Planning to visit Rwanda and engage in one of the popular gorilla trekking events, in addition to gorilla trekking, Rwanda provides plenty of activities and things to do. you can also include mount Bisoke hiking on your things to do during your Rwanda safari tour.
Mountain Bisoke is a dormant volcano Formed on the basis of a split which is slowly separating East African parts, rising at an altitude of 3711 metres. The mountain is one of the sequence of volcanoes that make up the Virunga Mountain Range that stretches across Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mountain Bisoke crosses the Rwandan frontier with the Democratic Republic of Congo, but most of it, including the summit & two spectacular crater lakes. Mount Bisoke is one of the 8 volcanic mountains situated in Rwanda and one of the easiest volcanic mountains to climb and best suitable for hikers who are not used to taking long hikes. The peak rises up to 3,711 meters above sea level, the range is distinguished by a collection of types of vegetation varying from bamboo forests, to Hypercom forests.
Mount Bisoke is also known as the Visoke Peak, the term Bisoke comes from the Swahili word meaning “soaked water” the last eruption occurred in 1957 and is fitted with two spectacular maker reservoirs, one about 11 kilometres from the summit and the other at the top. Mount Bisoke just like any other Virunga mountains was formed out of a rift action. The mountain also boasts with the largest crater lake in the Virunga ranges, the mountain also comprises of alpine meadows and equatorial forests.
Mount Bisoke is a home to the endangered mountain gorillas which is one of the famous activities in volcanoes national park Rwanda. The lush bamboo forests and other plants around the mountain give these great apes an ideal food and shelter. Yet Hiking Mount Bisoke and hitting the top is also a favourite activity for many tourists to the National Park of Volcanoes. Many visitors to the National Park of Volcanoes merge gorilla trekking with hike to mount Bisoke.
Climbing mount Bisoke – Hiking Mount Bisoke
The Bisoke Mountain is one of Rwanda’s adventure activities. It’s just a6-hour hike with the 2 hours down to the starting point. Experienced hikers can get to the top of this mountain within 3 or even less hours and return to the base in about an hour. Hiking to the mountain requires only 1-day Rwanda safari tour. On the day of hiking, hikers are required to be at the park headquarters at Kinigi by 7:00pm for a briefing and assigned a park ranger. The rangers have knowledge and much information a bout the mountains. After the briefing, the guide will lead you to the starting point of your hike. Hikers are also required to hire a porter to help you carry your property.
Bisoke hiking is common with tourists to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park due to the possibility of seeing the fog-filled hills, crater lakes, spectacular views and alpine vegetation seen anywhere else on earth. The volcano is a sanctuary for elephants from the jungle, lions, mountain gorillas, golden monkeys and several species of birds. During the trek, you can have an opportunity to meet the gorilla families or golden monkeys’ groups roaming around the trails which make the hike even more fulfilling experience.
Hiking Mount Bisoke Volcano, the trip to the starting point of the trail takes 40 minutes on a bumpy road. At this stage the park officials will provide you with hiking sticks. you will be assigned an armed ranger who will meet you and escort you up to the summit and have the opportunity to hire porters to help with extra luggage. the armed ranger guide will provide you security all through the hiking process in case of the armed rebels who might cross from the Congo side (very rare).
Porters also help you navigate rough parts of the trail by dragging you up or down. The porters stay near the park, and are very skilled and informative about the mountain trail like the wardens and rangers. Some have guided mountain climbers since infancy. It will cost you 10USD to hire a porter.
The hiking ends at the foot of the volcano with walking across leveled yet rugged and rough terrain. Until entering the park entrance, you’ll walk through several nearby gardens / plants. The park is safeguarded by concrete walls which prevent animals entering the park from reaching out human homes and gardens. Once you have reached the top of the top of the mountain, you will be able to view different scenery and vegetation types around the mountain. Mount Bisoke weather will dictate how long you’re going to stay on top. You might even go for a picnic on the top of the mountain on a sunny day. At the summit the lake is unfit for swimming. The climb back to the starting point is simple except that the mud-filled paths have to be managed again. At the starting point, your driver or company guide will be waiting for you.