Hiking Mount Bisoke Volcano Crater Lake Rwanda

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Hiking Mount Bisoke Volcano

Mount Bisoke Crater Lake is one of the fascinating natural features situated on the summit of Mount Bisoke Mount Bisoke is found at an altitude of about 3700m, the intriguing mountain reflects the conic shape of the great volcano and within its crater, there is an amazing deep crater lake.

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 has it as a home, also the Karisoke Research Centre established by the late Dian Fossey is found here.

What to expect on Mount Bisoke Volcano crater hike Rwanda

Mt Bisoke is 3711 m above sea level and is shared between DR Congo and Rwanda. The hiking tour is from Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park. On arrival at the starting point, you will immediately start the trek up to the park boundary where it is separated from the community. There will be porters at the point and you are advised to take one. The hike gets really steep at some point and we advise that you consider taking a porter along to help carry your day pack and help support you when you are going down the slippery road. At this point, you will be part of the larger group with some going for gorilla trekking. The group will separate somewhere before the trailhead for Bisoke. Your guide will lead the way and together with the porters, you start the trek. On the park boundary, you will meet armed rangers who will escort you on your hike to the mountain. The reason for armed guides is because the mountain is home to Elephants and Buffaloes which can be dangerous in case you meet them on your way up. At the first, the ascent is not that steep but the vegetation is thick. You will most likely walk faster but if you are not a seasoned hiker please use your slow pace and not allow anyone to pressure you into walking faster. The aim is that you make it to the top of the volcano which has the beautiful Bisoke Crater Lake. Depending on your experience the hike to the beautiful Crater Lake takes anything from 4 hours to a full day. Remember to pace yourself and let the beautiful crater lake be what will motivate you when the hike starts getting steep. On arrival at the top, you will have a full view of Crater Lake and also the border with DR Congo. Take photos and eat your snack before starting the descent down which is much faster but can be slippery. The porter will come in handy as they help and support you.

What to pack for Mount Bisoke volcano Crater Lake Hike

Packing the right gear before traveling to Rwanda comes in handy as the hike to Mount Bisoke is a day hike here are some of the essential items you should pack before traveling to volcanoes national park.

  • Good waterproof hiking boots
  • long but adjustable light shirt
  • Long pants
  • Heavy stockings
  • Bag pack
  • Spear batteries for your camera
  • Small first aid kit
  • snacks
  • Enough drinking water
  • Light rain jacket
  • Hut or cap

Best time for Hiking Mount Bisoke volcano Rwanda

The best time to visit volcanoes national park for hiking activities is during the two dry spells from January to March and from June to October when there is less or no rainfall making the hiking trails drier and easy to trek through, unlike wet season when the trails are wet and difficult to a walkthrough.



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