The Parc National des Volcans is a beautiful area of National Park in the north of Rwanda. It is a mountainous landscape comprised of a section of the spectacular Virunga Volcanoes which lie between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are nine volcanoes (six extinct and three live) with the highest peak of Karisimbi towering at an altitude of over 4500 metres.
Parc National De Volcans (Volcanoes National Park) – part home to the Virunga Mountains and possibly the best place in the world for mountain gorilla – is Africa’s oldest park and as such makes for an extraordinary experience that. Tracking Rwanda’s mountain gorilla remains one of the most moving, life changing experiences on our portfolio.
The area is famous as one of the last natural refuges for Mountain Gorillas and many of the World’s remaining individuals are found here within seven habituated family groups.
The Park is also renowned as the setting for the work of the late primatologist Dian Fossey. In the late 1960s Dr Fossey set up Karisoke – a research centre to observe and study Mountain Gorillas. Intense study over thousands of hours enabled her to be trusted and accepted by the gorillas, which at that time numbered just 250. Her book “Gorillas in the Mist”, which was the basis for the 1988 movie of the same title, documented her work and tireless campaigning against poaching and habitat destruction. She continued this crusade in conservation until her mysterious death in 1985.
As with Uganda, the rules that govern tracking are necessarily strict, so it’s worth remembering that travellers carrying easily transferrable diseases (flu, for example), or are under the age of fifteen, will not be allowed to join tracking parties.
Serviced by two fantastic lodges, Le Parc National Des Volcanes is an extraordinary wildlife destination, and holds, in its mountain gorilla, a remarkable species of animal.