Volcanoes National Park Travel Guide & Map


Volcanoes National Park is a great destination found in Rwanda. It covers an area of about 160 km2. It is one of the best places to see mountain gorillas in Rwanda and across the world. Here are some of the reasons why you must visit Volcanoes National Park.

Volcanoes National Park Rwanda animals

The park is home to many species of animals. It is the best destination to see mountain gorillas. It has over 20 habituated troops most of which are used to human visitors. One of the Volcanoes National Park Rwanda activities is trekking these endangered primates. You need the gorilla permit to engage in this activity. Your tour operator will make the necessary arrangements. It is recommended that you make bookings six months before your trekking date. This is because of the high demand for gorilla permits and the need to protect the animals.

Apart from Volcanoes National Park gorillas, the park is home to golden monkeys. Trekking these animals is a fun activity in the park. The park has two habituated troops of golden monkeys. Each troop has about 80 members. Initially, they were shy. But habituation has helped them to accept human visits. Tourists spend about an hour with Volcanoes National Park gorillas or golden monkeys. You also need a permit to have access to these endangered primates.

Other Volcanoes National Park Rwanda animals are spotted hyenas, duikers, bushbucks, buffalos, and elephants. You can enjoy gorilla trekking across the year. But it is easier during the dry season. This is between January to February and June to September. Forest trails may become slippery during the wet season.


Volcanoes National Park is good for birding. It has recorded over 200 bird species. It has specials such as the scarlet-tufted sunbird and Grauer’s swamp warbler. Other common species are Ruwenzori turaco, baglafecht weaver, common stonechat, and brown-necked parrot. Most species are present across the year. But bird watching is easier during the dry months.


The large altitudinal range of the park supports different types of vegetation in the park. It has the montane forest, neoboutonia forest, bamboo forest, and other forests with scenic views. The park has 3 volcanic summits including Mounts Muhabura, Bisoke, and Karisimbi. Mount Kasiribi has an attractive snow-capped top. Hikers enjoy its pleasing surroundings. The park is also home to Musanze Caves with amazing and unique features.

Volcanoes National Park weather

Volcanoes National Park weather is good for tourist activities. It has a cold climate. Rain is common across the year. But June to September and January to February are drier. Daytime temperatures are around 15°C. They drop at night to around 7°C.  You need trekking gear when visiting the park. This includes warm and waterproof clothing.

FAQs About Volcanoes National Park

  • Where is Volcanoes National Park located?

The park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda. It borders Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in Congo. The distance from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park is about 94 km. Its coordinates are 19.4194° N and 155.2885° W.

  • Activities to do in Volcanoes National Park

Gorilla trekking is the main activity in the park. It is the best destination for gorilla safaris in Rwanda. Other activities are golden monkey tracking, hiking, and nature walks. Tourists from across the world enjoy these activities in the park, especially during the drier months.

  • Which is the best time to visit Volcanoes National Park?

The best time to visit the park is between June to September. But January to February is also a good time. The park is usually drier making it easier to spot animals. During the wet season, forest trails become slippery and trekking is difficult.

  • How to get to Volcanoes National Park

You can easily get there by road. The park is situated in Musanze, which is accessible by road. It takes about 2 hours from Kigali to Volcanoes National Park. There are no scheduled flights to the park. But you can use chartered flights to reach the park.