Exploring Mount Bisoke :  Mount Bisoke also known as Visoke is an active Volcano situated in the Virunga Mountains of the Albertine rift, which is the western branch of the East African rift. While it straddles the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo the summit itself is located within Rwanda . The Mountain reaches an impressive elevation of 3,711 meters (12,175 feet) above sea level. It features an imposing crater lake and is a popular destination for day hikes. The steep slopes of Mount Bisoke are covered with equatorial rainforest and alpine meadows, creating a captivating environment for trekkers. The summit does not gather snow, but is often shrouded in fog. Bisoke is one of the mountains considered a habitat for the endangered mountain gorilla, and the Karisoke Research Centre founded by Dian Fossey is located in the valley to the . If you’re planning to explore this remarkable peak, be prepared for a steep but walkable climb.

One of Mount Bisoke’s distinguishing features is its picturesque crater lake, known as Ngezi. This stunning natural wonder lies within the volcano’s caldera and adds to the mountain’s allure. The hike to the summit presents mesmerizing panoramic views of the surrounding lush rainforests, rolling hills, and neighboring volcanic peaks. Apart from its scenic beauty, Mount Bisoke holds great significance for conservation efforts and research. The mountain is home to a variety of endangered species, including the critically endangered mountain gorillas. The conservation initiatives in the area contribute to the preservation of these remarkable creatures and their fragile habitat.

This a scenic hike is a relatively easy hike that usually takes about three hours round trip.  During the hike , travelers can get an opportunity even catch view of the sharp peak of Mt. Mikeno in the Congo and also have great chance to see gorillas and golden monkeys along the hike. The difficulty level of this hike can be put at challenging to difficult but can be done even by none experienced hikers, however good fitness is very important for one to enjoy the trek. The round trip is about 6 hours, with 4 hours climbing up and 2 climbing down.

Activities to do at mount Bisoke

Gorilla Trekking

Mount Bisoke is home to habituated Mountain Gorilla Groups. Visitors or hikers can enjoy the most amazing wildlife adventures safari that’s trekking the Mountain Gorillas.

Hiking to the crater Lakes

Mount Bisoke is the commonly hiked of all the Virunga Volcanoes because of the two stunning crater lakes, breath-taking mountain scenery and relatively easy trek. The volcano has two main hiking trails each leading to one of the Crater Lakes. The trek to the lake Ngezi and Bisoke Crater Lake on the summit of Mt Bisoke Volcano is the most famous mountain hiking exploration in Volcanoes National Park and Rwanda. It is a relatively easy to hike which can be done within a day. The trek is very rewarding with beautiful scenery and great views of the lush Virunga and Rwanda’s hilly landscape, a cloud experience at the top of the volcano and hikes also offer chances of encountering the Mountain Gorillas, sighting the Golden Monkeys, plus a range of wildlife and breathtaking mountain scenery.

Bird watching and forest walks

Bird viewing at Volcanoes National Park is one of the exciting activities done during Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris, and it provides tourists with an insight into the varied wildlife found in Rwanda’s famed lush rain forest. The park is a home of over 180 remarkable species of birds, of which 17 are endemic to the area such as lovely francolin, weird weavers, Rwenzori Turaco, Rwenzori double-collared sunbirds, Archer’s ground robin, Collared Apalis, Red-faced woodland warblers, and Dusky Crimsonwing among others. There is an array of wildlife to encounter including Mountain Gorillas, Golden Monkeys, Forest Elephants, Buffaloes, orchids and other lots of unique mountain vegetation.

Dian Fossey Tomb hike

The Dian Fossey trail is located in the valley between Mount Bisoke and Mount Karisimbi. It starts from the base of Mt. Bisoke and goes to the interment place and the research station, Karisoke, of famous researcher Dian Fossey who devoted her life to studying and advocating for the protection of the mountain gorillas and their habitat in Rwanda and the neighboring countries. The Dian Fossey trail offers a wonderful trek with astonishing views of the mountains and exclusive mountain vegetation such as orchids and an opportunity to encounter the mountain gorillas. The Dian Fossey trail offers a less energetic hike. Hiking the entire trail takes abbot 3-4 hours to complete the trek.

Exploring Mount Bisoke
Dian Fossey Tomb

Getting to Mount Bisoke

All guided trips for both volcano hikes and gorilla trekking leave from the ORTPN office in the Virunga National Park near Ruhengeri-Musanze. The trailhead is about a 30 minute drive over rough terrain from the ORTPN office so be sure to have organized transportation ahead of time.

Packing list for visitors hiking mount Bisoke in Rwanda

The essentials to consider on your hiking adventure in Volcanoes National Park particular at mount Bisoke  include rain jacket, long pants, hiking boots, hiking stick ,sunscreen, trousers, waterproof daypack, camping gear/equipment, camera, long sleeved shirt, first aid kit, bottled drinking water, a sweater, insect repellent and on actual hiking day, garden gloves, head gear, enough snacks among others.

Mount Bisoke Hike Price

The price of mount Bisoke hiking permit $75 per person, which includes a park guide hired from the Volcanoes National park headquarter in Kinigi. Climbers can also hire a porter from the park’s headquarter for $20 USD, and a wooden stick can be purchased at the surrounding artistic stores. The hike begins at 7:00 a.m. from the park’s headquarters in Kinigi, where tourists purchase climbing permits. Or you can also connect with us at Achieves Global Safaris to book for you a memorable hiking safari at mount Bisoke.

When is the Best Time to go hiking?

Hiking in mount Bisoke can be done during wet/dry season. However, it is more enjoyable to hike through the park during the dry season when there is no much rain and the trails are drier. The dry months of the year to consider when planning your hiking trip in Rwanda such as June to August or travel around December, January to February. Heavy rains characterized by slippery grounds are often experienced from March to May and October to November.

Where to stay

While on the Rwanda hiking safari adventure to mount Bisoke, travelers can sleepover at the available accommodation choices at Volcanoes National Park. All categories of accommodation are here, budget, moderate or moderate, and luxury such as Mountain Gorilla Nest Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel,  Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Virunga Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Kinigi Guesthouse, Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge among  others.

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