Mount Karisimbi Hike in Rwanda

Mount Karisimbi Hike in Rwanda: Mount Karisimbi is the tallest of the eight Virunga volcanic mountains. Mount Karisimbi is one of three volcanoes that may be found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mount Karisimbi is an inactive volcano since it has not erupted in many years and has not shown any indicators of erupting. Mount Karisimbi on the African continent is the 11th tallest peak, rising 4,507 meters above sea level.

Mount Karisimbi is located in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, on the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. Other Virunga mountains, such as Mount Bisoke, Mount Mikeno, and Mount Nyiragongo, may also be found in the Volcanoes National Park. Even in the dry months, the highest summit of Mount Karisimbi is regularly covered in snow, which is how the mountain earned its name, which means “white shell” in Kinyarwanda. Mount Karisimbi contains two craters at the summit: the Mutango crater, which is 2 kilometers wide, and another, much smaller crater.

Mount Karisimbi Hike in Rwanda
Mount Karisimbi Hike in Rwanda

Hikes up Mount Karisimbi are popular, but they are also highly demanding, so be emotionally and physically prepared. A trip up Mount Karisimbi may be added to your mountain gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes National Park. Please keep in mind that this is an overnight walk. Hiking up Mount Karisimbi provides a treat of wildlife that you may see along the route, as well as a number of primates such as monkeys of various types and a number of rare bird species.

This climb up Mount Karisimbi also allows you to see the late primatologist Dian Fossey’s grave. Dina Fossey spent the most of her time at the park studying and researching. Dian Fossey spent the most of her time in the park studying and protecting mountain gorillas from poachers, supposedly losing her life to poachers.

This overnight trip up Mount Karisimbi is a rewarding but demanding exercise, and if you are booked for this hike, you must be physically healthy and prepared to take on this challenging adventure, with previous hiking experience in similar terrains an additional plus. All treks up Mount Karisimbi will be accompanied by a competent and professional ranger guide both up and downwards.

If you have large luggage and require assistance, you can be escorted by a porter. Porters are available for hire at the park reception, where briefings before the walk take place, and may be hired for 20 USD per 15 kg, so keep this in mind when you prepare for this trip.

Even if you are sluggish, the rest of the group will trek at your pace, thus taking on this climb should not be such a daunting task. The Mount Karisimbi trek begins with an early morning briefing by park guides before 7:00 a.m., as the ascent begins at that time. You will need to stay near the park the night before in order to be at the reception in time for the briefing. You’ll need two days for this trek because you’ll start on day one, stay the night en route, and finish the next day.

Mount Karisimbi Hike in Rwanda
Mount Karisimbi Hike in Rwanda

Mount Karisimbi climb begins at the base of Mount Bisoke, another dormant Virunga volcano. You will trek upwards for almost 7 hours before reaching the end point of day one. You will set up camp for the night at an altitude of 3,700 meters, which is about half way. Because there is no permanent building, you will need camping equipment such as camping tents, sleeping bags, and warm clothes because it may be quite chilly at this height. You’ll eat a barbecue meal and then retire for the night.

The next day, you will be energized to ascend the highest summit of the Virunga ranges. Breakfast will consist of a hot cup of tea or coffee, a little snack, and packing to continue the journey up and down. This is the most difficult portion of the trek because of the fog, which tends to obscure the views and vistas of what is ahead. The terrain is very steep, with strong winds adding to the muddy ground, especially during the wet season. You will spend some time at the snow top before beginning your descend on the descent route, which will take you around 6 hours to complete back to the trailhead.

A permit to climb Mount Karisimbi in Rwanda costs $400 USD per person and is only available as an activity through the Volcanoes National Park. The greatest time to trek the Karisimbi is during the dry months of June, July, and August, as well as towards the end of the year in December, when you can view the snow peak, which is not visible during the rainy months.

Mount Karisimbi Hike in Rwanda
Mount Karisimbi Hike in Rwanda

Essentials to pack on a hiking safari to Mount Karisimbi

  • Hiking shoes, ideally ones you’ve worn before to prevent surprises;
  • A tent, sleeping bag, and warm garments and beddings for the night upwards; and
  • Socks to protect your skin from grass and shrub irritations.
  • A walking stick
  • A first-aid kit with any medications you may require
  • A hat to shield your face from the sun’s rays
  • Repellents for insects
  • Water and snacks for your overnight walk

When you are ready to schedule your safari to Rwanda for a trek up Mount Karisimbi, we look forward to hearing from you.

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