VIRUNGA.net is your guide to lodging and tourism information for the greater Virunga Region. Find information on the protected areas (PAs) of the Virunga Volcanoes in three countries; Volcanoes National Park (VNP) in Rwanda, Virunga National Park (ViNP) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (MGNP) of Uganda.
What Does Virunga Mean?
The name “Virunga” is an English version of the Kinyarwanda word ibirunga. Ibirunga means “volcanoes” in the native Rwandan language.
Things to See
The Virunga Mountains are an extraordinary place to visit. There are lots of things to see in the Virungas and these include;
The Virunga region has a chain of eight major volcanoes. These ranges are located along the northern border of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda.
The Mountain Gorillas of the Virunga Volcanoes inhabit an area that is shared between three countries, the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda. The mountain gorillas in these parks keep on migrating from one park to another in search of fruiting trees and leaves. Read More
Places to Go
There are three protected areas in the Virunga. All these three national parks host incredible wildlife including the mountain gorillas a rare specie only endemic to three countries in the world. These parks are;
- Volcanoes National park in Rwanda,
- Virunga National park in DR Congo and
- Mgahinga National park in Uganda
These three parks are located in the Virunga ranges which cover the three countries.
Why Do Gorillas Migrate in the Virunga?
A study by Vedder (1984) in Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda indicated that, within each of the dietary seasons (October-November and December-September), gorillas responded to decreases in food abundance by expanding their range and travelling further as well as by altering their diet. Solitary male Mountain Gorillas travel further and expand their home range, and Mountain Gorilla home ranges typically overlap extensively (Watts, 1994). Watts (1998) found that they used areas less than or equal to 25 km2 and that annual home range size and core area size varied considerably both between groups and across years. Food and male mating competition influence home-range use and core area selection and size.
The Virunga region has a chain of eight major volcanoes. These ranges are located along the northern border of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. Six of these volcanoes are dormant while two are still active.
List of mountains in the Virunga Mountain Range
- Mount Karisimbi (4,507) located in Rwanda / DRC
- Mount Mikeno (4,437) located in DRC
- Mount Muhabura (4,127) located in both Rwanda / Uganda
- Mount Bisoke (3,711) Rwanda / DRC
- Mount Sabyinyo (3674m asl) located in Rwanda / Uganda / DRC
- Mount Gahinga (3474) located in Rwanda / Uganda
- Mount Nyiragongo (3,470) located in DRC
- Mount Nyamuragira (3,058) located in DRC
Top Things to Do
There are lots of things to do in the Virunga. Here are the most popular adventure activities that can be enjoyed on a tour.
Golden Monkey Tracking
Explore the Virunga
Can You Visit Virunga?
What is the best time to go?
Is Virunga Safe?
Is it safe to go gorilla trekking in the Virunga?
What is the best time to go gorilla trekking?
How to book gorilla permits?