Things To Do In Rwanda

Track the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda

There’s no question that gorilla trekking is the top activity for visitors to Volcanoes National Park. Rwanda is home to a little under half of the world’s mountain gorillas, find their home here in the forested slopes of the Virunga Massif.

As of 2023, gorilla trekking permits in Rwanda cost USD$1,500 per per person, and the trek is an extraordinary experience. Visitors set out in the early morning on a guided hike through the forest in search of their assigned, habituated gorilla family, led by park rangers and a team of expert trackers. Once the gorilla family is located, visitors have the chance to spend a full hour with them in their natural habitat.

There’s nothing quite like watching a silverback amble across the forest floor in a display of its might, seeing a young gorilla swing playfully on a Vince, or watching its mother peel back nearby leaves and stems to feed on. Hornbill travelers consistently tell us it was a life-changing experience, and one of their top travel memories.

To learn more about what to expect during your gorilla trek, visit out blog post Gorilla Trekking: The Experience.

Hike through the Forest to Find Golden Monkeys

Curious and playful, these endangered primates make their home in the bamboo forests of Volcanoes National Park.  (They can also be found in certain regions of Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo.) 

Golden monkeys live in family groups of up to 60 individuals, and are delightful to watch as they skitter over branches, feast on bamboo, and frolic along the forest floor.  Their striking coats boast patch of golden fur for which they’re named.  The hike to locate the habituated Golden monkey family is usually shorter and easier than the average gorilla trek, but you’ll still have that precious hour to spend with them in their habitat before making the return journey to the trailhead.

Visit the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Opened in February 2022, the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is a center for conservation, research, and education. Visitors can enjoy interactive public exhibits that tell the story of mountain gorilla research and conservation from the era of Dian Fossey up to today, including never-before-seen artifacts. While touring, guests can browse local crafts at the gift shop or grab a cup of coffee at the Gorilla Cafe. For anyone interested in learning more about mountain gorillas, their conservation, and ecotourism in Rwanda, the Ellen Campus is well worth a visit.

Visit a Community Project or Set out on a Community Walk

For a better understanding of daily life and culture in Rwanda, ask us about adding a community walk to your itinerary.  Or, consider stopping by a local project designed to support and empower communities in the Volcanoes National Park region–like Handspun Hope, where women work fair-trade jobs in a yarn-making collective, learning fiber arts and business skills. 

Set out on a Nature Walk or Hike

Explore the region on a guided nature walk or hike to take in the lush forest setting or the spectacular views over the Virunga Volcanoes.  Hike to the twin lakes Ruhondo and Bulera, climb Mt. Bisoke or Mt. Karasimbi, or visit the Buhanga Forest–the historic coronation site of Rwanda’s past kings–to learn about the country’s culture and environment.  Whether you’re in it for the bird watching (with over 200 species recorded), the incredible views, or simply another chance to stretch your legs and see the sights, the park offers plenty of hiking opportunities to keep active travelers exploring.

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