The world-renowned Volcanoes National Park in Northern Rwanda is one of the four national parks in the world where one can see the mountain gorillas in the wild. This park, a place Dian Fossey called home offers a wildlife experience that ranks among the best animal viewing experiences in Africa.
This park was established in 1925 to protect the endangered mountain gorillas of the Virunga Mountains that spread across Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. These great apes were discovered by Captain Robert von Beringe in 1902 who shot two large apes during an expedition to establish the boundaries of German East Africa. This national park was originally part of the Virunga National Park of Congo till 1963 when Rwanda attained its independence from the Belgians who were also ruling Congo. After independence, the park got its official name Volcanoes National Park and this is the Rwandan side that is part of the Virunga Conservation Area.
The park is unrivaled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. The most famous destination in Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park has become synonymous with mountain gorilla tracking safaris and no visit to the country would be complete without visiting these majestic primates.
Truly of all Rwanda’s national parks, Volcanoes national park is the most visited and the most popular attracting tourists all yaer round looking for gorilla safaris in Africa. The park is home to an impressive number of nearly half of the world’s precious mountain gorillas – some 400 of them. The proximity of the park from Kigali makes Rwanda probably the best place in Africa for gorilla tracking.
Man’s interaction with the environment over many centuries including Diane Fossey is very evident in the volcanoes National Park. Volcanoes National Park is the Rwandan section of the great volcanic massif called the Virunga Mountains that straddles the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC. The massif covers a huge area of over 8,000km², encompassing six active and three extinct volcanoes. Gorillas, of course, pay no heed to borders and are known to cross between the countries, although most habituated groups are to be found in Volcanoes National Park.
Volcanoes National Park is Rwanda’s most exciting African safari destination. Steeped in legend and history, the iconic volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is waiting for you to explore its vast landscapes and spectacular African wildlife. Volcanoes National Park also has a historic connection with gorilla conservation. It was the base for the ground-breaking work of primatologist Dian Fossey which started in the late 1960s and is evocatively portrayed in the book and film Gorillas in the Mist. Plan your volcanoes national Park safari trip from our recommended safari tour options, which range from exclusive private safaris to affordable group safaris.