Mount Bisoke in Rwanda
Mount Bisoke is sometimes referred to as Visoke and it’s an active volcano found in Virunga Mountains in the western branch of the African Rift. Its located near the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but the summit of this volcano is located in Rwanda 35 kilometers in the north east of Goma town and near Lake Kivu. This volcano was created by rift action on the divergent boundary of the east African Rift which divides the African plates. This volcano has recently reached a height of over 3,711 meters after the last eruption which happened in 1957 and it has the largest Crater Lake.
This mountain is also located inside Volcanoes national park of Rwanda as well as the Virunga National park of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its peak is covered with equatorial rain forest as well as the alpine meadows. Its summit is mostly covered with fog and is considered a common habitant of the endangered mountain gorillas and the famous Karisoke Research Centre which was founded by Dian Fossey.
This volcanic mountain is a tourism site since visitors to the park enjoy searching mountain gorillas, wildlife as well as mountain climbing. This volcano can be climbed in a day from the side of Rwanda. Rwanda Development Board has two excursions which are carried out near mount Karisimbi. This mountain climb is considered so steep, however it’s walkable by the climbers.
The local tourism industry was recently affected by the genocide, Rwanda civil war as well as Burundi civil war in the early 1990s, however today both the parks of Volcanoes and virunga national parks are secure and the tourism sector has greatly recovered despite the many conflicts.
Mountain Bisoke Hike
This is one of the most adventurous activities carried out in Rwanda, the top of this volcano has a spectacular crater lake on top of the summit. This hike takes 6 hours descending down to the starting point down. Fast and experienced hikers can take only 3 hours and less to return to the base of the volcano.
During one day of hiking, the hikers head at the park headquarters at Kinigi by 7:00 am in order to attend a briefing and be assigned a park ranger. These rangers are normally natives of volcanoes national park and have enough knowledge about volcano climbing / Hiking. At exactly 8:00am, the volcano adventure begins and the guide will then transfer you to the starting point where you will be given porters to help with carrying luggage. You will get a chance to be provided with hiking gears to help with the hike.
This mountain is an extinct volcano which belongs to Virunga Mountain Ranges and its path is very slippery in the rainy season, so sturdy hiking shoes are recommended to the hikers as well as long pants to prevent stinging nettles as well as rain gears. The volcanic hike is slippery when wet and the altitude is noticeable, the many other possible threats to hikers include; wild buffalos as well as armed rebels, this is the main point why tourists have to be accompanied by armed rangers.
This hike can only be arranged with an official guide and it costs $ 75 per person to hike and this rate doesn’t include transport to take you to the headquarters as well as the guide from the park headquarters to the volcano. In case, climbers don’t have a car to take them to the trailhead, these can be available at $60 per day.
This adventurous hike goes through fields until arriving at the park boundary. This hike has got decent paths however it gets more slippery when it’s a wet season. You will enjoy many beautiful vegetation zones which is formed of rainforest, Hagenia, Hypericum and bamboo. The crater at the top of the summit has a lake however, tourists can only view it but cannot swim in it.