Mount Karisimbi Rwanda

Hiking to the top of Mount Karisimbi is one of the key tourism activities you should not miss on your Rwanda safari to Volcanoes National Park. Rising at an elevation of about 4507m above sea level is Mount Karisimbi, a strato volcano which is the highest of the eight major volcanoes of the Virunga field and the 5th highest in Africa. It strides along the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda on the western branch of the African Rift valley. Karisimbi lavas have been dated from 0.24 Ma to 0.010 Ma indicating that the volcano is very young. The name Karisimbi is derived from the word ‘amasimbi’
in Kinyarwanda which means “white shell”, referring to the white-capped summit which is often seen on top of this volcano. It is flanked by Mikeno to the north, Bisoke to the east and Nyiragongo to the west, on the other side of the Rift Valley. The mountain is situated in Volcanoes national park, popularly known for the mountain gorillas.

Climbing Mt Karisimbi is a strenuous yet very rewarding hike which is normally done as a complement to gorilla trekking and all done within Volcanoes National Park. The climb starts early in the morning taking 6 hours and involves navigating through the Bisoke side before reaching the first stopping place at an altitude of 3,700 metres for overnight camping before finishing off the journey the next day.

A hike to Karisimbi’s summit is not an ordinary one, but also affords sights of several bird varieties, primates like monkeys and Gorillas since the volcano lies in the primates’ park of Parc National des Volcans (Volcanoes national park). It is also known for its exotic plants in its four belts of vegetation, from the dense forest at its base to the barren volcanic core at the summit.
The hike up the summit is characterized of muddy trails especially during rainy season, though due to the altitude, it can rain at any time of the day.

You need relatively good health and stamina to hike through the slippery slopes to reach the summit which is white capped as a result of hail and sleet which accumulate in the higher elevations from its frequent storms. This implies that one may have to incur an extra cost of hiring a porter ($20 per day) to help in carrying your luggage and hiking equipment.

Mount Karisimbi

Mount Karisimbi Hiking


Mount Karisimbi Hike

On the day if hiking one has to first report to the park headquarters before 8:30am to receive short briefings from the park wardens or ranger guides about the dos and don’ts. The hike can start from the foot hill of volcanoes or at the mount Bisoke. The hikes starts very early in the morning and it takes about 6 hours reaching the first stopping place at an altitude of 3.700m for an overnight at the basic camping, then the next day early in the morning, you will continue up to the top. While at the op you will be gifted a chance to view different volcanoes including distant views of the Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes, you will also have a chance to view various species of birds, primates like monkeys and if lucky enough you will spot the endangered mountain gorillas. Descending to the base takes the rest of the day.

Mount KarisimbiMount Karisimbi, 4506m, is found in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda, and lies on the border with the Democratic Republic Congo. It is the highest of the volcanoes that form the magnificent Virunga Mountain range, and it is the fifth highest mountain in Africa. The name “Karisimbi” in Kinyarwanda means “white shell”, referring to the snow on the summit of the volcano which is seen during the months of June, July and August.

Best time to hike Mount Karisimbi

Among the top Safari questions is when to visit , best time to visit for hiking tour ? Hiking karisimbi mountain is best done in the dry season which is from January, February, march and July august, September and October however, even in the dry season months, it can still rain because African weather is unpredictable, it can rain at anytime so you are required to be prepared carry a water proof jacket.

Mount KarisimbiMt Karisimbi involves a 2 day hike which sets off at 7am, with the meeting of the ranger guides at the park headquarters at Kinigi, thereafter driving for approximately forty five minutes to the starting point of the trek in the park and up the mountain. After 6 hours trek you will set up camp at 3700 for the overnight. The following day you hike up to the summit before embarking on the return trek back to the starting point and end of the Mt. Karisimbi Hike.

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