4 days Volcanoes national park Rwanda tour without the gorilla trek

Volcanoes National Park is the home of the gorillas in Rwanda and many travelers tend to think that visiting the park is all about the popular gorilla trekking adventure. However the park offers more than just the gorillas and one can enjoy a trip to the park without doing the pricey gorilla tour.  For example, the Virungas offer one of the best mountain hikes and on this 4 day volcanoes national park Rwanda tour you shall do a day hike that will expose you to rare mountain life and breathtaking views of the Virunga mountain ranges. The Virungas are also home to the golden monkeys, a strikingly beautiful species of monkeys that are found only in these mountains. You will do a golden monkeys trek and enjoy a nice encounter with these delightful monkeys.

Tour itinerary

Day 1 – pick up from Kigali and travel to Musanze, afternoon canoe trip

Our tour driver shall pick you from Kigali and travel to Musanze in the north of Rwanda which is also the location of the Volcanoes National Park. This will be a 2 hours journey.

After lunch you shall go for a 3 hour canoe ride on River Mukungwa and enjoy the lush countryside and beautiful landscape. You also get to meet locals down the river.

canoe ride on River Mukungwa in Musanze

Accommodation options to choose from:

Budget –> La Locanda

Midrange –> Le Bamboo Gorilla Lodge

Upmarket –> Five Volcanoes Lodge/TheBishop’s House

Luxury –> Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge/Virunga Lodge

Meal Plan: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 – golden monkeys tracking and gorilla guardians village tour

You will transfer to the park office in Kinigi to meet the park guides for briefing and transfer to the base of the Virungas to start your trek to find a troop of golden monkeys. The monkeys live in bamboo forests at the base of the mountains which makes trekking easy and the time taken to find is about 1 hour. You will enjoy an hour following and photographing these beautiful monkeys.

a golden monkey in volcanoes national park musanze

After lunch you shall go for a cultural tour at the Gorilla Guardians Village in Kinigi. You will be shown the different traditions and cultures in the Rwandan culture such as traditional marriage and dances, hunting with bow and arrow, treating diseases with different medicinal plants, etc…


Day 3 – Mt. Bisoke hike

Today you shall go to the park for a day hike on Mt. Bisoke (3711m). This is a 6 hour round trip and rewards with breathtaking scenery, rare mountain life and a beautiful crater lake at the top of Mt. Bisoke

mt bisoke hike

Optional activity:

  • Dian fossey tomb trail trek: This is a lighter alternative to the volcano hike if you do not feel fit enough for the volcano hike. It still offers a challenge though it takes about 4 hours round trip. The trail is located between Mt. Karisimbi and Mt. Bisoke and will give you wonderful views and beautiful mountain life as you learn about the story of researcher Dian Fossey who dedicated her life to researching about the gorillas and protecting them.

Day 4 – Travel back to Kigali

After breakfast you shall check out and travel back to Kigali

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