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Located in northwest Rwanda, Parc National des Volcans (also known as Volcanoes National Park) borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.
The park is covered in rainforest and bamboo and it is renowned as a haven for the rare and endangered mountain gorilla and golden monkeys.
Parc National des Volcans offers one of the best gorilla tracking experiences in the world and most visitors to Rwanda include this once-in-a-lifetime activity in their itinerary.
There are currently 10 habituated mountain gorilla families in the park and on a gorilla trek you’ll venture deep into the forests with an expert tracker in search of a specific family. When you meet them you’ll be allowed to spend up to one hour observing them in their natural habitat.
Tracking endangered golden monkeys in their natural environment in Parc National des Volcans is highly recommended in addition to a gorilla trek.
These beautiful monkeys can be found easily as they live in the bamboo forests along the lower slopes of the mountains, and by following clues of fresh leftovers from eaten bamboo shoots trackers are usually able to locate them in less than an hour.
You’ll then spend a maximum of one hour watching these striking monkeys as they pick bamboo shoots and leap from tree to tree above you.
You can track mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in Parc National des Volcans throughout the year, however the best time is during the dry seasons from June to September and December to February. During these months the jungle paths are dry which makes trekking conditions easier, and you’re less likely to encounter heavy rain which makes for a more enjoyable trekking experience. During the dry season the gorillas have no need to seek shelter so they can usually be found in more open spaces.
During the rainy seasons from March to May and October to November the jungle can be very muddy and slippery. April is a particularly wet month and it is not a great time to track gorillas as the forest paths become very slippery and the gorillas may try to avoid the rain, taking shelter and hiding under the canopy.
Rwanda can be combined with another destination, such as Kenya, Tanzania, Mafia Island and Zanzibar. On our Virungas, Primates & Mafia Island holiday you’ll track mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in Parc National des Volcans before flying to Mafia Island in the Indian Ocean, and on our Gorillas, Masai Mara and Zanzibar holiday you’ll track gorillas in Rwanda, and then enjoy three days on safari in Kenya’s Masai Mara and four days on the exotic island of Zanzibar.
We offer three accommodation options for clients visiting Parc National des Volcans. Our preferred property is Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge which is a luxurious lodge with five spacious cottages, two suites and a family room. It’s located close to the park’s HQ making it an excellent base for gorilla trekking.
Volcanoes Virunga Lodge is an eco-lodge located at 2200m with spectacular views of the Virunga Volcanoes and Lakes Ruhondo and Bulera, and Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is a lovely mid-range lodge located 15 minutes drive from Parc National des Volcans.