The Volcanoes National Park is around 160 square kilometres and is the oldest national park in all of Africa! What was once a small area around the volcanoes of Karisimbi, Mikeno and Visoke, facing high threats of poaching and extinction of the gorillas, soon became a focal conservation area as the American zoologist Dian Fossey began her research in 1967. Today, the national park still retains a strong historical connection to mountain gorilla conservation, and whilst there are 10 gorilla groups accessible to tourists (around 175 gorillas), there are another 10 families that still remain protected for research purposes, continuing the legacy of Dian Fossey. Trekking through the wilderness in search of a family of gorillas and its dominant silverback is definitely the main attraction for tourists to the Volcanoes National Park. The park is only a 2-hour drive from Rwanda’s capital Kigali, so it is easily accessible for those looking to do a day trip to see the gorillas. Alternatively, accommodation close to the park headquarters allows guests to spend a few days embracing the remoteness and beauty of the national park, combining gorilla treks, nature walks, volcano hikes and many more.
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