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Hiking Mount Bisoke hiking in Rwanda
There are much more things to do while in Rwanda, apart from gorilla tracking and other wildlife tours for those who want to do something that is more adventurous. Mount Bisoke hiking also known as Visoke should be added to your list of things to do, it is one of the active volcanoes in the Virunga Mountain ranges which is shared between three countries namely Uganda, Rwanda, and DR-Congo, Mt Bisoke is found on Rwanda’s side with a height of 12,175 ft.
Mt Visoke-Bisoke lies along the borders of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in DR Congo but the summit is on the Rwanda side, mount Bisoke has 2 crater lakes, one of the crater lakes is found the way midway to the summit, and the second one on the top of the summit of Mt Bisoke/Visoke that last erupted in 1957.
Mount Bisoke/ Visoke is also home to the mountain gorillas, Mt Visoke has rich vegetation, and bamboo forests provide perfect shelter and food for the mountain gorillas however mount Bisoke hiking in Rwanda and reaching the summit is an amazing activity for those who love climbing/ hiking tours.
Hiking of Mount Bisoke-Visoke in Rwanda
Climbing mount Bisoke in Rwanda is an exciting adventure activity that can be added to your other safari activities in Rwanda, Mt Visoke-Bisoke can be even hiked by even people who are not experienced hikers. Climbing/ hiking up to the mt Bisoke summit can take between 5 to 6 hours while hiking down depends on your speed and how frequently the hiking team stops for resting.
Hiking mount Bisoke is not demanding but hikers should prepare to deal with the thorny plants along the hiking trail, there are also stinging insects and muddy along the trails, especially during the rainy season months, mt Visoke is steep but not difficult.
Mt Visoke is very popular for those who wish to do hiking activities while in Rwanda, Visoke has stunning views and alpine vegetation that you may find nowhere else in the world. While hiking Mt Bisoke there are many other animals to see including elephants, buffalo, mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, and many bird species, if you are lacking you can meet one of the gorilla families or golden monkey troops along the trail while hiking which can make you hiking even more exciting.
Climbing starts in the morning with a briefing at the Volcanoes national park headquarters in Kingi after you will be assigned a team of park rangers/ guides, remember to carry your Bisoke hiking permit with you and passport, it is also recommended to carry some snacks.
After briefing you have to drive to the starting point which is about 45 minutes drive, when you reach the starting point, you will be provided with free hiking sticks from the park rangers, at this point also it is where you will meet armed park rangers who will escort you up to the top of Bisoke summit, for those who wish to hire a porter to help you with carrying your extra luggage. The work of the porters is also to help you navigate difficult sections of the hiking trail by pulling you up or down, also porters are the people who come from the communities near the park so they have good knowledge about the and the hiking trails because most of these porters have been helping hikers since their childhood making them the most experienced about Mt Bisoke and other activities in Volcanoes national park.
Cost of hiring a porter for mount Bisoke hiking in Rwanda, it costs a minimum of $15 per porter but has no maximum, this hike takes you through different local communities, gardens/plantations before reaching the forest, the vegetation, landscape and surrounding environment along the trail is amazing.
One of the determinant factors on how long it takes you to reach the top of the summit is the weather, normally weather will dictate how long the hike will take, for example on the day when the weather is good it is much easier and one can even have a picnic on the top of the summit on the crater lake.
Cost of hiking permit for Mt Bisoke
Cost of mount Bisoke hiking permit in volcanoes national park-Rwanda, a permit can be easily purchased on the day you wish to hike Mt Bisoke at the volcanoes national park headquarters in Kinigi which means that you don’t have to worry about booking in advance. The cost of a hiking permit for Mt Bisoke costs only $75 per person but this doesn’t include accommodation, meals, and transport so you still need to book with a local tour operator like Kisoro tours Uganda to arrange your hiking safari and for the entire trip ranging from permits, accommodation, transportation, driver guides among other.