in northern Rwanda, is a component of the vast Virunga volcano protection region that also includes Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mountain gorillas, which were in danger of going extinct due to poaching, were first protected in a limited region among the volcanoes of Karisimbi, Mikeno, and Visoke.
History and Background information of volcanoes national park
The Belgian Colonial Authorities took over management of Volcanoes National Park in 1929, renaming it Albert National Park, and expanding it into Rwanda and the former Belgian Congo. As Rwanda and the Congo earned their independence in the early 1960s, the park was divided, and by the end of that decade, it had shrunk to almost half of its original area.
The American primatologist Dian Fossey, who had been studying mountain gorillas in the woods of the Congo, fled from danger in 1967 and set up her research station in a region between the Visoke and Karisimbi volcanoes that had not yet been given the name Karisoke research center. She organized resources to fight against poaching in this region and led the conservation effort for mountain gorillas, a fight she continued until her death in 1985. She was laid to rest at the research facility close to the burial of Digit, her favorite gorilla.
Despite the fact that conservation measures were being made, the park continued to suffer at the hands of poachers. The park was used as a battleground for the Rwandan civil war at the beginning of the 1990s, which prevented any tourists until 1999. In an effort to promote conservation and Rwanda gorilla tours in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda initiated the yearly infant naming ceremony for young gorillas known as “Kwita Iziina” in 2005. This initiative has had excellent effects in terms of the gorilla population in volcanoes.
Other animal species that can be found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
Volcanoes National Park is also home to elephants, black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus Niger), bushbuck (Cercopithecus mitis kandti), spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), buffaloes (Syncerus caffer), and mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei). 178 bird species, including at least 29 indigenous to the Virungas and the Rwenzori mountains, are also found in the park.
Climate and weather in volcanoes national park.
Because of the mountain peaks and overall high altitude, the park has a damp, chilly environment. Although it rains every day of the year, there is a dry spell from June to August. The climate is rather stable throughout the year because of its proximity to the equator. The average temperature during the day is 16°C (61°F), while the average temperature at night is 6°C (43°F).All year long, it’s important to wear warm, waterproof clothing.
Drier months, June to August.
Although it rains a lot all year round, there is a brief dry period from June to August. For trekking, we advise you to bring warm, water-resistant clothing as well as sturdy walking shoes.
June and July: These are the driest months of the year, despite the fact that it may rain at any time. It’s a great time to go gorilla trekking because there are drier routes available. The average temperature during the day is 16°C (61°F), while the average temperature at night is 6°C (43°F).
August sees a noticeable increase in rainfall, so don’t forget to come with your raincoat if you’re visiting volcanoes national park during this month. The temperatures, however, remain constant.
Wet months, September to May
At this time of year, there is a lot of rain to be found in the park. Don’t forget to carry warm clothing for the chilly, wet weather, hiking boots that are robust, and waterproof gear.
September: The rains will undoubtedly arrive in September if they don’t in August. Daytime temperatures range from 16°C (61°F) to 61°C (varies depending on altitude). The average low temperature at night is 6°C (43°F).
November and October: There is a lot of rain, with October being the wettest month. The temperature is unchanged.
January, February, and December- Although it rains a little less frequently than in October and November, it might still rain at any time.
The wettest months are March and April, when it might rain nonstop for days. The trails can become quite slick, making hiking challenging. Temperatures barely fluctuate.
May—during this season, there are fewer days with rain and more days with sunshine. Daytime highs are a little lower.
Getting there: How to get to the volcanoes national park
A little town called Musanze, formerly known as Ruhengeri, is home to the Volcanoes National Park and is easily reachable via public transportation from Gisenyi, Kigali, or the airport. Since it takes two hours to get to Volcanoes National Park, one can go gorilla tracking that day and then drive back to Kigali.
Tourist activities: What to do in volcanoes national park
Gorilla tracking, hiking the 3,800-meter Karisimbi volcano, a one-day trip up Mount Bisoke volcano, and more are all available activities in the park.
Best time to visit: When to go to Volcanoes national park?
You may go gorilla tracking in Rwanda at any time of year. The dry months of December to early March and June to September are the ideal times to visit Rwanda. While the months of March through mid-May and July through September are recognized as the rainy seasons in Rwanda, December to March is a long dry season with temperatures occasionally reaching 29 degrees Celsius.
Although Rwanda enjoys wonderful weather all year round, the dry season is preferred as the best time to visit. In addition to more frequent wildlife viewing during this time, the weather is typically pleasant. Since there is little possibility of rain during the walk and suitable trekking terrain in the rainforest, this is also the best time for people interested in seeing gorillas. Even during these dryer months, we nevertheless advise wearing waterproof gear because the equatorial environment is extremely unpredictable. Due to the fact that this time frame falls during a busy season, rates for services like vehicle rental and lodging may increase.
On the other hand, some visitors, particularly those on a tight budget, prefer to go during the rainy season. Hotels offer discounted dining and lodging options to guests during this time due to low occupancy, which is a benefit. Additionally, there is little demand for gorilla permits, which ensures that tourists will have an unimpeded opportunity to witness these threatened creatures.