Mount Karisimbi Volcano Hike – Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
The Karisimbi volcano hike. The Karisimbi mountain name in Kinyarwanda means “white shell”, which refers to the white-capped summit which is often seen. Karisimbi is the fifth highest mountain of Africa. This is a strenuous 2 day hike. The climb will start early in the morning and takes 6 hours. You will climb further via the Bisoke side, trekking through some very thick jungle surrounded by stunning scenery. You need to be in good shape with the right kit and you camp at 3700m overnight before the final summit push.
After getting to camp, set up your tent, dinner and get organised for the next day. – Be ready for a bitterly cold night.
The next morning, good if you have proper breakfast before starting your ascent towards the summit, which is about an hour or so after. You still have plenty of time to go back down the mountain. The ascent proves to be very steep and at times the trail goes through very thick jungle. From around 4000m you may start to feel the altitude and would be nice if you pace yourselves accordingly (if you have other participants).
Feeling the altitude may slow down your progress to the summit but you finally emerge from the thick vegetation to a relatively straight forward final ascent to the summit, which is characterised by a lot of loose rock and fine volcanic ash.
The summit does unfortunately have a huge Radio/TV antenna on top, but the views are amazing with fantastic views of Muhabura, which is an extinct volcano on the border between Rwanda and Uganda.
After enjoying your time on the summit, descend back to the camp at 3700m then headed back down to the park gate – this decent takes about 6 hours.