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Bisoke Volcano hiking, Need something adventurous and unusual to add on your mountain gorilla trekking experience in Volcanoes National Park? Well, Bisoke Volcano hiking is one special adventure experience visitors on Rwanda safari to Volcanoes National Park should consider a must to include on their bucket list experiences this coming holiday.

Mount Bisoke also is best known as Visoke is one of the dormant volcanoes and it is set in the Virunga region in East-Central Africa. Rising up to about 3711m, this beautiful Virunga Volcano is one of the Virunga Massifs that extends to cover parts of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Southwestern Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Bisoke Mountain formed due to a rift that is gradually splitting the East African sections. It is one of the most beautiful volcanoes with 2 scenic Crater Lakes on its summit with one on the extreme top with a depth of about 100m and a diameter of 400m while the second Crater Lake-Lake Ngezi is in the middle overviewing the stunning slopes of Sabyinyo Mountain. Bisoke Volcano is believed to have last erupted in 1957 creating a vast Crater Lake in the Virunga region.

Bisoke Volcano boasts of its scenic beauty due to lush vegetation cover comprising of hagenia forest, sub-alpine and alpine. Its strategically situated in Volcanoes National Park, Ruhengeri region an area featuring a wide range of wildlife that are endemic to Albertine area and Virunga Mountain Ranges including among others the endangered mountain gorillas, forest elephants, buffaloes, golden monkeys, birds to mention but a few.

Its strategic location presents a great opportunity to hikers to also engage in thrilling golden monkey tracking experience, mountain gorilla trekking adventure, birding tours, and many more while on Rwanda safari in Volcanoes National Park.

What is it like to hike Bisoke Volcano?

Bisoke Volcano hiking is an exciting adventure and it takes hikers nearly half-day to make a complete hike with 2 hours descending to briefing point. The length of the hike depends on how fast hikers are and seasoned hikers can take about 3 hours. Unlike other volcanoes, hiking to the summits of Bisoke Volcano isn’t demanding although you need to be well prepared.

Entirely, hiking to Bisoke involves navigating through vegetation, trails and higher chances are you will come across some insects, thorny plants, and a lot more. Whereas this volcano features steep slopes, most hikers can easily make their way through. Bisoke Volcano hiking is by far a popular adventure offered to tourists on Rwanda safari in Volcanoes National Park.

The normal hike always begins with a briefing at Kinigi where you will also be allocated to a park ranger guide. Today, you will be required to present a valid hiking permit, passport and any essential document for verification prior to setting off for a hike to the summit of Bisoke Volcano. You will then be transferred to a point to kick start your adventure about 40 minutes away on a rough road. Besides an armed park ranger guide, there will also be porters carrying luggage. Porters can be hired at US Dollars 10.

What you need on Bisoke Volcano hiking

Embarking on actual Bisoke Volcano hiking experience requires hikers to be well-prepared. This involves choosing which essential items to pack and these include among others long-sleeved shirts, headgear, sweater, hand gloves, light but waterproof hiking boots, socks, camera, bottled drinking water, packed snacks, a walking stick which shall be given at the park headquarters on the day of the briefing.

Bisoke Volcano hiking permits

Hikers on Rwanda safari can purchase Bisoke Volcano hiking permits at Volcanoes National Park headquarters. Each permit is obtainable at US Dollars 75 and the cost excludes transportation, accommodation, and meals.

When to go for Bisoke Volcano hiking

The best period to engage in Bisoke Volcano hiking is usually around the 2 dry seasons which run from June, July, August to September and December, January to February. There is low or no rainfall registered during this period in Volcanoes National Park where Bisoke Volcano is found and the trails are kept drier making it an ideal time to embark on a hike to the summit of Bisoke Volcano while on Rwanda safari.

Where to stay in Volcanoes National Park

A well-planned Bisoke Volcano hiking adventure requires choosing the right accommodation facility for your night stay in Volcanoes National Park before or after your whole day hike. Some of the lodges to choose for a night stay here include Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge (Luxury); Da Vinci Lodge, Hotel la Palme, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Midrange) and Hotel Muhabura, Kinigi Guesthouse (Budget).

How to reach Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is positioned in the Northern Province of Rwanda and it is accessible by visitors on Bisoke Volcano hiking tour between 2 and 3 hours’ drive from Kigali capital city. Alternatively, hikers can also begin their journey from Kisoro/Kabale, southwestern Uganda then cross over through Katuna or Chanika border between Rwanda and Uganda.

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