Mount Karisimbi : This is the tallest of the eight Virunga volcanoes. It is a dormant volcano and it is located in Rwanda on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It has an elevation of about 4507 meters high and is located in the Great Rift Valley.
Being the tallest, you can view this mountain from all the Virunga countries: Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo. You will see it if you track gorillas in Mgahinga National park or if you hike Mgahinga Mountain.
Just like most mountains, Mountain Karisimbi is a source of relief rainfall in the area. This makes it a grazing area for the cattle, sheep and goats among others.
The grass on it slopes helps feed both these domestic animals and the wild animals thus promoting tourism.
Several researchers do their studies here and given that this is an in active volcano and so it poses little threat. Those that what to do research especially about volcanicity should look at Karisimbi as the best alternative as most people have already made this possible.
The hike to this mountain is not as easy as the rest being that it is the tallest. The easiest among the virungas, is Mikeno and Mgahinga. The name Karisimbi is gotten from a kinyarwanga word “Amasimbi” to mean “snow” because it is now capped.
It is the tallest among the Virunga Mountains but the 5th in Africa. It can take about two days to reach the summit unlike the other Virunga Mountains that take one day.
Like any other hike, you will need to be physically fit and psychologically prepared to beat things like heights and altitude illnesses.
Hikers to the Karisimbi summit will have a chance to see a huge caldera that extends to the base of the cone of this mountain.
The hike then continues through the caldera, across a bush of giant Lobelia and Senecio which has another worldly fee about it!