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After gorilla tracking, volcano climbing is the most popular activity to do here. Hiring a park guide is mandatory if you want to hit the trail. Bearers are optional, but can be very useful for those who set out on a longer journey. There are various trails at Volcano National Park to either the crater, or in case of extinguished volcanoes, to the top. Inquire locally about the condition of the trails. The views from the mountains are spectacular.

Hiking in Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park isn’t only famous for mountain gorilla trekking but also for thrilling volcano hiking adventures in Mount Bisoke and Karisimbi. However, you can incorporate both activities and you will have a memorable experience. The famous volcanoes for you to hike through while on safari in Volcanoes National Park include;

– Karisimbi (4,507 m) sometimes has a snow-covered top. You need two days from Visoke departure point. You can spend the night in a metal hut at 3,660 meters. Attention: it can be very cold here at night.
– Visoke (3,711 m) has a huge crater lake. The crater can be reached from the Visoke departure point in 4 hours, by way of a steep path. The walk around the crater is highly recommended, the total hike will take 7 to 8 hours.
– Lake Ngezi (3,000 m) is a small shallow crater lake. The hike is the easiest of the entire area. From the Visoke departure point it will take 3 to 4 hours to walk there and back.
– Sabyinyo (3,634 m) is a difficult climb of 5 to 6 hours up to the edge of the crater. The departure is from the main office of the park at Kinigi. You can spend the night in a metal hut near the lava fields.

Mount Karisimbi

This straddles at 4507 meters making it the highest of all the Virunga Massifs. Climbing to the summit of this remarkable volcano is a great of adventure of its own. It offers hikers a great opportunity to explore the hidden treasures of Volcanoes National Park. Given its steep heights, you may have to spend a night on the top which also makes yet another exceptional experience. Due to its high altitudinal range, visitors get the best views of the vegetation covers which ranges from the bamboo, hagenia forest to sub-alpine and afro-alpine which is dominated by moss and heather. Given the conditions at this mountain, you need good and warm clothing plus good camping gear.

Mount Bisoke

This is remarkably one of the best volcanoes which are ideal for hiking experiences. It stands at altitude of 3711 meters and on its summit, there is an outstanding crater lake. The hikes to this volcano are the same with those that take hikers to the Dian Fossey tomb site at Bisate and one can take the same route up to the grave site. From here, the rim is about two kilometers although hikers have to be ready to overcome the strenuous steep slopes.

Other incredible areas to hike through in Rwanda Volcanoes national park include the Dian Fossey tomb site. This is one of the most famous hikes which takes you via the gorilla cemetery at the former Karisoke research camp. The hikes usually begin from Volcanoes National Park headquarters to the trailhead at Bisate village just near the forest border area and you drive for about half an hour. Dian Fossey was a popular primatologist who tireless worked to safe guard the critically endangered mountain gorillas from extinction. She conducted research on these Great Apes for more than 18 years and helped the world to know the plight of these rare creatures. Today, the world boasts of about 1004 individuals of these unique creatures.

Hiking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

– Gahinga (3,474 m) and Muhabura (4,127 m) can both be reached from Gasiza. The path leads to a run-down cabin between the two mountains. The Gahinga top can be reached in 4 hours, but the hike to Muhabura will take two days.

Virunga NP:
– The Nyiragongo volcano (3,465 m) is extraordinary; in the 250 meter deep crater, you can see lava churning continuously. This volcano erupted in 2002 and destroyed the village of Goma. It is recommended to climb this volcano with certified guides only. As this is still a very active volcano, it is sensible to check its status in advance