Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park:

Volcanoes National Park similarly denoted in French as Parc National des Volcanos is positioned in north-western part of Rwanda sharing the border post withVirunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Well celebrated for its mountain gorillas, this park also contains five of the general eight volcanic highlands in the Virunga area including; Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo Gahinga and Muhabura.

Volcanoes national park first came into existence in 1925 being the first African park to be gazetted with the motive of reducing the Gorilla poaching. It later acted as a center for the American primatologist Dian Fossey who carried out substantive studies about the mountain gorillas. Karisoke area which stands in the middle of Karisimbi and Visoke areas was the Dian’s center upon her arrival in 1967. This station which still stands up to today did enormous work towards conservation of endangered mountain gorillas that was later to capture the public attention in the years that followed.  Despite the uncertain death of Dian in 1985, her selfless contribution is still celebrated up to today and her grave lies at the same center thus can be encountered on Rwanda safari.

Volcanoes national park contains arrange of vegetation as a result various altitude ranges. Vegetation zones include the (2400 – 2500 m) – Montane lower forest though depleted by activities of farming, (2500 – 3200 m) – Neoboutonia forest, Bamboo which covers over 30% of the forest land, (2600 – 3600 m) – Hagenia-Hypericum forest while a stretch from 3500-4200 m the park land is characterized by Lobelia wollastonii, Senecio erici-rosenii and Lobelia lanurensis.  Grassland with thicket, meadows marshes exist at 4300 – 4500 m.

Concerning wildlife, Volcanoes national park contains the world’s endangered mountain gorillas existing along with various mammals including Golden monkey, buffalo, spotted hyena, black – fronted duiker and bush buck.  Though rarely seen, elephants have been listed on the park list while a range of 178 bird species occur within the park of which 13 of them are endemic to the Albertine area.


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