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Mountain Hiking in Rwanda

Mountain Hiking in Rwanda

Mountain Hiking in Rwanda, Rwanda is a compact Land-locked Country located in East Africa with just a total area of 26,338sqkm. Most of the sections in the Country are covered with Mountain ranges and hills hence becoming nick-named the “Country of athousand hills.” Mt Karisimbi is the tallest peak in Rwanda with a summit elevation of 4,507 meters. Rwanda has been bestowed by nature and it is one of the most Scenic countries in East Africa where some people refer to it as a “Tourism Paradise” most especially those who prefer Mountain Hiking.

Rwanda Hiking safaris do not require any hiking expertise, though, a certain level of fitness is required. Before contemplating this safari Adventure, one should assess his or her health situation.


Mount Bisoke (3711m/12175ft)

Mount Bisoke is situated at the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. It is a dormant volcano with a big crater lake at the summit that is around 400m in diameter and it’s entirely located in Rwanda. Mount Bisoke Crater Lake is the most popular hiking trail in the Volcanoes National Park with hikers aiming to reach the peak’s magnificent Crater Lake. The Mountain is also closer to the core of the Virungas with rewarding views of the chain. In the Congo, you can even see the steep peak of Mount Mikeno. Along your way, there’s a decent possibility you’ll spot gorillas and golden monkeys.


Lake Ngezi Trail on Mount Bisoke

The difficulty level of this trip ranges from demanding to difficult though it is doable even by inexperienced hikers. However, high fitness is required to appreciate the trek. The round trip takes around 6 hours, 4 hours spent ascending up and 2 hours spent climbing down.

Lake Ngezi is a beautiful Crater Lake on the side of Mount Bisoke near Mount Gahinga. The hike is a shorter one on Mount Bisoke that can be done instead of walking to the summit. The round-trip takes about 4 to 5 hours depending on your physical level.


Mount Karisimbi (4507m/14787ft)

Mount Karisimbi is the highest volcano in the Virungas and Africa’s 5th highest peak. Because of its proximity to the Equator, the mountain receives snow during certain months of the year. For those experienced hikers who prefer a longer and more difficult journey in the Virungas, this is possibly the best Volcano to climb in Volcanoes National Park. Unlike other volcano treks, Mount Karisimbi hike is a 2 day excursion that includes one night of camping on the summit at an elevation of 3700m/12139ft.

Mount Muhavura (4127 meters/13540 feet)

Mount Muhavura is shared between Rwanda and Uganda. The Mountain is situated at the end or beginning of the Volcano Chain. Mount Muhavura climb provides spectacular views of the rugged terrains around. Underneath, one may see the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. Also, a lovely Crater Lake can be found near the crest of Mount Muhavura. The mountain’s round trip duration takes about 6 to 8 hours and since it is relatively high, it necessitates good fitness and endurance.


Mount Gahinga (3474m/11398ft)

Mount Gahinga is Volcanoes National Park’s shortest Mountain and it’s the least visited trail in the park. For in-experienced hikers, this may be a great place to start before tackling the more difficult summits in the series.


Dian Fossey Tomb Hike

The Dian Fossey route is situated between Mount Bisoke and Mount Karisimbi in the valley. The hike begins at the base of Mount Bisoke and it continues up to Dian Fossey’s burial site and research station, “Karisoke.” Dian Fossey dedicated her life to studying and lobbying for the protection and conservation of these mountain gorillas and their habitat in Rwanda and also in the neighboring Countries. The Dian Fossey Trail is a magnificent trip with gorgeous views of the highlands as well as unique mountain plants such as the Orchids and the potential to see mountain gorillas. The Dian Fossey trek is a less difficult hike, its round trip time takes around 3 to 4 hours.


Best time for Hiking

Hiking in Rwanda is best done in the dry seasons in the months of June to September and also December to February.


What to Carry for a Rwanda Hiking Tour

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Long Pants and a Long sleeved shirt to protect against stinging nettles.
  • Rain Jacket or Poncho
  • Camping kit; Sleeping bag for those hiking Mount Karisimbi