Parc National des Volcans (PNV) , in the heart of Central Africa consists of the Rwandese side of the Virunga volcanoes – towering up almost 15,000 ft covered with rich rainforest and home to the rare mountain gorillas. Treking through these rainforest offers magnificent views of the rich mosaic made up of bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.
There are seven habituated gorilla groups that current inhabits these mountains and each group is allowed eight permits per day. The eight group are Sabinyo, Amahoro, Umubano, Susa; Kwitonda and Hirwa. Most groups are half-day walks but Susa can take 5-7 hours. You can also climb a volcano, visit the remains of Dian Fossey’s grave and the graves of the gorillas which she studied, and see the endangered golden monkey.
One can also trek to see the Golden Monkeys, an Elusive Treasure in the Virunga Mountains This little known monkeys are one of the most endangered primates in Africa and it is now thought that the only viable population of these monkeys is in the Virunga Volcanoes.
A smaller population may exist in the Nyungwe Forest in Southern Rwanda but this has yet to be verified. The golden monkey is a distinct species of guenon – Cercopithecus Kandti and is endemic to the Albertine Rift.
Two groups are being habituated for visitors in the Virungas. The Kabatwa group is found in the east of the park, on the flanks of the Sabinyo volcano and has about 40 in the group
The bustling market town of Ruhengeri has a memorable setting at the base of the Virungas. On the outskirts of town, the natural bridge at Musanze – a solidified lava flow – is a fascinating relic of the volcanic activity that shaped this scenic area. Also within easy day tripping distance of Ruhengeri are the seldom visited but lovely Lakes Burera, Ruhondo and Karago.