At 4705m, the summit of Mt Karisimbi is the highest peak in the Virunga Range, the highest point in Rwanda and one of the highest summits in Africa. Climbing Mt Karisimbi or Mt Karisimbi hike is a fantastic experience but should only be tackled by experienced and fit hikers. The climb does not require any mountaineering skills and will typically take two days.
Mt Karisimbi Hike Routes
Hikers can opt to use either the Caldera route or the Route at the foot of Mt Bisoke. If the hikers opt for the calder route then the hikers will climb from the edge of Volcanoes National Park to the ridge of the huge caldera that extends at the base of the actual cone of Mt Karisimbi. The trek then takes climbers to cross the Bamboo forest and then the Hagenia – Hypericum forests. The hike then continues through the caldera, across a bush of giant Lobelia and Senecio which has another worldly fee about it!
We end the first day by retiring at the very basic mountain camp set up by your guides and porters. Very early in the morning the trek resumes as climbers target to reach the summit. On reaching the summit the climbers will enjoy spectacular views so the sunlight if it is a sunny morning. This will reward you with views of both Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira active volcanoes. The return hike will the take the second half of the day arriving the park in the evening. End of Karisimbi hike.
It is important to note that the final ascent of ascent of Mt Karisimbi hike is very demanding physically given the higher altitudes. It is important to note that temperatures up the mountain can be below freezing point especially during the early hours of the day. That is why we recommend the Months of June to September the best time to hike Mt Karisimbi. These months are favorable as the early hours of days during these months are clear. Despite the fact that the hike is organized all year round, other months are not favorable.
Please note that climbers need to carry all the necessary equipment’s for the hike to include; sleeping bags, food, the necessary clothing’s etc. as these might not be available for hire at the starting point.
Price of Hiking Karisimbi
Currently Hiking Mt Karisimbi costs USD 175 per person and includes park guides. However this does not include porters, food, sleeping bags and other hiking equipment’s. Like all other activities in Volcanoes national park the trek also starts with a briefing in Kinigi at 9 am. After the briefing you will be transferred to the forest starting point arriving at around 11am. Mt Karisimbi trekking permits can be purchased at Volcanoes national park headquarters on the first day. However advance warning is necessary to permit the park authorities time to prepare. Porters charge USD 30 per trek. We encourage climbers to use porters as a conservation measure.