Rwanda lies in the virunga conservation area with a chain of eight virunga ranges along the borders of Rwanda, Uganda & DR Congo and located between Lake Edward (Uganda and Congo) and; Lake Kivu (Rwanda and Congo). Most of these virunga volcanoes are extinct with an exception of Nyarigongo and Nyamuragira in DR Congo which are still very active with the recent eruptions in 2006 & 2010. Rwanda has atleast five of the dormant volcanoes that include; Mount Karisimbi (4,507m), & Bisoke (3,711m)stand between Rwanda & Congo, Mount Sabyinyo (3,674), Mount Muhabura (4,127) & Mount Gahinga (3,474) shared between Rwanda & Uganda.
Hikes to Virunga Mountains in Rwanda
Hikes to these majestic virunga mountains are organized for visitors, both day and overnight treks to the most hiked volcanoes – Bisoke and Karisimbi.
Bisoke Volcano stands at 3,711 meters above sea level, forth highest volcanoes and the most scenic with a crater lake (Lake Ngezi) which is small and shallow. Round hikes to the summit and back take about 8 hours depending on the fitness of the hikers, whilst atop, visitors can simply walk around Lake Ngezi or swim across the borders. The summit offers fantastic views of other virunga ranges.
Mount Karisimbi is the tallest of the virungas at a height of 4507 meters above sea level. Karisimbi has snow which is periodically seen by travelers and local people, its from this that it derived its name which means “white shell” . Hiking to the summit of Karisimbi requires 2 days but visitors must carry packed food for dinner and breakfast, warm clothes are equally required as it tends to be extremely cold.