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Difference between revisions of "Volcanoes National Park"

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Africa : East Africa : Rwanda : Volcanoes National Park
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==Understand==
 
==Understand==
In the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat," wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, "are great, old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest - the Virungas". Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range - home of the rare mountain gorilla - and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.
+
In the heart of Central Africa, "so high up that you shiver more than you sweat," wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, "are great, old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest - the Virungas". Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range - home of the rare mountain gorilla - and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.[http://www.rwandatourism.com/test/page.php?uri=Volcanoes_National_Park]
  
 
===History===
 
===History===
Line 15: Line 15:
  
 
==Fees/Permits==
 
==Fees/Permits==
Prices to obtain permit for Volcanoes National Park to view Mountain Gorillas (April 2010):
 
  
*Foreign Visitor $500
+
'''Mountain Gorillas'''
*Foreign Resident $250
+
Prices to obtain permit for Volcanoes National Park to view Mountain Gorillas (June 2012):
*Rwandan Citizen 20,000 Rwandan Francs= roughly $33-$35
+
*Foreign Visitor $750
 +
*Foreign Resident $375
 +
*Rwandan Citizen 20,000 rwf (~$33)
 
*East African Community Citizen $200
 
*East African Community Citizen $200
 
*East African Community Foreign Resident $300
 
*East African Community Foreign Resident $300
*Rwandan Student  2,000 Rwandese Francs = roughly $3.5-$4
+
*Rwandan Student  2,000 rwf
 
*East African Community Student = $150
 
*East African Community Student = $150
 
*Foreign Resident Student in Rwanda = $150
 
*Foreign Resident Student in Rwanda = $150
 +
 +
Tickets can sell out several months in advance. 
 +
 +
{{cautionbox|Be sure to confirm the date for which you have reserved a permit. If arrive without a permit for the proper date and if there are permits still available for the day you wanted to trek you will be required to buy a second permit (you can not move the permit from another date to the current date)}}
 +
 +
'''Mount Bisoke'''  $75 per person
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
 +
=== Primate Trekking ===
 +
==== Before You Arrive ====
  
==See==
+
==== The Morning Of ====
 +
Both trekking options start at the park headquarters at 7:00 am. You will need to register yourself (or your driver / guide may complete this on your behalf). There is tea and coffee served in the main shelter and some days there is a dance presentation given by the local cultural center (this typically starts around 6:45 am). The park guides will place individuals into trekking groups based on ability and your preference for which group to visit. This process takes 30-40 minutes during which you can walk around the grounds or relax in the main shelter. After the assignments are made your driver / guide will direct you to a location on the lawn where your trekking  group will assemble. Once all members are assembled the park guide will go over some basic information and have you fill out a form with your name, nationality, etc. The form has a location for passport number and permit number but these are not required (the form is for information gathering only). The park guide will give you an introduction to the group you will be visiting along with showing you a diagram of the gorilla group's family tree. Once this initial introduction is complete (10-15 minutes) you will find your driver and proceed to the starting point for your trek.
  
==Do==
+
==== The Trek ====
* '''Gorilla Trekking'''
+
Your driver will take you to the starting point of the trek (there are multiple entry points into the park) which can be a trip of 20-45 minutes sometimes on very poor roads. Once you have reached the entry point parking lot your trekking group will reassemble with your park guide and secondary guide. Additional instructions will be given and you will be offered a walking stick for the trek. In addition, this is when you can hire a porter. The porters are all wearing the same blue coveralls and there is a defined order in which porters are selected. Ask your driver or the park guide if you want to hire a porter and they will signal to a porter to give you a hand. It is recommended you use a porter if you have any bags or other equipment as the hike can be long, steep or through difficult terrain. Also, it is an important way to support the local economy and help incentivise anti-poaching efforts. You will pay/tip the porter at the end of the trek.
* '''Golden Monkey Trekking'''
+
  
Both trekking options start at the park headquarters[http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Volcanoes+National+Park+Headquarters,+Rwanda&hl=en&ll=-1.432011,29.59484&spn=0.004049,0.005284&sll=-1.431963,29.594936&sspn=0.004049,0.005284&oq=park+hea&vpsrc=6&hq=Volcanoes+National+Park+Headquarters,+Rwanda&t=h&z=18] at 7:00 am. You will need to register yourself (or your driver / guide may complete this on your behalf). There is tea and coffee served in the main shelter and some days there is a dance presentation given my the local cultural center (this typically starts around 6:45 am). The park guides will place individuals into trekking groups based on ability and your preference for which group to visit. This process takes 30-40 minutes during which you can walk around the grounds or relax in the main shelter. After the assignments are made your driver / guide will direct you to a location on the lawn where your trekking  group will assemble. Once all members are assembled the park guide will go over some basic information and have you fill out a form with your name, nationality, etc. The form has a location for passport number and ticket number but these are not required (the form is for metric gathering only). The park guide will give you an introduction to the group you will be visiting along with showing you a diagram of the family tree. Once this initial introduction is complete (10-15 minutes) you will find your driver and proceed to the starting point.  
+
Your starting position will be outside the park and depending on the starting position you may have to hike up to an hour to actually get to the park boundary which is marked with a stone wall. The area before the park is typically made up of farming fields.  
  
