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Karisimbi Volcano, Hiking to the magnificent summit of Karisimbi Volcano on Rwanda safari in Volcanoes National Park is one of the best experiences any enthusiastic hiker shouldn’t miss to engage in. Mount Karisimbi is the tallest of all the 8 Virunga Volcanoes that are shared amongst 3 African states; Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This stunning volcano also ranks in the 8th position in Africa and unlike Nyiragongo Volcano in the DRC, Karisimbi volcano is inactive and visitors on hiking safari can explore it while on Rwanda safari tour in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Karisimbi Volcano lies in Volcanoes National Park, Northwestern Rwanda just at the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It rises up to about 4507 meters and it is surrounded by Bisoke, Mikeno and Nyiragongo Volcanoes which also make up the Great Virunga Massifs. Karisimbi Mountain derives its name from the word amasimbi which in Kinyarwanda denotes to white shell referring to the white capped summit which hikers can spot on the volcano’s summit especially during the dry season.

Mount Karisimbi features a stunning caldera branca and 2 scenic craters on its summit with Mutango being the vast. Hiking to the top of this volcano is such a thrilling experience worth taking a trip to Rwanda for a holiday.

Amazingly, it is possible for travelers on Rwanda safari to Volcanoes National Park to incorporate mountain gorilla trekking safaris with Karisimbi Volcano hiking. A hike to the top of this volcano is strenuous but it is such an unusual adventure experience not to be missed on safari in Rwanda. Due to its strategic location in Volcanoes National Park, hikers can also chance to spot some primates, birds and a lot more. Karisoke research center is set near Karisimbi Volcano and this is where Dian Fossey tomb site is found in which Dian Fossey the great gorilla conservationist and primatologist was buried next to her lovely gorilla digit.

The designated hiking trail takes hikers through a breathtaking landscape with several volcanic features, forest and a lush vegetation. A hike to the top of Karisimbi Volcano involves you navigating via dense vegetation and steep slopes and depending on the season, hiking through it during the wet or rainy season (which runs from March to May and October to November) may come some challenges as trails can be muddy and slippery but you will be rewarded with a thrilling experience.

How long does Karisimbi Volcano hiking take?

Karisimbi Volcano hiking can take you about 2 hours and you will navigate through the scenic Bisoke Volcano side prior getting to the top of this volcano. Bisoke rises up to 3700 meters and visitors can camp around here prior completing their hike the following day. In case of heavy load, there are porters to be hired at US Dollars 20 to assist you carry your luggage and other essential gear for your hiking adventure.

Hikes to the summit of Karisimbi Volcano begins at 7:00am and you will spend about 7 hours for first hike to 3700 meters. On arrival at the summit the next day, expect to enjoy breathtaking sceneries and views of the scenic Nyamuragira, Muhabura, Nyiragongo Volcanoes and the lush vegetation in and around the Virunga region and Congo border area. Descending from the summit of Karisimbi may take you 6 hours to where you had briefing prior starting your hike to the top of Karisimbi Mountain.

Best time to go for Karisimbi Volcano hiking

Karisimbi Volcano hiking can be done at any time of the year however, the dry season is exceptionally the best time to for you to embark on a hike to the summit of this stunning volcano. There are 2 dry seasons that are experienced in Volcanoes National Park. The first phase starts from December, January to February and the second phase of the dry spell runs from June, July, August to September. These months are characterized by low or no rainfall with trails kept drier making it easier navigating through the dense vegetation and steep slopes to the summit of Karisimbi Volcano.

Karisimbi Volcano hiking packing list

The essential items to consider on Karisimbi Volcano hiking packing list include among others waterproof hiking boots, tent, snacks, sleeping bag, daypack, rain jacket, sun hat, walking stick which can be given at the park headquarters, camera with additional batteries, hiking permit and many more.

Cost of Karisimbi Volcano hiking permits

Hiking permits are a must-have for any hiker in need to participate on a hike to Karisimbi Volcano summit. Every hiking permit can be obtained at US Dollars 400 and you can find one at Volcanoes National Park headquarters. Alternatively, you can ease the process by contacting our reservation who also shall assist organize the whole hiking safari for you.

How to reach Volcanoes National Park

It takes hikers on Bisoke Volcano hiking tour 2-3 hours from Kigali to reach Volcanoes National Park in Northwestern Rwanda where Mount Bisoke is situated and hiked. Or drive from Kisoro or Kabale southwestern Uganda through Katuna or Chanika border between Rwanda and Uganda to Volcanoes National Park about 3-4 hours’ drive.

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