Hiking Mount Bisoke is one of the remarkable activities one can enjoy while on a safari in Rwanda. Mount Bisoke also called Visoke is situated along the Western branch of the Rift valley in Rwanda’s Volcanoes and DR Congo’s Virunga National Parks with its summit found in Rwanda near Lake Kivu and about 35km northeast of Goma town.
It is one of the dormant volcanoes in the Virunga Massif, with the largest Crater Lake; it stands at 3,711m above sea level and it is recorded that its last eruption was in 1957.
The peak of Mount Bisoke is covered with alpine meadows and equatorial rainforests, it is also always covered with fog at the summit. On this volcano most mountain gorilla have it as a home, also the Karisoke Research Centre established by the late Dian Fossey is found here.
There is a stunning crater lake on the summit which is about 400m wide. Approximately 11km away from the peak there lies another crater called Lake Ngezi.
It is from the presence of these two lakes that the local people actually came up with the name “Bisoke” for this mountain; it is a Swahili word meaning “soaked with water”. Apart from the Mountain Gorillas this mountain is home to various wildlife species such as the golden monkeys, duikers, forest elephants as well as an array over 178 species of birds including the beautiful endemic species. Also the spectacular views of the vegetation zones on Mount Bisoke are breathtaking.
The hike is exciting and thrilling and can be done in one day. It is adventurous to climb to the top of Mount Bisoke since you will have a reason to keep hiking since every level you reach you are inspired to climb the more. You will begin hiking at exactly 8:00am after the briefing from Kiningi the starting point and set out guided by experienced park rangers.
It takes 6-7hours to hike, you should make sure you are at the summit by 2:00pm basing on the park rules hence even if you haven’t reached there, you have to descend back. So you are required to move at a pace that will favor you to reach the summit and have the best experience.
During the rainy season the trails along the mountain tend to be slippery hence you require sturdy shoes for hiking. Other things you need are the hiking gears, trousers, sweaters, hiking sticks, snacks/food, drinking water, hats, among other things. In order for you not to get tired, you can pay a porter to carry for you the luggage both as you ascend and as you descend.
Take note of the wild animals you meet along the way such as the wild buffaloes, sometimes there is a threat of rebels; but for the hike ensure you have an armed ranger guide.
A number of activities can be enjoyed on Mount Bisoke such as visiting the Crater Lakes which are found at the top of the mountain, Gorilla Trekking, forest walks, birding, golden monkey tracking and visiting Dian Fossey’s grave (the wildlife researcher who committed herself to conserve Gorillas.
you can’t visit Bisoke and your experience stays the same because everywhere your eyes are set on, are stunning features, therefore if you are interested in traveling to Rwanda make your reservation with us today and don’t miss out on hiking to the top of this amazing mountain!