Hiking in Rwanda is mostly done in the national park especially Volcanoes national park which is home to the different Virunga Volcanoes within its borders. There are also great trails for hiking in Nyungwe forest national park that you can take for birding or just to enjoy the forest and beautiful landscape.
The Virunga’s are a chain of 8 Volcanoes located in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. Some are found within borders of one country while others are shared between two countries. Sabyinyo is the only Volcano shared between the three countries with its biggest portion in Uganda.
Mount Muhabura lies at 4127 m and is the highest peak in this park. The name means “The Guide” in the local language. The top has a clear lake about 36 m wide and provides panoramic views into Rwanda and Uganda with amazing photographic moments. The hike takes about 8 hour’s round trip covering 12 km.
Mount Gahinga lies at 3474 m a.s.l and is the smallest of the Virunga Volcanoes. The name translated from the local language means “Small Pile of Rocks”. A hike takes you about six hours round-trip, going through a pure Bamboo forest. Mt Gahinga once had a Crater Lake on top but it since transformed into a lush swamp.
Mount Bisoke has a beautiful crater lake at the top, which makes hiking this volcano a rewarding adventure. The round trip hike of Mt Bisoke takes about 6 hours. Expect beautiful scenery and exotic bird species as you hike up towards the peak at 3711 m high.
Mt Karisimbi is the highest of the Virunga volcanoes at 4507 m above sea level and fifth highest in Africa. It is along the Rwanda and DR Congo border on the western rift valley. It derives its name from ‘amasimbi’ which means “white shell” in Kinyarwanda because of the white-capped summit due to hail and sleet accumulating. The Karisimbi hike is strenuous but rewarding taking two days for the total journey. You have chances of sighting birds, several primates including gorillas on rare occasions and remarkable scenery.