What to Know About the History of Volcanoes National Park- Rwanda Safari News
Volcanoes National park also called Parc National des Volcans is Located in northwestern Rwanda and its African’s oldest national park that border’s Congo’s Virunga National Park as well as Uganda’s Mgahinga National park located in south western park of Uganda.
The national park is popularly well- known as a haven for the mountain gorilla and therefore many tourists have undertaken gorilla trekking safaris to Rwanda to trek the gorillas in this wonderful park.
It is also home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains and among the five Virunga Massifs include Karisimbi which is the highest volcano, Bisoke as well as Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo the oldest volcanoes and this stretches to Ugandan side which are covered in rainforest and bamboo vegetation.
This makes the park to be the best hiking destinations for tourists interested in hiking experience and for any visitor with the intension of exploring the Virunga massifs should undertake Rwanda Safaris for memorable experience.
Historically the park was first gazetted in the year 1925, as a small area occupied by the beautiful volcanoes of Karisimbi, Mikeno and Visoke, and it was gazzetted in order to protect and conserve the mountain gorillas’ species from the poachers after realizing that gorillas were future potential attraction to increase safaris to Rwanda.
The park was the first national park to be created in the whole of African continent hence making it to be the oldest park in the continent of Africa.
In the year 1929, the park boarders were stretched further into Rwanda as well as entering even the Belgian side of Congo and this lead to the formation of the traditional Albert National Park that was covering an estimated vast area of 8090 km².the park by then was under the management of the Belgian colonial authorities who were the ones responsible for the two colonies.
After Congo attaining independence in the year 1960, the park was divided into two, and when Rwandan attained its independence in the year 1962, the new government which assumed power agreed to maintain and protect the park as a conservation Area as well as tourist area where particularly tourists would enjoy their gorilla trekking activities.
Despite the fact that the newly independent republic of Rwanda was already suffering from over population problems, the Volcanoes park was halved in area in the year 1969 and between the year 1969 and 1973, an estimated total area of 1050 hectares of the park’s land was cleared to grow pyre thrum.
In the year 1967, when Dian Fossey arrived in Rwanda, Volcanoes Park became the base for the American naturalist Dian Fossey who was on her Rwanda Safaris to carry out her research about the mountain gorillas.
She developed Research Center in the Karisoke, Karisimbi Mountain and Visoke volcanoe where she then used to base when spending her wonderful time in the park and she is remembered for saving the mountain gorillas from extinction by extending the gorilla’s plight to the attention and minds of most of the international community.
Unfortunately she was killed by the unidentified attacker who directly went and murdered her at her home in the year 1985; Allegations are point to the poachers that she spent some good time blocking them from hunting the mountain gorillas.
She was buried in the park in a grave close to the research center so traveller can visit the park and pay tribute to the horned grave of the American researcher who is buried in the park and amongst the gorillas which became her life.
The wonderful Volcanoes National Park was used as a battlefield during the Rwandan Civil War and the park headquarters were attacked in the year 1992.
The research Centre located in the park was left and all tourist activities including trekking mountain gorillas were stopped.
They did not resume again until the year 1999 when the park was declared under control and safe. There have been occasional infiltrations by Rwandan rebels from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda in past years, but these are blocked very fast by the Rwandan power and intelligent army hence making the attempts not threat to tourism in the park.
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