Tourist attractions in volcanoes national park
Tourist attractions in volcanoes national park : Volcanoes national park is one of the top tourist destinations in Rwanda, the park is also called Parc National des Volcans in French and Pariki y’Igihugu y’Ibirunga in Kinyarwanda. Volcanoes national park covering an area of 160 square kilometers is the only park in Rwanda the land of a thousand hills offering the exceptional mountain gorilla trekking expedition and it is part of the great Virunga conservation area which consists of Virunga national park found in democratic republic of Congo and mgahinga gorilla national park found in Uganda.
Volcanoes national park is the only national park in Rwanda the land of a thousand hills were you get to find the precious mountain gorillas, volcanoes national park is filled with thick forested volcanoes which are 5 in number that is mount karisimbi, mount bisoke, mount muhabura, mount Gahinga and mount sabyinyo. Mountain gorilla families in Virunga national park include
Sabinyo gorilla family
This family consists of 12 family individuals including 2 silverbacks, sabyinyo family habits and it is trekked in between two volcanoes that is mount sabyinyo and mount gahinga.
Amahoro gorilla family
This family is relatively big with 17 members with one dominant silverback the most peaceful silverback in volcanoes national park, this family is hard to trek and its name derives its name from a local word meaning peace.
Bwenge gorilla family
Bwenge is a family of 10 members with one silverback, this family lives close Ugyenda family and it is trekked on mount Bisoke. The name Bwenge is a Kinyarwanda word meaning brightness.
Umubano gorilla family
This family consists of 11 family individuals with one silverback, Umubano a dominant silverback of this family split from Amahoro gorilla family that is why they peacefully live in the same territory.
Susa gorilla family
This is the largest family in volcanoes national park consisting of 29 individuals with 3 silverback with 3 silverbacks. Susa family is an amazing family first to record a birth of twins that is Impano and Byishimo.
Hirwa gorilla family
This family consists of 12 members with one silverback, this family was formed from members who split from majorly sabyinyo family and other groups. Hirwa is one of the luckiest family in volcanoes national park to record a birth of twins, this family wanders and is trekked around mount sabyinyo.
Agashya gorilla family
Agashya gorilla family is a family of 25 gorilla individuals with 2 silverbacks, this family was formerly called group 13 and after a fight which was won by Agashya and become the leader of the group it was named after him. The name Agashya is a local name meaning the news.
Kwitonda gorilla family
This family is an 18 member family with two silverback, this family is one of the hard families to trek in Bwindi impenetrable national park as it resides and trekked on the lower slopes of mountain muhavura. Kwitonda gorilla family derives its name from a local word meaning humble one.
Karisimbi gorilla family
Karisimbi is a family of 15 members with 3 silverbacks, this family is found and trekked at the slopes of mount karisimbi. This family split from the big Susa family that is why it is referred to as Susa family B.
From mountain gorillas the second fascinating primates living in the thick forests of volcanoes national park in the high altitudes, there is a huge population of golden monkeys in the forests though most them have not yet been habituated they are still in their natural wild state. There is only two habituated golden monkeys each consisting of approximately 80-100 individuals. One golden monkey group is found and tracked on the foothills of mountain sabyinyo.
Volcanoes national park feature magnificent twin lakes, these lakes are found in musanze district on the base of mount muhabura. Twin lakes were formed as a result of volcanic glaciers from the erupted volcanoes which blocked river Nyabarongo which was flowing towards the northern region of Rwanda, twins lakes are called so because they are found in same area which spans over a surface area of 2800 square kilometers. Twins lakes are great attraction as they consist of beautiful green vegetation, islands that are visited during while on these lakes in volcanoes national park, twin lakes are free from crocodiles which makes it safe for boat cruise expedition and swimming.
Virunga national park is stretches around five volcanoes out of 8 volcanoes which make up the great Virunga volcanoes, these volcanoes include karisimbi, bisoke, muhabura, gahinga and sabyinyo. These five 5 volcanoes create a spectacular scenic scenery in the park and they are also home to many wildlife found in the park majorly mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.
Virunga volcanoes found in this park stand at different height above the sea level hence offering difference hiking experience to hikers visiting volcanoes national park. Height of these volcanoes is as follows
- Mount Karisimbi
Mount karisimbi is the highest volcano among all of the 8 volcanoes and the 11th highest mountain in Africa standing at the height of 4507 metres above the sea level, this mountain’s name comes from a Kinyarwanda word amasimbi meaning snow.
- Mount Bisoke
Mount bisoke is a dormant volcano standing at the elevation of 3,711 meters above the sea level, mount bisoke is also called mount visoke situated 35 kilometers northeast of Goma town.
- Mount Muhabura
Mount muhabura also known as mount muhavura is an extinct volcano situated on the border of Uganda and Rwanda, mount muhabura is the third highest volcano out of 8 Virunga volcanoes. Mount muhabura derives its name from a Kinyarwanda word meaning the guide.
- Mount gahinga
Mount gahinga is a dormant volcano standing at the altitude of 3,474 meters above the sea level, mount gahinga lies on the border of Rwanda and Uganda between Muhabura and Sabyinyo Mountain. This volcano derives its name from a local Kinyarwanda/Rufumbira word meaning a small pile of stones.
- Mount Sabyinyo
Mount sabyinyo is the oldest volcano amongst the 8 volcanoes of Virunga volcanoes standing at the elevation of 3,669 meters above the sea level, mount sabyinyo derives its name a local Kinyarwanda word Iryinyo meaning tooth.
Kwita Izina ceremony
Kwita Izina ceremony is a greatly enjoyed ceremony for naming of newly born gorilla babies, this ceremony is attended to many people from local and international social settings. In this ceremony baby gorillas are given names as it is the ancestral baby naming ceremony that happens after birth of a new born.
Where to stay in volcanoes national park
When you are on your safari in volcanoes national park accommodation is got from best view hotel, mountain gorilla view lodge, bisate lodge, Virunga lodge, sabyinyo silverback lodge, mountain gorillas nest lodge, five volcanoes boutique hotel and many more