Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National Park
5
About
The "Parc National de Volcans" (or PNV as it's known by locals) lies along the Virunga Mountains, with 8 ancient volcanoes, which are shared by Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just a short two hour drive from Rwanda's capital of Kigali, the park is a central location for exploring some distinctly Rwandan experiences. While a visit to the mountain gorillas is often at the top of visitor, the dramatic landscape also offers thrilling hiking and visits to the fascinating golden monkeys.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Sebastien1125
    Singapore, Singapore122 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wow
    Difficult to put words on emotions. A very special experience and a childhood dream that I fulfilled. 1 hour was too short but can understand it is not good for gorillas to have 8 people taking pictures non stop all day long. We were fotunate to see the Susa family, one of the biggest group (19 members with 3 silverback and 4 babies). Our guide “Emmanuel” was amazing. Full of knowledge, funny and protective. Porters were always smiling and helpful. Even if you don’t need one (which was my case), give them a tip to help them out. Be ready to bring plenty of cash with you as tipping is quite common and wherever you go there are some minimum donations. All-in it was a great experience and glad I went there.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 11, 2023
  • Tom Whittaker
    Arvada, Colorado1,286 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    You won’t regret doing this!!!
    Words will not express this experience well. It is truly once in a lifetime and very spiritual to be this close to gorillas in nature. I am 51 years old, weigh 250 pounds and I am 5’10”…so far from young and far from thin and in shape but I did it. The hikes vary based on finding your gorilla family but the guides are respectful and do not rush you. It can be difficult in places as it can be muddy and steep but it is 100% worth it all. The porters definitely help you are worth the small cost. You won’t regret doing this!!!!
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 30, 2023
  • CraigH08
    Cincinnati, Ohio67 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Experience with the Golden Monkey
    We did the guided Golden Monkey trek. It was a short walk, maybe 30 minutes, between some local farms to get to the edge of the park. The walk was beautiful, with flowers, farm animals, views of surrounding volcanoes, and local children waving as we went by. The day we visited the monkeys were just a few minutes into the park. At this time of the year, start of the rainy season, the bamboo shoots were starting to come up, so the monkey’s were very busy pulling and eating the shoots. Nice ground level angles for the pictures. Beautiful animals, and very nice to see them in their own habitat. Face masks are required to be worn while near the monkeys to help prevent spread of disease.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 30, 2023
  • Virunga Ecotours
    Ruhengeri, Rwanda4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Exceptional trip in volcanoes
    The trip was really amazing and we had a great time. We got to see mountain gorillas in close proximity, which was incredible. We also visited the grave of Dian Fossey, who saved gorillas from extinction. Seeing the volcanoes from both Rwanda and Congo was also breathtaking and made the trip even more special.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled on business
    Written April 16, 2024
  • Dominik L
    19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great National Park!
    The Bisoke hike in Volcanoes National Park was really worth every Penny! The tough hike is rewarded with spectacular views of the crater lake and the rainforest. Our ranger, Rukundo, was very knowledgable and we would go with him again. Also, we felt 100% safe during the tour.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 9, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,225 reviews
Excellent
1,121
Very good
84
Average
11
Poor
5
Terrible
4

Thomas Jason
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Friends
It was a lifetime experience with karisimbi Tours africa where they arranged us unforgettable trip for gorilla trekking . The team was very helpful, quick response during our arrangements and they really provided enough information on everything we wanted to know before we fly off for our trip in Rwanda .our driver guide (frank) was helpful , very professional and knowledgeable , cool and supportive which gave us amazing trip beyond our expectations..
Very professional and reliable .
Written October 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Leah G
Jerusalem, Israel33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
I love this place! I spent one of the most beautiful mornings of my life with the golden monkeys-some of the most beautiful creatures imaginable.

My guide Ignatious was terrific and knowledgable and did everything he could to make my hike comfortable and memorable.

He even helped me find a mechanic when we discovered my rental car had sprung a leak-it was TOTALLY above and beyond anything I would have expected.

