History of the Volcanoes national park : The Volcanoes national park is a national park of Rwanda, a small landlocked country on the African continent. The Volcanoes national park is now a very famous tourist destination and this is majorly of the fact that it is one of the homes of the gentle giants- the mountain gorillas. The Volcanoes national park is one of the other three national parks in the world that guests can visit the mountain gorillas in the wild and with this, big numbers of tourists looking for this experience have been flocking the country to thrill while on Rwanda Tours .
The Volcanoes national park offers gorilla trekking as the major activity however there are many other activities one can engage in on a visit. This national park besides the current facts, there are a few historical facts that are attached to this Rwandan park.
The Volcanoes national park as is commonly known now was previously called the Parc National des Volcans which is a French name referring to the current English name of the park. The Volcanoes national park is located in the north western part of Rwanda in Ruhengeri district just a 2 hour and 45 minutes’ drive from Kigali, the capital city of the country.
The Volcanoes national park of Rwanda borders the other two homes of the mountain gorillas which are the Virunga national park of the Democratic republic of Congo in the west and the Mgahinga gorilla national park of Uganda in the North. The Volcanoes national park besides the mountain gorillas is blessed with abundant flora and forest animals as well as volcanic mountains thus History of the Volcanoes national park.
Within the Volcanoes national park boundaries are 5 of the 8 Virunga volcanic mountains however these are previously active volcanoes but now considered extinct and dormant volcanoes. The 5 Virunga volcanoes within the Volcanoes national park are the Mount Bisoke, Mount Karisimbi, Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura and the Mount Sabyinyo. This national park was established as a national park of Rwanda in 1925 making it Africa’s oldest national park on the entire continent.
The gazetting of the Volcanoes national park in 1925 was a move to protect the mountain gorillas and the other natural resources within the park from the poachers. The boundaries of the Volcanoes national park previously stretched out to the DR Congo and was known as the Albert National Park named after the then King Albert 1. The Albert national park was managed and coordinated by the ruling government at that time, the Belgian colonialists.
It was much later in the 1960s that the Volcanoes national park was split following the country’s independence to almost half of its size and birthed the other mountain gorilla home, the Virunga national park of DR Congo. The Volcanoes national park currently is sitted on a area of 160 square kilometers looking at a possible expansion.
The volcanoes national park was previously a home for the celebrated primatologist Dian Fossey and this park also doubled as the base for her study on the mountain gorillas in 1967. She carried out research and also emphasized on the importance of conserving the gorillas thus History of the Volcanoes national park.
Dian Fossey’s research has been dated far back to 1966 as the year she started the study and this is also where she lost her life and was said to have been murdered in her humble cottage by the poachers whose acts she was so against. Her tomb is within the park and guests can take on a hike to this tomb at 75 USD only.
The Volcanoes national park has also been a field for the civil wars in the region and was also a hiding place for the rwandan people during the 1994 Rwanda genocide memorial and this instability definitely affected the tourism of this park negatively. Over the years, Rwanda has regained its stability and the activities have been going on smoothly and safely.
The Volcanoes national park was the first and is the only gorilla home that hosts an annual baby naming ceremony called Kwita Izina that was first held in 2005. The new births in the park were named on a ceremony on a set date of the year. This ceremony was a way to monitor the gorillas of the park and also to show the evidence of the conservation efforts as the numbers grew yearly.
A mountain gorilla permit in the Volcanoes national park goes for 1,500 USD per person and this is the ultimate gorilla experience as guests have a clearer view of the mountain gorillas because of the vegetation of the park. The Volcanoes national park is majorly vegetated by bamboo land unlike the other thick gorilla homes. Get in touch and let us plan your Rwanda safari tour with a visit to the Volcanoes national park.