Vegetation in Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes national park is made up of diverse vegetation, which favor the habitation and feeding of different animal and bird species. Vegetation in Volcanoes National park entail rain forest, thickets, swamps, marshes, meadows, alpine forests and grasslands situated in different altitudinal ranges. These include a rain forest in the ranges between 2400 and 2500m, bamboo forest and the Arundinaria alphia between 2500 to 32000m. The bamboo forest covers over 30% of the total land area. From 2600m to 3600m is the humid slopes in the south and west of the park covered with hypericum forest covering roughly 30% of the parks total land area. This forest is one of the largest forests of hagenia Abyssinia. From 3500m to 4500m, the forest is characterized by lobelia wollastonii, L. lanurensis and senecio erici-rosenii, which covers about 24% of the park area. From 4300 to 4500m, the park is covered by grassland, which shelter a variety of bird species.
Diverse vegetation cover favors the habitation of animals and birds. Volcanoes national park is widely known for mountain gorillas, which are a key focus for most travelers on Rwanda safaris. Besides gorillas, the park is a home to the endangered golden monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis Kandti) spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), black-fronted duiker (Cephalophus Niger) buffalos (Syncerus cafer) and bushbuck (Tragelaphus ) among others. Over 180 bird species 16 of which are endemic to the region also live in the park hence the best spot for bird watching.
Major activities in the park
Volcanoes National Park supports a variety of activities, which reward travelers with enchanting memories. These include among others:
This is the most done tourism activity in the park attracting the highest number of travelers. 10 gorilla families are available for trekking every day at a cost of $1500 for a permit.
Golden monkey trekking.
This is the second most done activity in Volcanoes national park. The park is one the few areas to see these endangered species besides Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda. Fortunately, golden monkeys are trekked at a cost of $100, which makes it relatively cheaper compared o mountain gorillas.
The park hosts three distinct volcanoes namely, Mt Karisimbi, Mt Bisoke and Mt Sabinyo. Interestingly, the slopes of these volcanoes shelter mountain gorillas which give hikers an added chance to meet these gentle giants at no extra cost.
Dian Fossey grave hike
Do not miss out hiking to the grave yard of Dian Fossey an American primatologist and gorilla lover who sacrificed her life to save mountain gorillas in the Virunga massif that were at the verge of extinction.
With more than 178 birds residing in the park, volcanoes national park is a haven for the birders. Birding is well done during a forest walk where travelers enjoy the sweet melodies of birds singing sweetly up in the tress. Among the birds to expect in Volcanoes national park include strange weaver, Red-faced woodland warbler, Archer’s ground robin, dusky crimson-wind, Francolins, Rwenzori batis, Rwenzori double collared sunbird and Rwenzori Turaco among others. Experienced birding guides help you spot these birds and explain detailed features about each bird specie.
In general, Volcanoes national park is a hub for your Rwanda safari. Enjoy guided gorilla tours, bird watching, golden monkey tracking and Virunga volcano hiking in Volcanoes national park for a lifetime experience.