Mt. Bisoke Rwanda (also popular as Visoke Volcano) is a dormant volcano and makes up part of the 8 beautiful Virunga Massifs. This magnificent volcano lies across Rwanda border and the DR Congo. The 8 chain Virunga volcanoes straddle along the Albertine rift, the Western section of the Great East African Rift.
Visoke (Bisoke) volcanoes is 35kms Northeast of Goma Town DR Congo just adjacent to Lake Kivu. Its summit is largely found on Rwandan side and it is undoubtedly one outstanding hiking spots in Volcanoes National Park, Northwestern Rwanda. Mt. Bisoke features 2 magical Crater Lakes where it derived its name “Bisoke” denoting to soaked with water.
One of the stunning Crater Lake is 400m diameter and it is incredibly one area of interest for any enthusiastic hiker on Rwanda hiking safari tour in Volcanoes National Park. The other one is Ngezi Lake which is 11kms from Bisoke Volcano’s summit. Mt. Bisoke itself rises up-to 3711m and recorded its last eruption in 1957 leading to its creation and other small cones. The first eruption was recorded in 1891. Unlike other volcanoes, Mt. Bisoke doesn’t experience snow on its summit but rather it is covered by fog.
Mount Bisoke like other Virunga Volcanoes is formed as a result of rift action. Besides gorilla trekking or golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park, hiking to the summits of Bisoke Volcano is one adventure experience that shouldn’t miss out on your bucket-list travel experiences.
Mt. Bisoke volcano features steep slopes and comprise of dense rain-forest and alpine meadows. This volcano is also considered to be one of the areas that shelter the endangered mountain gorillas. This is where Karisoke Research Centre is found and it is possible to combine Dian Fossey tomb hike with your Bisoke volcano climbing adventure while on Rwanda safari in Volcanoes National Park. About 2 main hiking trails are available, each leading you to one of the Crater Lakes on Bisoke Volcano.
How long is Bisoke Volcano hike?
A day is enough to climb through Bisoke on the side of Rwanda. The famous trail to Bisoke summit takes about 6 hours although it all depends on hikers’ speed; this includes 4 for ascending to the summit and 2 for descending. The other trail leads to the second Crater Lake-Ngezi and it takes shorter hike about 3 hours, 2 to the Crater Lake and 1 hour to descend.
Preparing for your Bisoke Volcano hike
Before you set off to hike to Bisoke Volcano summits, firstly, the park official will brief you at Volcanoes National Park head offices. You will be assigned to a guide and ensure that you have some physical wellness as the trek takes you through the volcano’s steep slopes. Unlike other volcanoes, Bisoke hike takes you via the lush vegetation zones ranging from bamboo to hagenia forest. At least persons above 15 years are considered to be fit although you may need to do some physical exercise prior actual hike.
How much is Bisoke volcano hike?
To participate on Mt. Bisoke volcano hike, Volcanoes National Park charges tourists US Dollars 75 and it is possible to pay even on the day of trek. The fees cover the park guide services and excludes costs for hiring porters. The hikes begin at 7:00am from Kinigi which is Volcanoes National Park head offices.