You don’t have to track gorillas to go trekking in Volcanoes National Park – there are other interesting activities such as cycling and hiking trails; cultural and village discovery tours, Musanze caves etc.

Several other primates have made Volcanoes National Park their home too and it’s possible to track two troops of habituated golden monkeys, a totally different experience to gorilla tracking. Golden monkeys tend to inhabit the bamboo forests on the lower slopes, so the walk to reach them is relatively easy.

The tomb of Dian Fossey and the Karisoke Research Centre she established is another popular route, which takes a couple of hours of fairly steep walking. Another beautiful option is a day hike to the Crater Lake on Mount Bisoke (3,700m) located on Congo and Rwanda border. Another excellent add-on activity is the guided tour to the Musanze caves.

People are as much a part of Volcanoes National Park as its primates and a visit to one of the cultural centres in the area to gain an insight into local life and traditions is not only very interesting but also benefits the local communities and deters them from engaging in negative activities like poaching. Two very good examples are the SACOLA Cultural Centre, with excellent traditional Intore dancing, and Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village, both near Kinigi.

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