Mount Bisoke

Mount Bisoke also known as “Visoke” is one of the 5 virunga massifs in Rwanda. The other four are Mount Karisimi, Mount Muhabura, Mount Sabyinyo, and Mount Gahinga. In total they are eight Virunga massifs that are spread across Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The three mountains that make up the eight are Mount Nyiragongo, Mount Nyamuragira, and Mount Mikeno.

Back to Mount Bisoke, this mountain stands tall at a height of 12, 175 ft and is shared between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo – with almost 3 quarters of the mountain in Rwanda as well as the peak. Bisoke is one of the active Virunga Volcanoes and last erupted in 1957.

Mount Bisoke is a result of a rift that divides some East African sections. The mountain has two crater lakes it has two crater lakes with one of its crater lakes being the biggest Crater Lake among the Virunga Mountains.

The flora on Bisoke is greatly made of a bamboo forest that is a habitat for the endangered mountain gorillas. People that visit Mount Bisoke visit the mountain to either have mountain gorilla trekking experience or a hiking experience. For the purposes of this article we are going to focus more on hiking mountain Bisoke.

One of the adventurous things you can do on your visit to Rwanda is hiking Mt Bisoke. A Hike to this mountain on top of being adventurous, it’s thrilling and refreshing.  A hike to this mountain is a great opportunity to challenge your body, enjoy beauty sights of nature, birds and animals.

Mount Bisoke
Mount Bisoke

Hiking Mount Bisoke is a one day activity and a hike to this mountain takes a total of about 8 to 9 hours depending on your pace – You spend more hours climbing and few hours coming down.

Unlike the other Virunga Mountains, Mt Bisoke is considered less challenging and one mountain that can be climbed by any one is even amateur hikers – however even though you are an amateur you should be physically fit to climb or else the hike will be pretty straining for you.

On your way up you will encounter several ordeals so you should mentally and physically prepare for them. You should expect to deal with stinging insects, thorny plant, slippery and muddy trails. This is the case whether it’s a dry season or rainy season but definitely the trails are soggier during the rainy season.

As you climb you will notice that the higher you go the oxygen levels drop so breathing may become a challenge, so we advise that as you climb you pace yourself and make stops whenever you can.

You will get to the summit in about 5 – 6 hours; at this point you will be viewing the top crater lake in a foggy filled atmosphere. At the top you will also get to enjoy the beautiful scenes of the surrounding like most of the Virunga region, the alpine vegetation and of course the clouds in the sky, you feel like you can actually touch them.

At this point you can take pictures rest for a bit (you can’t stay long at the summit the oxygen levels are not favourable) and then shortly start on your decent down the mountain.

For a Bisoke hiking experience you will have to start in the early morning at the park headquarters with a brief and connecting with your hiking ranger and then you will be off for the adventure of the day. You will pack snacks and water for the Hike.

Mount Bisoke is accessed through Volcanoes National Park and Volcanoes National Park is about 3 to 4 hours from Rwanda’s capital Kigali.

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