The Less Famous but Rather Fulfilling Hiking Experience in Volcanoes National Park.

 

mount bisoke

When anyone mentions Volcanoes National Park to a person who is an ardent fan of Africa safari, what quickly comes to his or her mind especially if he or she has made a Rwanda safari to Volcanoes national park before is the rather exhilarating Rwanda gorilla safari experience which is attained within the confinements of this park given its one of the few gazetted area in east Africa which offers amazing gorilla tours experience as it is home to the highly impressive but endangered mountain gorillas.  However, what many Rwanda gorilla safari makers to Volcanoes Park usually miss out on is a rather fulfilling on their Rwanda tour to Volcanoes is a thrilling Rwanda hiking experience.

Situated in the northwestern part of Rwanda, Volcanoes national park straddles a big chuck of the Virunga massif which is composed of 8 major mountain ranges and several other smaller peaks which are found in the 3 countries of Rwanda, Congo and Uganda. Volcanoes national park alone stretches to cover 5 of these 8 ranges hence making it ideal for a  Rwanda hiking safari experience.

 Lets have a preview of these 5 ranges which make hiking a reality in Rwanda

Mount Karisimbi

Mount Karisimbi is the highest range of the Virunga ranges towering to a height of 4507m or 14787ft above sea level. This range is found in the northwestern region of Rwanda at the geographical coordinates of 1o30’30”S 29o26’42”E and its bordered by mount Mikeno to the north, mount Biseko in the east and Nyiragongo mount in the west. Mount Karisimbi is an inactive volcano. Mount Karisimbi got its name from a Kinyarwanda dialect word “amasimbi” which means snow. Just like its name, mountain Karisimbi is snowcapped especially during the dry months of June- August. In between mount Karisimbi and mount Biseko is Karisoke research center founded by zoologist Dian Fossey during her stay in Rwanda during which she managed to expose the plight of gorillas who were on the verge of extinction due to man’s activities such as poaching and encroachment on their natural habitat. Hiking Karisimbi isn’t for the faint heart as its done in 2 days.

mount karisimbi 2

Mount Bisoke

Mount Bisoke is an active volcano that lies on the border between Rwanda and Congo along geographical co-ordinates of 1o27’39”S 29o28’54”E. mount Bisoke stretches between Virunga national park in Congo and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Mount Bisoke is part of the Virunga ranges and it rises up to an altitude of 311m or 12 175ft above sea level. Although this range is an active volcano its slopes are covered by dense tropical rain forest vegetation but its peak doesn’t form snow. At its peak, the mount has a crater lake.    Although not the highest range, this definitely should be on the list of hikes to be undertaken by any hiker while in Rwanda because this hike is really the total package for any hiking route as you are likely to meet mountain gorillas as you ascend but you will only be allowed a minute to view these giants and no photographs should be taken, then golden monkeys will definitely show up and a number of forest bird species will give an enthusiastic welcome by their endless twittering in the forest canopies along the hike. At the summit of this hike on mount Bisoke, a beautiful crater gives nothing less of spectacular relaxing joint as it gives a hero’s welcome to the summit, then not forgetting the unbelievably gorgeous view of the Mikeno mount across the Congo border. This hike will engage an average hiker 4 hours to reach the summit and a maximum of a 2 hour descend to the starting point but a skilled hiker is likely to use only 4 hours to summit and return to the base.

Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

MT Sabinyo

With an altitude of 3669m, mt Sabinyo lies northeast of lake Kivu and west of lake Bunyonyi. At the peak of mount Sabinyo, is the intersection of all the borderlines of three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo hence giving a visa free entrance to all countries in one place without much fuss or VISA requirements. the name “Sabinyo” means an “old man’s teeth” and just like the meaning of its name, mt. Sabinyo has had its top reduced to resemble the gum and teeth structure of an old man when observed from a far as a result of constant erosion and weathering processes. Mount Sabinyo is located using the geographical coordinates of 01o24’S 29o36’E

mount-sabinyo

Mt Gahinga

Foundd on the border of Uganda and Rwanda, Mount Gahinga towers to the sky with an altitude of 3474m, it is the smallest of the three Mgahinga ranges with a caldera on top spanning to a width of about 180m, long time ago, mount Gahinga had a crater lake on its summit but this has been reduced a swamp now. This peak was named after the piles of volcanic rocks that piled up downslope in the local people’s gardens. Mount Gahinga can be found at the geographical coordinates of 01o23’14”S 29o38’37” E

 Mt Muhavura

Lying along the Rwanda Uganda border at an altitude of 4127m, mt. Muhavura is the third-highest of the 8 peaks of the Virunga ranges complex and highest of the Mgahinga ranges in Uganda.  Its name means “The guide” as it can be spotted from anywhere in Kisoro as long as there is clear visibility. mount Muhavura can be located at the geographical coordinates of 01o23’00” S 29o40’00” E.

Are you looking for a Rwanda safari? Check out our gorilla tracking Rwanda website. This website gives you a myriad of Rwanda gorilla tour and also hiking packages. Rwanda gorilla safaris are carried out in Volcanoes National Park, Volcanoes is home to over 10 gorilla families that have been habituated to give you an ultimate Rwanda gorilla tour experience.

These gorilla trekking safaris Rwanda have been classified into short Rwanda gorilla tours and these run between 1- 5 days for example 1 day Rwanda gorilla safari tours and 2 days Rwanda gorilla safaris. There are also long Rwanda safari tours, these run between 6-9 days for example 6 days Rwanda gorilla chimpanzee safaris.

Since Uganda is also another fascinating Africa safari destination which shares quite similar attractions like Rwanda has, these attractions in range from savanna wildlife attractions that are found in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park Kidepo Valley National Park and Lake Mburo National Park. Uganda is also a gorilla destination and Uganda gorilla safaris are carried out either in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which can be visited for a spectacular Uganda gorilla tour experience.

After a magical gorilla tour in Uganda, you can always visit Lake Bunyonyi Uganda and enjoy the stunning views of this magical lake. A visit to Lake Bunyonyi gives you an opportunity to experience a boat ride on Africa’s second deepest lake. Regardless of the length of your stay in Africa, you can enjoy either a short Uganda safari tour or a long Uganda safari tour experience visiting several attractions in Uganda. However, if you don’t want to miss out on experiencing what each country has to offer, you can also have a combined Uganda Rwanda safari tours options which will see you visit the two countries of Uganda and Rwanda in a single safari package such as 5 days Uganda Rwanda gorilla trekking safari.

 Here are some of the best selling packages in Rwanda 

10 days Rwanda amazing gorilla safari