Mount Bisoke, Rwanda hiking safari , Rwenzori mountaineering service
The Virunga Mountains are home of the critically endangered mountain gorilla, listed on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species due to habitat loss, poaching, disease, and war ). The Karisoke Research Center, founded by Dian Fossey to observe gorillas in their native habitat, is located between Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke. Among the top hiked virunga mountain ranges is the mount Visoke and Karisimbi all in Volcanoes national Park , travelers planning for hiking tours in Rwanda have a great add on safari activity of Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Mount Bisoke (also Visoke) is an active volcano in the Virunga Mountains of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. It straddles the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but the summit is located in Rwanda. It is located approximately 35 km northeast of the town of Goma and adjacent Lake Kivu.
Bisoke, like all the peaks in the Virunga Mountain Range, is a volcano created by rift action on the forming divergent boundary of the East African Rift which is slowly bisecting the African plate. The mountain reached a height of 3,711 metres (12,175 ft) after its last eruption in 1957. Bisoke has the largest crater lake of the range.
Hiking bisoke volcano is one of the most memorable experiences done in Rwanda. The Bisoke Mountain is situated in volcanoes national park in the northern part of Rwanda in Ruhengeri Musanze district. The top of this Volcano has a stunning crater lake which is so rewording to view while at the top. The hike to the top is not too demanding like hiking other volcanoes, It is simply a 6 – hours hike and this includes the 2 hours descending down to the starting point.
There is no much experience need to hike although some physical fitness is needed. Some experienced hikers can get to the top of this mountain in just about 3 hours or even less and return to the base in about an hour.
On the tracking day, hikers are requested to report to the park headquarters in time at Kinigi before 7:30am to receive short briefings about the dos and don’ts during the hike from the park rangers/wardens, the park rangers are experienced hikers and usually natives of the volcanoes national park environs and thus very knowledgeable about the hiking activity.
Hiking permits can be bought at the park headquarters on the trekking day, however, you are required to inform the park offices in advance that you will go for this activity so that they can get ready to receive you on time.
Tips for hiking Bisoke volcano
- Carry a tent or a camp for overnight
- Hire a porter at the park headquarters to carry your backpack, they charge between 15-20$, hiring a porter is not exploitive, but that’s how locals earn a living from the tourists
- Carry overnight accessories including sleeping bag, worth clothes
- Carry food which can be prepared up the mountain, you can prepare for yourself or you can ask the porter to help you.
- Don’t forget water proof pants and coats
- Good hiking shoes and a walking stick is also very essential; a walking stick can be provided at the park headquarters.
- Don’t forget heavy jackets, sweaters and hats.
- Binocular are also essential