Your driver will take you to the starting point of the trek (there are twelve entry points into the park(?)) which can be a trip of 20-45 minutes sometimes on very poor roads. Once you have reached the entry point parking lot your trekking group will reassemble with your park guide, and secondary guide. Additional instructions will be given and you will be offered a walking stick for the trek. In addition this is when you can hire a porter. The porters are all wearing the same blue coveralls and there is a defined order on which porter is next in line to be selected. Ask your driver or the park guide if you want to hire a porter and they will signal one to give you a hand. It is recommended you use a porter if you have any bags or other equipment you would like to be transported as the hike can be long, steep or though difficult terrain. You will pay the porter at the end of the trek.
+
Once you reach the park boundary additional instructions will be given about how to behave around the primates such as restrictions on eating, drinking, smoking and bathroom breaks.  
  
Your starting position will be outside the park and depending on the starting position you may have to hike up to an hour to actually get to the park boundary which is marked with a stone wall. The area before the park is typically made up of farmers fields.  
+
The trek inside the park boundary varies depending on the location of your group and may include steep climbs, movement through a bamboo forest or hacking through thick brush.
  
Once you reach the park boundary additional instructions will be given about how to behave around the primates, restrictions on eating, drinking, smoking and bathroom facilities.  
+
==== Viewing the Primates ====
 +
You will know you have reached the staging area when additional park trackers join your group. At this point you will need to leave all bags and walking sticks with the porters but will be allowed to take cameras with you. A final hike (around 200 meters) and you should be in the presence of the primates. After the one hour visit you return to the staging area where you left your belongings and prepare to hike out to the starting point.
  
The trek inside the park boundary varies depending on the location of your group and may include step climbs, movement through a bamboo forest or hacking through thick brush.
+
==== Return ====
 +
Upon your return to the starting point you will pay your porters (consider giving tip) and can also tip the guides.
  
You will know you have reached the staging area when additional trackers join your group. At this point you will need to leave all bags and walking sticks with the porters and take everything you will need for the next hour. A final hike (around 200 meters) and you should be in the presence of the primates. After the one hour visit you return to the staging area and prepare to hike out to the starting point.
+
Finally, you can return to the park headquarters where you will be given a certificate indicating that you have completed a visit with your specific gorilla group.
  
Upon your return to the starting point you can give and tips to the porters or guides.
+
==== Equipment ====
 +
Trekking through the Virunga forests of Rwanda requires some basic equipment to ensure you can transport sufficient liquids, protect yourself from the flora and fauna and can safely navigate the terrain.
  
Finally, you can return to the park headquarters where you will be given a certificate indicating that you have completed a visit with your specific group.
+
'''Required / Highly Recommended'''
 +
* Day pack or other wearable bag to carry water, snacks and camera
 +
* Long sleeve shirt
 +
* Long pants
 +
* Sturdy hiking shoes or boots (preferably waterproof)
 +
* Bug repellent with DEET
 +
* Socks that can allow you to tuck your pants into them or hiking gaters (to protect from red ants)
 +
* At least 1 - 2 liters of water
 +
 
 +
'''Optional'''
 +
* Utility gloves
 +
* Walking stick (one will be provided to you by the park guide)
 +
* Wide brimmed hat
 +
* Sunglasses (with optional neck strap)
 +
 
 +
==See==
 +
* '''Kinigi Cultural Center'''
 +
 
 +
==Do==
 +
* '''Gorilla Trekking'''
 +
* '''Golden Monkey Trekking'''
 +
* '''Hike to Dian Fossey Grave'''
 +
* '''Hike to Volcano Creator Lake'''
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
Line 71: Line 105:
 
{{outline}}
 
{{outline}}
 
{{parkguide}}
 
{{parkguide}}
 +
 +
[[nl:Volcanoes Nationaal Park]]

Revision as of 04:09, 8 January 2013

Volcanoes National Park is an extraordinary park in Rwanda, full of impressive tropical rainforest and volcanic scenery, trekking, and is perhaps the best place in the world to see the rare mountain gorillas.

