Mount Karisimbi Hiking Tours in Rwanda: Mount Karisimbi is the tallest dormant volcano in the Virunga Mountains, which are shared by Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Furthermore, at 4,507 meters, it is the 11th highest point on the African continent. It is located within Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, near the border with the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is bordered by many other volcanoes, including Bisoke, Mikeno, and Nyiragongo.
The pinnacle of this mountain is covered with snow throughout the dry season, which gave rise to the name Karisimbi, which means “white shell” in the native Kinyarwanda language. This mountain has two craters, the greatest of which is the Mutango crater, which is two (2) kilometers wide, Caldera de Branca.
Mount Karisimbi Hiking Tours in Rwanda.
A trek up Mt. Karisimbi is regarded as one of the most popular tourist activities in Rwanda. A trip up Mount Karisimbi is sometimes paired with a gorilla excursion in Volcanoes National Park. By taking this incredible adventure, you will be able to encounter various types of wildlife along the way, including different types of birds, different monkey species such as the golden monkey, and if you are lucky, mountain gorillas. You will also have the opportunity to visit Dian Fossey’s grave (a well-known researcher who dedicated several areas of her life when conducting research on the mountain gorillas in this area.
The climb up to the peak is typically regarded as rather difficult, and all participants must be in extremely good physical form with adequate stamina to tackle the mountain’s rough slopes. You will be escorted up by a trained park guide, and you will ascend or descend at the speed of the slowest hiker in the trekking group. There are also porters available for hire at the park headquarters who will assist in caring for your personal baggage, camping equipment, and bags for a fee of $20 US.
The trip starts early in the morning, and by 7:00 a.m., hikers have begun the real ascent following a briefing by the park guide. The round journey takes two (2) days, including the ascent and descent, with the starting point at the base of Mount Bisoke. Approximately 7 hours into the ascent, you will make a break at an altitude of about 3,700m, which is practically halfway, and pitch a tent for supper and the overnight.
When you are strong enough, you will finish the rest of the climb early the next morning. After spending a frigid night on the mountain, a nice cup of tea or coffee for breakfast the next morning will be well deserved. On the second day, you will begin the last ascent to the top, through the difficult stretch that is blanketed in fog, limiting vision, a higher terrain that experiences greater winds, and not to mention the muddy pathways. After spending some time at the summit, you’ll begin the approximately 6-hour descent back to your starting position.
What to pack for your Mount Karisimbi Hiking Tour in Rwanda
The following is a list of some of the items we believe are necessary for any holidaymaker planning an exciting hike to Mount Karisimbi‘s summit; a rain jacket, pair of long sleeve shirts and trousers, garden gloves, warm sweaters or ponchos, sunscreen and insect repellent cream, waterproof hiking boots, hiking stick, a tent, sleeping bag, warm beddings, first aid kit, bottled water for drinking.
Cost of Hiking Mount Karisimbi in Rwanda
Hiking permits on Mount Karisimbi are $400 per person each trek and must be obtained by anybody interested in hiking the mountain. These permits can be obtained on the day of the hike, but tourists are strongly urged to arrange them in advance, either through the Rwanda Development Board or through a reliable travel company.
Best Time to Hike Mount Karisimbi in Rwanda.
Mount Karisimbi may be visited all year, although it is best ascended during the dry season, which runs from June through August and again in December. Visiting during this time of year will allow you to observe the snow that covers the summit of the volcano, which cannot be seen during the wet rainy season, Mount Karisimbi Hiking Tours in Rwanda.
Checkout our 2 Days Mount Karisimbi Hiking Tour in Rwanda.
Day 1: Pickup in Kigali and Hike to the Summit
You will start the day early this morning, about 5 a.m., and then move to the park headquarters in Kinigi, where you will be briefed on this incredible journey. Following this, the hike will commence, guided by a trained guide and escorted by two armed ranges, one in front and one in behind. Your hiking pace will be determined by the physical fitness of the slower hiker on the hiking team during the 7-hour trip.
You will cross the spectacular scenery on the slopes of this mountain, encountering a variety of species including birds, golden monkeys, and if you are lucky, and the Karisimbi mountain gorilla family, which lives on the lower slopes of this mountain. You will eventually arrive at the camping spot, where you will pitch your tent and spend the night. Because it is really chilly up on the mountain, you should carry enough of warm clothing and bedding.
Day 2: Descend Mt. Karisimbi and Transfer Back to Kigali.
Today, after an early breakfast, you will enjoy the spectacular sunrise as well as views of the great lakes from the peak. In addition, you will get vistas of the other mountains that make up the Virunga Volcanoes, as well as cultivated farmlands and distant small villages. The vistas here are magnificent, so bring your camera on your journey. Later, you will return to the bottom and be met by your guide-driver, who will transport you to Kigali International Airport for your flight out.