Rwanda also takes the largest share of the Virunga mountain volcanoes that is also 5 out of the main 8 that distance the three neighbouring countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These 5 volcanoes include; Muhavura, Sabinyo, Bisoke, Muhavura as well as the Karisismbi.
All of these lie in the volcanes National park which is Rwanda’s prime tourist destination and the home of the mountain gorillas
The hiking adventures are accessible on each of the volcanoes apart from Mt Sabinyo which has got so many craters and this has been said to be dangerous to climb as per now. But it’s available for hiking from the side of Uganda and this gives the best views of the Virunga volcanoes chain.
For those who are nature lovers, the Virunga Mountains are the true paradise that is full of the lush green forest, the mountain vegetation, variety of wildlife, as well as the crater lakes. The wildlife species include; the forest elephants, golden monkeys, buffaloes, birds as well as the albertine rift, the fantastic views of Rwanda’s mist mountainous land scape and the extensive volcanoes. These also give a supreme African jungle experience and a good scenery on the African continent.
As you carry out this hike, you are at a high chance of coming across the habituated mountain gorillas and you will be given a minute to view them and not allowed to take photos in order to be fair for those that paid for the permits. The golden monkeys are also a high option during the hike.
The available hiking trails in Virunga Mountains of Volcanoes National Park
Mountain Bisoke at 3711m lies on the border with the DRC. It’s a dormant volcano and has a huge crater lake at the summit measuring about 400m in diameter and also lies on the Rwandan side. This is also the most popular trail and it’s a must do hike for the lovers. This is an active hike but also easy for those that are not experienced enough and requires some basic fitness. There are many mountain gorillas in Mt Bisoke and you will get a chance of meeting them on your way up. You can also encounter the golden monkeys and at the summit, you will view the Crater Lake and it’s so amazing. You will as well view the peak of the mount Mikeno in DRC. So on average, this hike takes 6 hours, 4 hours of going up and 2 hours of coming down.
Lake Ngezi is also a nice crater lake on the side of Bisoke Mountain which is side by side to Mountain Gahinga. It’s shorter and easy to hike since it takes 3 hours, that’s to say 2 to the lake and 1 to make it back.
This is also a known wildlife researcher as well as a primatologist that gave her life to the conservation of the mountain gorillas. She paid the price for the endangered gorillas and was buried with them just at the research centre, called the Karisoke Research Centre, along Mount Bisoke near Mt Mt. Karisimbi. The trail that leads to the centre is so nice and very challenging too. It needs up to 2 hours and will give you a good encounter with the gorilla, golden monkeys, orchids and the birds.
Karisimbi which is at 4507m and is the 5th highest mountain which receives some snow during some months in the year. This is a vigorous 2 day hike and camping will be at 3700m at the end of the first day. There is also a 1 day hike at Muhabura at 4127m and Gahinga 3474m