Mount Bisoke

Mount Bisoke, locally known as Visoke, lies between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Two crater lakes on Bisoke are named “Bisoke,” which means “drenched with water” by the locals.

Mount Bisoke’s peak contains a 400m diameter crater lake, and the 11km from the summit is the Ngezi crater lake; these crater lakes and the 3,696 m height of Bisoke Mountain were formed by its last eruption in 1957. The peak is fogged in rather than snow-covered.

What caused Mount Bisoke to form? As the divergent border of an east African split emerges, Mount Bisoke emerges from rift activity on the continent’s tectonic plate.

Away from the park tourists watching mountain Gorillas or other wildlife, mountain Bisoke climbers frequent the peak for just that as it has nature untouched, birdlife and lovely wildlife. It may be climbed in a day from the Rwandesse side, and the (RDB) organises two-day tours to it and adjacent Mt. Karisimbi, usually from Musanze.

Mountain Bisoke climbers frequent the peak to observe nature untouched, birdlife and other wildlife instead of watching mountain gorillas or other wildlife in the park. Mt. Karisimbi and its adjacent mountain, Mount Rwandesse, can be climbed in one day from the Rwandesse side.

When was the last time Mount Bisoke erupted? The last eruption of Mount Bisoke occurred in 1957, creating a large crater lake around it.
In addition to the crater lakes, which are the main reason for the journey, there are a number of other attractions. Mount Bisoke is a Stratovolcano


Hiking to the Peak of Mount Bisoke

The ascent is steep but not that hard for seasoned hikers and those with no experience, This Bisoke mountain has only two major nature trails where you can pass,  with each going to one of the lovely crater lakes. A most popular trail leads to Crater Lake at the peak; it is a 6-hour trip depending on climbers’ speed, consisting of 4 hours rising to the peak and 2 hours returning from the summit. The second trail leads to Ngezi’s second Crater Lake, which is much shorter and only takes 3 hours to hike, with 2 h towards the Lake and 1 hour back. Both are one-day hikes; one is easy and suitable for beginners, while the other means additional strength and good health. The hike also provides the opportunity to see mountain gorillas and track the Golden monkey through a variety of mountain settings.

Going down you will pass through muddy and steep trails of mountain. When you arrive at the starting point, The porters and rangers should be tipped before as a way of giving back to the community, it is also done in appreciation of those who work hard but are not well compensated 

Mount Bisoke is home to buffaloes, elephants, birds, and different monkey species. Some people have also reportdly seen mountain gorillas during the hike, but you need to keep a distance since these are very wild gorillas and not used to human presence. The rangers would allow you a maximum of 10 minutes and wont allow you to take any photos unless you have registered and paid for gorilla tracking in Rwanda

While you Mount Bisoke , Diana Fossey’s tomb site is also in the vacinity, it is the burial site of a renowned primatologist known as Nyiramacibiri who dedicated her life to saving mountain gorillas from poaching.

The vegetation on Mount Bisoke varies from bamboo forests to Hagenia-hypericum forests and Senecio-lobelia bushes near the summit.

Although there was insecurity in the country such as the Rwandan liberation war (1990-1994), Now the parks in Rwanda are secure and the tourism industry is growing rapidly 

The park fees for the climb are \$75 USD per person, which includes a park guide hired from the volcanoes national park’s headquarter in Kinigi. Climbers can also hire a porter from the park’s headquarter for $20 USD, and a wooden stick can be purchased at the surrounding artistic stores. The hike begins at 7:00 a.m. from the park’s headquarters in Kinigi, where tourists purchase climbing permits.

There is also a Dian Fossey grave site atop Mount Bisoke, which is the resting place of an American wildlife researcher and renowned primatologist who dedicated her life to protecting mountain gorillas from poachers; she was also known as “Nyiramacibiri.

Mount Bisoke has a variety of vegetative habitats, beginning with bamboo forests and progressing to a Hagenia-hypericum forest and a Senecio-lobelia bush towards the peak.

Tips for Packing like a pro for Mount Bisoke

To begin preparing for taking up Mount Bisoke challenge, you must first establish that you are physically healthy and capable of completing the task at hand. We have seen some people who fail this fairly easy hike and guess what ? they are the young ones who normally believe they could do this hike easily but they forget to prepare well. Do not be caught off guarded, here is the list of what to prepare before coming to hike Mount Bisoke.

Bring those long cloths, Come prepared with long pants, a sweater, a long-sleeved shirt, and head wear.
The long-sleeved clothing will shield yourself against biting insects like beetles, while excellent head wear will warm you up as you approach the peak.

A pair of water resistant hiking boots, These will enable you to comfortably and effectively trek through mud-filled and slippery terrain, especially during the rainy season.
Trekking stockings should be tucked into your pants to prevent yourself from mosquitoes, mud, and pointed stems

A good water proof rain jacket. Make sure that you have with you a good rain coat even when you will be coming in the dry season, there is a chance that rain comes and it can be really uncomfortable to be wet and cold in the mountains.

Here are things I wish I knew before Climbing Mount Bisoke

• How I wish I knew that I needed a porter to help me with my luggage while I trekked up, The porter can also give you a push when you get stuck, or get you out of the mud if you’re a first-time hiker, so hire one before you begin.( first time hikers )
Porters are available at the office of the Park where your hike begins.

• The importance of a hiking stick.  A hiking stick can assist you in maintaining your hiking balance while you ascend and descend the mountain, make sure you obtain one at the ranger post before beginning your journey.

• Make sure your clothing and shoes are appropriate for your hiking adventure.
Footwear should be water resistant hiking boots, and clothing should be moderately heavy so that you are not exhausted just at beginning of the trip and are not too cold at the end

•  Long-sleeved clothing is ideal, as are long trousers, raincoats, caps or even other headwear, hand gloves , and other items as needed.
•  The trip is pretty long and requires steady energy, so bring enough water and a snack to take on your hike.

Rwanda Hiking Safaris

Mount Bisoke Facts

    • Mount Bisoke is an active Volcano that could erupt at any time from now. It howver last errupted in the year if 1957 and formed crator lakes on its peak.
    • Mountain Bisoke is locally known as Visoke but not Bisoke.
    • Bisoke Mountain is within the Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and DR Congo’s Viruga National Park but has its highest peak in Rwanda

2 Days Mount Bisoke Tour Itinerary

If you’re searching for a short trek in Rwanda, book this two-day Mount Bisoke trekking excursion. Mt. Bisoke (3711m), one of Rwanda’s five Virunga volcanoes, is the most famous volcano for treks in Volcanoes National Park due to its big crater lake at the peak, which is the final reward after a difficult hike. Mt. Bisoke is also towards the core of the Virunga volcanic series, providing amazing views of the Virunga Mountains and the surrounding rolling Rwandan landscape. Several wildlife species, including rare vegetation, stunning golden monkeys, and a fifty percent probability of sighting gorillas, will be seen during the Mount Bisoke climb.

The Bisoke Crater Lake trek takes around 6 hours to complete, with 4 hours spent getting to the peak and 2 hours mountain climbing back down, based on your fitness and pace.

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