I very much look forward to going back on my next trip and hope one day to be able to afford the mountain gorillas trek (currently $1500 per person.)
Written January 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda Y
Frisco, TX5,693 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Volcanoes has the honor of being the very first National Park created in Africa, first gazette in 1925 as a small area intended to protect gorillas from poachers. Today it covers over 50 sq miles, and the Rwandan government recently announced plans to increase its size to 89 sq mi. The park is home to five of the eight volcanoes in Virunga Mountains: Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo (all dormant). It was also home base for the primatologist Dian Fossey who is largely credited with saving the mountain gorilla from extinction. The hike to her grave is difficult but worthwhile, as it really puts her accomplishments into perspective. And then there’s the golden monkeys! Oh my, they are so entertaining, and this is the easiest of the activities. As for the gorillas – the length and difficulty of your trek depends on the location of your assigned gorilla family (our family was named Amahoro, which means peace). What a thrill to observe them in their natural habitat! It sounds cliché, but if you love wildlife, it really is the experience of a lifetime. Volcanoes National Park appears to be a success story for the local community, a partnership that includes financial support (your permit fees at work). What a well-run operation! Everyone that we met – National Park guides, trackers, armed rangers, and porters – were friendly, helpful, professional, and knowledgeable. As a suggestion, hire a porter, even if you feel you don’t need the assistance. This employment is an important source of income for their families. The charge is very reasonable, and believe me, you’ll be grateful for their assistance. One last comment: be prepared for a very bumpy ride to the activity starting point. As our guide Ronnie said: it’s the best African massage ever!
Written October 13, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JeanLouiseFinch
Fernandina Beach, FL59 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
My comments are more advisory – if you are hiking the gorillas and golden monkeys, you know it is going to be an experience of a lifetime! First: Rent wellies from the park. We did two days of gorilla trek and one day of golden monkey trek. On the first day I had normal boots, sneaker-high and while I had a porter, trying to not step into mud so deep that it would go over my boots made the trek much trickier. My guide on the first day, Patience, knew I had two more treks and suggested I rent wellies from the park the next two days – my driver nor camp knew you could do this! $5/day and I could easily walk in anything – made a huge difference in my trek experience! Second: Please hire and tip a porter; they are inexpensive, and it is how they make a living. If you don’t hire one, the few porters that have been hired will still help you because I guarantee that on these treks, the porters may have to do something like create a human bridge to get you over a ravine. They also cut through the bamboo so you can trek in. Third: Please be sure to tip the guide (and any assistant guide), and the trackers. We were confused on our first trek in another location and didn’t quite get it right, particularly when it was time to trip the trackers. The guide usually has them stand there when you leave the gorillas/monkeys and he thanks them before they go back in – that is your cue to tip. Our guides Patience, Eugene and Patrick were so knowledgeable and professional – they aren’t just locals who know the animals - they are required, at a minimum, to be university educated to be a guide. Everyone at the park is passionate about the land and animals. As everyone has said, it is an incredible experience.
Written September 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matvl
5,445 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
Volcanoes National Park is amazing. We had a gorilla trek and a golden monkey visit and both were brilliant. The way it is run, professionalism and knowledge of guides (Loyce was brilliant) and the surprisingly excellent cappuccinos on arrival were all appreciated. Come prepared with the right clothes and if it’s rainy you’ll get muddy. But it’s just the most amazing place. And in terms of covid management felt perfect under the circumstances and very safe.
Written March 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MikeJennyQ
Onalaska, WI954 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
The gorilla and monkey treks are phenomenal! Group size is limited to 8 and they strictly limit total to under 100 to minimize stress on gorilla family. They have extensive tracking and scout programs to know where family is settling for the day. Safety is thorough and protection of apes paramount. There is a striking visible line you cross when you hike through some agriculture patches to the border of the park. It is amazingly clean. It is rainforest so dress and act accordingly. The volcanoes and their history are visible and well guided. You realize the vastness and understand the Rwanda side can be very different from the Congo side. This is a story of very insightful people preserving an area before shortsighted people wiped it out. A victory of preservation especially for mountain gorillas and the golden monies.
Written December 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steeve
Kigali, Rwanda4,790 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
The Volcanoes National Park is simply awesome. You shouldn't miss it if you come to Rwanda for a few days or for several years. As far as I am concerned, I especially like hiking volcanoes. It's a terrific activity, in a well-preserved nature! There are 5 volcanoes you can hike in that park: Mount Gahinga, 3,474 m, ideal for a first hike; Mount Muhabura, 4,127 m, the most challenging one (and my favorite!); Mount Bisoke, 3,711 m, the most popular (there is a scenic crater lake at the top); Mount Sabyinyo, 3,669 m, the most forested one (several people have spotted gorillas and other animals on this hike); and last but not least, Mount Karisimbi, 4,507 m, the highest one, the roof of Rwanda, with a layer of snow at the very top, during the rainy season. You can get a permit and a guide to climb them at the RDB, in Kigali, or at the Volcanoes National Park headquarters in Ruhengeri. Have fun!
Written February 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dominik L
19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
The Bisoke hike in Volcanoes National Park was really worth every Penny!
The tough hike is rewarded with spectacular views of the crater lake and the rainforest. Our ranger, Rukundo, was very knowledgable and we would go with him again. Also, we felt 100% safe during the tour.
Written June 10, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AltabasTravels
London, UK267 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
We came to do two treks in Volcanoes National Park, day one to see the mountain gorilla and day two to see the Golden Monkey.

The experience with the Mountain Gorilla was absolutely out of this world and amazing. We met the Hillwa family group with one silverback and two nearly grown up blackback males along with the females and smaller babies. The Gorilla were extremely relaxed, they even came to meet us through the bamboo forest! The guides were excellent; extremely knowledgeable about the animals and always making sure we were comfortable and safe. We spent an incredible hour with the troop. It was also a relatively easy walk to and from where we found the Gorilla.

Similarly on day two we got to spend an hour with the Golden Monkeys whilst they are and scampered around us. Again very relaxed and also again very knowledgeable and helpful guides.

If you're going to come to Rwanda, simply a must do activity regardless of the price.
Written June 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dan F
San Francisco, CA150 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
1. Altitude is high. So give yourself time to acclimate
2 suggest going to the Dian fossey gorilla fund ( Ellen degeneres) facility first. Great introduction
3 do the golden monkey hike first if you are planning to do it. Easiest of the hikes. When we went monkeys were within 1 meter and generally ignored us.
4. Hikes to see the gorillas can be easy medium or hard. Be prepared
Stinging nettles can be 4 or 5 feet tall super irritating to skin at first but pain slowly goes away Over 24 hours. I was wearing thin hiking pants and a thin hiking long sleeve shirt. Almost zero protection! Thorns went through with a slight brush of the olants. A heavy single layer or two think is good protection
6 the hike to Dian fossey grave is beautiful and a good hike in the dry season. Do it last since it may the hardest. 4 hours round trip. It is a 1500 ft climb the first half. U need to be in good shape. We have had a little rain each day and the mud in some places was 6” deep. So it is muddy! If it has been rating do not even try. Guides was saying mud can get 3 feet deep!!
7 the gorilla guardian village is a fun visit with great people and beautiful music
8 hand spun hope is a workshop that processes raw wool to finish products. Very interesting and a great charity as they give work to women who need a place
9. Local food : eateries where great! Good food and great staff
10 we stayed at amaharro guest house. Facilities were..bearable. Management location and other guests were great? I will give it 5 stars for that!
Written August 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Volcanoes National Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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