Rwanda is home to 5 volcanoes within its boundaries, some of the volcanoes are shared with Uganda and others with DR Congo. Mt Bisoke is an ideal volcano for climbing/hiking for anyone interested in mountaineering. The Volcanoes in Rwanda found in Volcano national park are; Mt Muhabura, Mt Gahinga, Mt Sabyinyo, Mt Bisoke and Mt Karisimbi. Rwanda Mountain hiking in Volcanoes national park can be combined with Rwanda gorilla trekking, golden monkeys trekking, Dian Fossey hike, and Rwanda birding safaris.
Mount Bisoke Volcano hike is a fulfilling adventure culminations in view of the Bisoke Crater lake at the top of the volcano. This is a day trip, the hiking takes anything from 4 hours to 8 hours depending on ones speed and fitness.
Day 1: Transfer from Kigali for the Mt Bisoke hiking Tour
Today your driver guide will pick you up from your hotel or airport and transfer you to Musanze, near Volcanoes national park for your Mt Bisoke hiking tour. You will check in to your hotel in preparation for tomorrows activity. Depending on your time of arrival, you have an opportunity to visit the gorilla guardians village for an experience interacting with some the community members.
Drive time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Meal plan: Dinner
Day 2: Hike to Bisoke Crater Lake
Your driver guide will transfer you for briefing at the park headquarter which starts at 7.00am. The trek starts early morning from the RDB offices in Kinigi. You will receive briefing about your time hiking the volcano together with other hikers to the Mt Bisoke. There are different groups of people at the headquarters going for different activities in Volcanoes national park which include, Rwanda gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking and hiking different volcanoes. Your hiking guide will brief you on expectations while you hike Mt Bisoke. After the briefing, your driver guide will transfer you to the trail head which is about 30 minutes drive on a bumpy road.
Hiking Bisoke Volcano
Mt Bisoke is 3711m above sea level and is shared between DR Congo and Rwanda. The hiking tour is from Rwanda’s Volcanoes’ national park. On arrival at the starting point, you will immediately start the trek up to the park boundary where it is separated from the community. There are porters at the this point and you are advised to take one because the hike gets steep at some point. Taking a porter could help support you when you are going down the slippery road. Plus it also gives community people opportunities for work. At this point you will be part of the larger group with some going for gorilla trekking. The group will separate somewhere before the trail head for Bisoke. Your guide will lead the way and together with the porters you start the trek.
On the park boundary you will meet armed soldiers who will escort you on your hike to the mountain. The reason for armed guides is because the mountain is home to Elephants and Buffaloes which can be dangerous in case you meet them on your way up. The first ascent is not that steep but the vegetation is thick. You will most likely walk faster but if you are not a seasoned hiker please pace yourself and avoid the pressure to walk faster. The aim is that you make it to the top of the volcano which has the beautiful Bisoke crater lake.
Depending on your hiking experience and speed, the hike to the beautiful crater lake takes anything from 2 hours to 4 hours. On arrival at the top, you will have full view of the crater lake and also the border with DR Congo. Take photos and eat your snack before starting the descent down which is much faster but can be slippery. The porter will come in hardy as they help and support you. The round trip takes anything between 4 hours to 8 hours.
What you need to carry?
- A rain pocho
- Hiking boots
- Day pack with your water and lunch
- Hiking trousers and long sleeved shirt to protect from the stinging nettles
- Insect repellent