VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARKVolcanoes National Park lies in NW Rwanda and borders Congo and Uganda
The Volcanoes gorillas are also found in neighboring Mgahinga and Virunga National Parks, in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) respectively, while the second group lives in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Volcanoes N.P. is situated in the north-west of Rwanda. As its name suggests, it contains a number of volcanoes, specifically Bisoke, Gahinga, Karisimbi, Muhabara, and Sabyinyo – five of the eight located in the Virunga Mountains. Of these, only Bisoke remains active, and it last erupted in 1957.
Originally the park was gazetted as a fairly small area, but this was a significant area nevertheless, as it was the first national park in Africa! The principal purpose of the park was to protect the gorillas from poaching. Four years after it was established, in 1929, it was expanded to cover not only more of Rwanda but also a large part of what was then known as the Belgian Congo (later the DRC). Unfortunately, the Belgians opted to clear 700 hectares of the area in 1958, for human habitation.