Volcanoes National Park

March 26, 2022
News Journeys Uganda

The volcanoes national park which covers an area of approximately 160sq km that is a composition of the Virunga Mountains and conservation area is within and surrounded by a range of six extinct and three active volcanoes that straddle the Ugandan and Congolese borders and protect more than half the global population of mountain gorillas within the Virungas Conservation Area, it forms part of a contiguous 433 sq km trans frontier conservation unit that protects the upper slopes of the Virungas as a whole neighboring the southern portion of the Congolese Virunga National Park Uganda’s Mgahinga gorilla National Park. The three parks function separately today, but prior to 1960 the Rwanda and Congolese sectors were jointly managed as the Albert National Park.

Volcanoes National Park is an immensely scenic and ecologically diverse ecosystem with a steep chain of free-standing mountains ranging from 7,874 feet to 414,786 feet, and linked by fertile saddles formed by solidified lava flows, ranks among the most stirring and memorable of African landscapes. On the border with DRC, Karisimbi  is the tallest of the chain volcanoes, on the western part of the park, is. Moving eastwards, the other main peaks within the national park are Bisoke on the DRC border. Sabyinyo at the tripartite border with Uganda and the DRC, and Gahinga and Muhabura on the Ugandan border.

Mountain gorilla Trekking is the most popular activity in Volcanoes National Park. However, a wide variety of other hikes and activities are offered, making it possible to spend several nights around the park with numerous tour activities to do. The most popular activity after gorilla tracking is a visit to a habituated troop of the rare golden monkeys, an Albertine Rift endemic whose modern range is restricted to the Virungas and can only be done here and The Mgahinga Gorilla National Park  in Uganda. Also quite popular is the hike to Dian Fossey’s former camp and grave on the forested slopes of Karisoke. Fewer visitors embark on the more demanding day treks to the summits of Bisoke crater or Muhabura, and fewer still are up for the overnight hike to the highest point in the range, the summit of Karisimbi.

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