Contents

Understand

In the heart of Central Africa, "so high up that you shiver more than you sweat," wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, "are great, old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest - the Virungas". Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, the Parc des Volcans protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range - home of the rare mountain gorilla - and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.[1]

History

Landscape

Flora and fauna

Climate

Get in

Fees/Permits

Mountain Gorillas Prices to obtain permit for Volcanoes National Park to view Mountain Gorillas (June 2012):

  • Foreign Visitor $750
  • Foreign Resident $375
  • Rwandan Citizen 20,000 rwf (~$33)
  • East African Community Citizen $200
  • East African Community Foreign Resident $300
  • Rwandan Student 2,000 rwf
  • East African Community Student = $150
  • Foreign Resident Student in Rwanda = $150

Tickets can sell out several months in advance.

Travel Warning

NOTE: Be sure to confirm the date for which you have reserved a permit. If arrive without a permit for the proper date and if there are permits still available for the day you wanted to trek you will be required to buy a second permit (you can not move the permit from another date to the current date)


Mount Bisoke $75 per person

Get around

Primate Trekking

Before You Arrive

The Morning Of

Both trekking options start at the park headquarters at 7:00 am. You will need to register yourself (or your driver / guide may complete this on your behalf). There is tea and coffee served in the main shelter and some days there is a dance presentation given by the local cultural center (this typically starts around 6:45 am). The park guides will place individuals into trekking groups based on ability and your preference for which group to visit. This process takes 30-40 minutes during which you can walk around the grounds or relax in the main shelter. After the assignments are made your driver / guide will direct you to a location on the lawn where your trekking group will assemble. Once all members are assembled the park guide will go over some basic information and have you fill out a form with your name, nationality, etc. The form has a location for passport number and permit number but these are not required (the form is for information gathering only). The park guide will give you an introduction to the group you will be visiting along with showing you a diagram of the gorilla group's family tree. Once this initial introduction is complete (10-15 minutes) you will find your driver and proceed to the starting point for your trek.

The Trek

Your driver will take you to the starting point of the trek (there are multiple entry points into the park) which can be a trip of 20-45 minutes sometimes on very poor roads. Once you have reached the entry point parking lot your trekking group will reassemble with your park guide and secondary guide. Additional instructions will be given and you will be offered a walking stick for the trek. In addition, this is when you can hire a porter. The porters are all wearing the same blue coveralls and there is a defined order in which porters are selected. Ask your driver or the park guide if you want to hire a porter and they will signal to a porter to give you a hand. It is recommended you use a porter if you have any bags or other equipment as the hike can be long, steep or through difficult terrain. Also, it is an important way to support the local economy and help incentivise anti-poaching efforts. You will pay/tip the porter at the end of the trek.

Your starting position will be outside the park and depending on the starting position you may have to hike up to an hour to actually get to the park boundary which is marked with a stone wall. The area before the park is typically made up of farming fields.

Once you reach the park boundary additional instructions will be given about how to behave around the primates such as restrictions on eating, drinking, smoking and bathroom breaks.

The trek inside the park boundary varies depending on the location of your group and may include steep climbs, movement through a bamboo forest or hacking through thick brush.

Viewing the Primates

You will know you have reached the staging area when additional park trackers join your group. At this point you will need to leave all bags and walking sticks with the porters but will be allowed to take cameras with you. A final hike (around 200 meters) and you should be in the presence of the primates. After the one hour visit you return to the staging area where you left your belongings and prepare to hike out to the starting point.

Return

Upon your return to the starting point you will pay your porters (consider giving tip) and can also tip the guides.

Finally, you can return to the park headquarters where you will be given a certificate indicating that you have completed a visit with your specific gorilla group.

Equipment

Trekking through the Virunga forests of Rwanda requires some basic equipment to ensure you can transport sufficient liquids, protect yourself from the flora and fauna and can safely navigate the terrain.

Required / Highly Recommended

  • Day pack or other wearable bag to carry water, snacks and camera
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Long pants
  • Sturdy hiking shoes or boots (preferably waterproof)
  • Bug repellent with DEET
  • Socks that can allow you to tuck your pants into them or hiking gaters (to protect from red ants)
  • At least 1 - 2 liters of water

Optional

  • Utility gloves
  • Walking stick (one will be provided to you by the park guide)
  • Wide brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses (with optional neck strap)

See

  • Kinigi Cultural Center

Do

  • Gorilla Trekking
  • Golden Monkey Trekking
  • Hike to Dian Fossey Grave
  • Hike to Volcano Creator Lake

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Lodging

Camping

Backcountry

Stay safe

Get out


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