Hiking Mount Karisimbi

Hiking Mount Karisimbi is one of the top Rwanda hiking safaris whereby a traveler will be tasked to hike this amazing Virunga mountain. Mountain Karisimbi is one of the 8 Virunga mountains that is shared by Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mountain is usually hiked on the Rwanda side of the mountain which is found in the Volcanoes National Park. However it can also be hiked from the Congo side which is usually not common but if you’re interested in having the most amazing adventure of Mount karisimbi hike, then you should hike it from Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park and as a twist, you can choose to carry out the virunga mountains hike in Rwanda to have a broader and a fun filled adventure where you will see a number of attractions.

Mount Karisimbi Hiking

In Rwanda, the mountain is found in Volcanoes national park a park famous for giving the best Rwanda gorilla tours because of the presence of 5 of the 8 Virunga mountains which have the best conditions for their habitats. The mountains include Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhabura, Mount Bisoke, Mount Karisimbi, and Mountain Sabyinyo which have the different gorilla families in Rwanda

The gorillas are found in the bamboo trees of the slopes of the mountains. The park is not only a home to the mountain gorillas in Rwanda but also a place for the Rwanda golden monkey trekking because the primates are found within the bamboo trees of the mountains. Come experience a fun filled adventure in the park while hiking mount Karisimbi and you can also opt for a number of other activities to make your stay in the park memorable.

Before you embark on your journey to Volcanoes national park,  in order to go hiking mount karisimbi, there are a few facts that you should get to know before you carry out the mount karisimbi hike as explained below;

  • Highest Mountain: Before hiking Mount Karisimbi, it is important to know the mountain amongst the Virunga Mountains is the highest mountain which has increased its popularity among travelers. The mountain stands at an elevation of 14787ft making it the highest mountain in Rwanda and the 6th in Africa. This is quite a good number in a continent endowed with many mountains therefore it should be on your to-do list when you visit Rwanda particularly volcanoes national park and here you can make your visit to the park by carrying out other activities like gorilla trekking in Rwanda, birding, golden monkey trekking among other fun filled activities.
  • Gorillas & other attractions: If you combine gorilla trekking and hiking mount karisimbi, you will have the opportunity to see among the Rwanda gorilla families, for instance, karisimbi gorilla family which is an amazing gorilla group with a beautiful history on how it was formed to become the karisimbi gorilla family.  The group is headed by Nyakagana a dominant silverback in the group who decided to take some of the group members of The Susa group one of the most popular groups in the park which was studied by Dian Fossey who risked it all to ensure that she could protect the gorillas as she researched them at her research station at Karisoke. But the karisimbi hike can be done on its own and will also be fulfilling because you will get the opportunity to see a number of attractions like the golden monkeys, a number of bird species and so on.
  • Hardest Mountain to Hike: Among the Virunga Mountains, hiking mount Karisimbi is the hardest to engage in which can be carried out in 2 days. Therefore if you’re interested in carrying out the karisimbi hike, you should put in mind that the mountain is characterised with a number of challenges that can slow you down while on your hike which may include the secondary forest in the lower slopes, the steep slopes characterised with different vegetation benches. Including the hagenia forests
  • Dian Fossey Grave: Dian Fossey an American primatologist who established her mountain gorilla research station in between mountain Bisoke and mountain karisimbi thus the name Karisoke research station which is a combination of the two names. The research station was established by Dian Fossey who dedicated her life to conserving the mountain gorillas, at the research station she put up a gorilla cemetery in for her gorilla friends that lost their lives in the hands of the poachers and when she lost her life through murder she was buried in the gorilla cemetery near her gorilla friends. Come to the park and witness the legacy of Dian Fossey which has contributed to the conservation of the mountain Gorillas with the regular patrols that are carried out to ensure that the gorillas are in a safe environment. It is evident that many poachers re interested in killing the primates for their products, they have been able to destroy poacher’s snares that have contributed to the loss of the primates’ lives. While hiking the mountain karisimbi, you will be able to see the Karisoke research station which is now known as the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
  • Best time for Hiking Mount Karisimbi: Just like any mountain hiking adventure, you are advised to go hiking mount Karisimbi during the dry months when the weather is appropriate for you to climb. It should be noted that the mountain is steep which can be dangerous to hike during the wet seasons because of chance of getting accidents and the slopes can be slippery making it hard for you to hike up the mountain, therefore, it is very important to hike the mountain during the months of February, March, June, July August September and October when there are no rains to sabotage your hike to the summit of mountain Karisimbi.
  • Volcanic Status: Mountain karisimbi is a dormant volcano that shows no signs of activity which can be seen on mountain Nyiragongo where at the top of it you can see lava bubbling in the crater of the mountain and the sound of earthquakes that can be heard underneath the earth’s crust which is quite a magical experience while at the summit of the mountain. If you have any worries about the hiking mount Karisimbi thinking it is an active volcano that can erupt at any time then you shouldn’t be because the mountain is a dormant mountain and it is only mountain Nyiragongo and mountain Nyamuragira all in Virunga national park that are the active volcanoes. However mountain Nyiragongo is safe to hike because of a number of researchers that keep track of the lava flows and whatever to know when it is safe or not and currently the mountain is safe therefore if you are also interested in hiking Nyiragongo you should check out things to know before hiking mountain Nyiragongo.
  • Birding:  While hiking mountain karisimbi, you will have a chance to see a number of bird species because mountain karisimbi is a great birding spot due to the different vegetation benches that can act as a habitat for example at the lower slopes of the mountain where we can see a number of bird species that make their nests in the tree branches and among the different bird species that may include species like; Chubb’s cisticola Archers ground robin, red-faced woodland warbler, Ruwenzori double collared sunbird, Collared Apalis, Ruwenzori turaco, handsome francolin, Archers ground robin, red-faced woodland warbler, Ruwenzori double collared sunbird, Collared Apalis, Ruwenzori turaco and a number of other bird species.
  • The Summit:  Hiking Mount Karisimbi will offer the most mesmerizing views while at the summit that are out of the world because of the beauty that will be availed to you once you reach the top however even through your hike to the top, you will have a chance to see a number of attractions but once you reach the top, your hard work will be paid off because when you come across the snow at the top of the mountain which is quite fascinating, still at the summit you will have a chance to see democratic republic of Congo and also Uganda, and a number of attractions.
  • Travel Documents: As you get ready for your Rwanda tour, you should not forget to carry your travel documents to avoid any disturbances a reminder of what to carry in order for you not to miss out on the amazing experience can be seen in the Rwanda visa on entry and requirement information to have the a full list of what to carry in order to enter the country and participate in the activity.
  • Packing List: To make the karisimbi hike comfortable for you, you should consider packing the following items in your backpack to have the best of your mountain karisimbi hike;


  • Strong hiking boots since the slopes tend to be steep and slippery as they go up the mountain 
  • Drinking water to be hydrated for the entire hike up the mountain
  • Rain jackets, this is because the weather is unpredictable at high elevations of the mountain because it can rain at any time even during the dry season.
  • A warm jacket as the high elevations of the mountains are always cold
  • Toiletries in order to customize your trip to feel comfortable.
Hiking Mount Karisimbi
Hiking Mount Karisimbi

At the reception of Volcanoes national park, you should hire walking sticks that can be got in order to aid in balancing while hiking at the steep areas of the mountain.  You can also hire a porter to help you carry your sleeping bags, camping equipment, snacks, in order to decrease your weight as you hike up the mountain.

book a safari