2 Day Rwanda Hiking Tour Mt Karisimbi Volcanoes National Park

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2 Day Rwanda Hiking Tour Mt Karisimbi Volcanoes National Park

2-Day Rwanda Hiking Tour Mt Karisimbi Volcanoes National Park is a short two-day guided trek to the summit of Mt Karisimbi in Rwanda. The name Karisimbi in Kinyarwanda means snow. Snow can mostly be found during the dry season in June, July, and August on the top of the volcano.

Mount Karisimbi is an inactive volcano in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Karisimbi is the 11th highest mountain in Africa standing at 4,507 meters or (14,787 feet).

Being a dormant volcano, it is the highest of 8 in the Virunga volcanic chain and the highest point in Rwanda. Climbing Mt Karisimbi (6th highest mountain in Africa, after Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Ruwenzori, Mount Meru (Tanzania), and Ras Dashen in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains) is a two-day excursion.

It’s a long trek, without any technical barriers. The mountain is located 30 km from Lake Kivu and the drive from the capital of Rwanda, Kigali to Mount Karisimbi is about 80 km.

Our 2-day Mt Karisimbi climbing tour begins from Kigali International Airport or Kigali city. The drive takes about 2 hours. Once at the Volcanoes National Park headquarters you will meet your guide and begin your drive to the start point for your trek.

From here it’s a drive of an hour or so to the start of the trail, at around 2,600 meters/ 8500 feet above sea level, where you will join your porters, and begin the trek.

On the first day, you spend 6 hours hiking and climbing to 3700 meters/ 12100 feet above sea level where you stay at an overnight camp on the slopes of Mt Karisimbi. (Camping gear and food are required for this trip…and though you are in Africa, it gets cold here at night).

The next day you continue to the summit at about 4,507 meters/ 14,787 feet). The summit offers spectacular and magnificent views of different volcanoes including Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes. The descent takes about 6 hours.

A hike to Karisimbi’s summit is not an ordinary one, but also affords sights of several bird varieties, primates like monkeys and Gorillas since the volcano lies in the primates’ park of Parc National des Volcans (Volcanoes national park).

Safari Itinerary in Summary

Day 1: 0530 Hours: Depart Kigali – Transfer to Volcanoes National Park park headquarters. Hike for 6 hours (climbing to 3700 meters above the level for overnight
Day 2: 0530 Hours: Hike to the summit for sunrise. After summiting Mt Karisimbi, you will head back down the volcano and re-join your vehicle and guide at the car park. Descend takes about 6 hours. Drive back to Kigali

Safari Itinerary in Detail

Day 1: Kigali – Drive to Mount Karisimbi Volcanoes National Parks (6-hour Hike)

0530 Hours: Your driver-guide will pick you up from your hotel in Kigali and depart by road to Ruhengeri Volcanoes National Park headquarters to meet your mountain hiking guide. Here is where briefing and registration take place. You will get an Overview of the Hike.

From here it’s a drive of an hour or so to the start of the trail, at around 2,600m above sea level, where you will join your porters, and begin the trek.

Over the course of the day, you will hike through a number of different vegetation zones, starting with the bamboo forest on the lower slopes, where you can visit Dian Fossey’s tomb for an additional fee.

On the higher slopes, you will find hagania-hypericum forest, then higher still the open hillside is dotted with giant lobelia and Senecio. The Virunga Mountains are home to a wide array of wildlife and birds, and keep an eye out for birds as you go.

Your camp for the night will be at 3700 meters/ 12100 feet above sea level a basic mountain camp with small, backpacking-style tents. Here you can enjoy a well-earned rest and a hearty meal before settling into your sleeping bag for the night.

Overnight Accommodation: Slopes of Mount Mt Karisimbi Camp (3700 meters/ 12100 feet)
Meal Plan: {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 2: Hike to the Summit Mount Karisimbi Volcanoes National Parks

0530 Hours: After an early morning cup of coffee, we begin our hike in order to reach the summit of the mountain. Although no climbing skills are required, the final ascent is physically demanding as you will be hiking up steep slopes at high altitudes.

0730 Hours: After around two hours you should reach the top, from where you can peer down into the steaming crater below. You will be on the edge of the Congolese border, and on a clear day, the views from the top are beautiful.

You will enjoy breathtaking panoramas of other volcanoes of the Virunga conservation region. These include NyamuragiraMount MuhaburaMount Nyiragongo to the west, Mount Bisoke to the east, and Mount Mikeno to the north.

After enjoying your time at the summit descend to the starting point where you will meet your driver-guide. The descent typically takes around 6 hours. Meet up with your driver-guide and proceed for late lunch en route to Kigali city.

2 Day Rwanda Hiking Tour Mt Karisimbi Volcanoes National Park Prices

2 Day Rwanda Hiking Tour Mt Karisimbi Volcanoes National Park Prices Include:

Porter fees + Guiding fees Porter + Entrance Permit fees + Comfortable safari vehicle + 3 Meals per day while on the hike/ trail + Professional full-time English speaking Driver Guide + Bottled mineral water for refreshment while on the trip & Camp Accommodation on the slopes of Mount Karisimbi (at 3700 meters/ 12100 feet above sea level)

Dates From Dates To Price Per Person Children Aged 15 Years and above
 1st January 2022 31st December 2022 Request for rates Request for rates

* Meals included: All meals are included
Climbing Mount Karisimbi needs to be arranged at least 2 days in advance
* Duration of excursion: This is a 2-day hiking trip, with an overnight camp on the slopes of Mt Karisimbi
* Guide: You will be joined by an experienced guide from the Volcanoes National Park, along with a team of porters
* Fitness requirements: This trek can be quite strenuous, and while it does not require mountaineering skills, you do need a high level of physical fitness. You will be trekking at an altitude up steep slopes and over rough terrain
* Best time of year: Climbing Mt Karisimbi is highly dependent on weather conditions. It should only be attempted in the dry season, between June and August, and even then it is inadvisable to climb in poor weather
* What to take: As well as walking boots, do bring walking poles if required. It’s advisable to carry a small day sack with water for your trek and a warm jacket or similar for the upper slopes, where temperatures can drop well below freezing at night. Any other personal kit will be carried by the porters, along with camping equipment, sleeping bags, food and drink

2 Day Rwanda Hiking Tour Mt Karisimbi Volcanoes National Park Prices Exclude:

* Drinks
* Tips or gratuity
* Travellers insurance
* Communication charges
* Minimum of 1 person required
* Visas, international airfares and airport taxes; meals
* Sightseeing not included in the package; optional activities
* Personal expenses such as transfers to/ from the airport (supplement airport transfer cost applies for tours starting from the airport)

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