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The Volcanoes National Park and its imposing skyline

The Volcanoes National Park and its imposing skyline

The Volcanoes National Park is home to the mountain gorillas, from which a substantial amount of dollars is milked. Apart from the gorillas, the park offers a wide range of exciting activities.

Gorillas are not the only primates inhabiting the protected area. They share the same habitat with their less popular cousins, namely golden monkeys. As a result of deliberate conservation efforts, both endangered species are registering rebounding numbers in terms of population growth.

The golden monkeys live in large groups. They are often spotted eating bamboo leaves and fruits. They have long, golden facial hair and bright orange backs. Limited research has been conducted on these fascinating creatures, but the little we know about them shows quite advanced cognitive development.

Moreover, Volcanoes National Park is a hikers’ paradise. There are eight mountains within the Virunga range. Five of them are located along Rwanda’s northwestern border. The five volcanoes co-shared by Rwanda are Muhabura, Gahinga, Sabyinyo, Bisoke and Karisimbi.

At 4,507 meters above sea level, Karisimbi’s summit is the highest point in the entire chain. The most physically taxing part of its trail is a stretch popularly known as mubakomando. Muhabura, the second-tallest volcano in the area, has a very steep slope. Bisoke and Gahinga hikes are relatively easier, while Sabyinyo’s summit is not yet reachable from the Rwandan side.

Karisimbi hikers can also add a stopover at Dian Fossey’s tomb. Visiting the final resting place of the legendary primatologist will make you feel like a monk in a remote pilgrimage site. Dian Fossey spent the last eighteen years of her life living with the gorillas while protecting and studying them.

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