Myth About Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda – Rwanda Safari News
Volcanoes National Park famously known as Parc Nationaldes Volcans in French is located in Northwestern part of the land of thousand hills – Rwanda and frontiers Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.
The Gorilla safari destination in Rwanda is most popular as a paradise for the world endangered mountain gorilla and perfect home to five (5) of the eight spectacular volcanoes of the Virunga Massifs i.e. Karisimbi Volcano, Mt.Bisoke, Mountain Muhabura, Gahinga as well as the oldest Sabyinyo Volcano, which are covered /occupied in bamboo and rainforest.
The park was first established in 1925, as a small area covered by Karisimbi Volcanoes, Visoke and Mikeno Volcano’s.
It was founded to protect and conserve the endangered Mountain gorillas from illegal poachers. This park was the very first National Park to be established in Africa and in 1967; it became the base for the American naturalist Dian Fossey who was carrying out her research about the Mountain gorillas.
She started Karisoke Research Center between two Volcanoes of Karisimbi and Visoke. From then onwards, she spent most of her time in the park, and the fallen researcher is remembered for her efforts of saving the Mountain gorillas from serious threat of extinction by bringing their plight to the attention of the international community.
Covering 160kms of protected land, this precious national park was turned or made fighting grounds during the merciless Civil war which swept across Rwanda, with the park headquarters being invaded in 1992.
During that time, the Karisoke research Center that was earlier on created by Dian Fossey was left and even all gorilla trekking and other activities were halted The tourists activities where not regained until year 1999 when the park area was declared safe and secure from the rebels.
Volcanoes National Park is one of the best parks with unique vegetation types that vary according to altitudinal range within the park.
The lower slopes of the park are mainly dominated with montane forests which are under threat extinction due to increasing illegal poaching activities that were practiced in the park grounds.
Between elevations of 2400 – 2500 m above sea level, there is Neoboutonia forest and from 2500- 3200 m above sea level, bamboo forest occurs, covering almost 30% of the park area.
From an elevation of 2600 – 3600 m, Hagenia-Hypericum forest occur and these also covers 30% of the park.
The vegetation from 3500 to 4200 m is characterized by rare Lobelia wollastonii, as well as unique plant life called lanurensis, plus Senecio erici-rosenii which cover about 25% of the park.
The flora from 4300 to 4500 m is characterized with grassland, secondary thicket, marshes, meadows swamps and small lakes also occur.
The park is also most popular for the endangered species of the Mountain Gorilla that thrive in the hilly forested areas of the park.
Probably the mountain gorilla account for the many Rwanda safaris under taken to the park. In addition to gorilla include other mammal species like golden monkey, herds of buffalo; black-fronted duiker as well as Spotted Hyena and bushbuck also exist in the park.
For bird lovers, the park also houses almost 178 bird species and out of the total number 13 are anticipated to be found to the stunning Virunga Mountains.
Spanning in the middle of Central Africa, the impressive Volcanoes national park are among the most inspiring sights to be enjoyed in East Africa.
Dian Fossey long ago wrote that “Visitor on Rwanda hiking safari when hiking so high up has to shiver more than he or she sweat”.
The rough series of eight (8) peaks, summit projects so high to an elevation of 15,000 feet in some areas, and 5 of these peaks are sheltered within Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.
The bottom of each is sheltered with dense rainforest, which later gives way to the stunning grassland as well as alpine moorland as you move higher.
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