Volcano Hiking In Virunga Conservation Area
Hiking or climbing one of the virunga volcanoes is one of the stunning experiences you must not miss on your safari to the Virunga conservation area. The Virunga volcanoes are a chain of eight volcanic mountains two of which are active while the rest inactive. The volcanic mountains are shared by Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo while some are in the borders of either country. Virunga volcanoes are a branch of the albertine rift valley in the eastern border of the East African rift valley between lake Edward and Kivu. Interestingly, all virunga volcanoes are in hearts of gorilla national parks which offer gorilla trekking packages and these are volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda. Hiking to the top of each volcano require the company of an armed rage and the porter who help to carry the baggage. The slopes of the volcanoes shelter the endangered mountain gorillas hence an opportunity for travelers to meet and interact with the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Similarly, the summit of each volcano reward travelers with spectacular views of the national parks, wildlife, and neighboring activities, which is an added advantage. Below is the detailed information about all the Virunga volcanoes:
Situated in Rwanda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mount Karisimbi is the highest volcano at 4,507 meters above the sea level. The volcano was named after the white snow at its summit translated in Kinyarwanda as “amasimbi”and is mostly found at the summit in the dry months of June, July and August. A hike to the summit of mount Karisimbi takes two days to hike up and descending but the experience is memorable. The steep height of mount Karisimbi make it strenuous which require physical fitness and high level of commitment but the experience is an experience of its won kind.
This is the second highest volcano in Democratic Republic of Congo situated in the heart of Virunga national park. Mount Mikeno stands at 4,437 meters above sea level ranked as the 13th highest mountain in Africa. The slopes of the volcano are covered by the rain forest, which shelter the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Mount Mikeno is a dormant Volcano and a one-day hike, which last for 5-6 hours to reach the summit. Mikeno lodge is the near by accommodation for travelers hiking Mount Mikeno providing you with memorable experiences.
Situated in the Uganda’s borders with Rwanda, Mount Muhabura is the third highest volcano, which stand at 4,127 meters above the sea level. The volcano is partly in Uganda’s Mgahinga gorilla national park and Rwanda’s volcanoes national park hence can hike from either side though the big portion is in Uganda. Its also a dormant volcano but hiking to its summit is un forgettable experience. Muhabura is translated in Kinyarwanda as “guide” and its slopes are also a home to mountain gorillas and other wild bird life.
Mount Bisoke straddles in the borders of Rwanda and the democratic republic of Congo and is the fourth highest volcano in the Virunga conservation area standing at 3,711 meters above the sea level. Mount Bisoke is an inactive volcano, which last erupted in 1957, and its summit shelters a large crater lake whose view is ad advantage for the travelers. In the slopes of Mount Bisoke is the karisoke research center, which was fo8nded by Dian Fossey in her campaign to save mountain gorillas that were at the verge of extinction.
This is fifth highest volcano, which intersects the borders of Rwanda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mount Sabyinyo is I the shape of the tooth and is translated in Kinyarwanda as “irinyo” whose summit is shared by the three countries. Mount Sabyinyo stands at 3,645 meters above the sea level and shares the borders of Mgahinga gorilla national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park and Virunga national park. Mount Mikeno can be hiked from Rwanda, Uganda or Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mount Gahinga is a dormant volcano in the borders of Uganda and Rwanda neighboring Mount Muhabura and Mount Sabyinyo. The volcano derives its name from Kinyarwanda word, which means the “pile of stones”, and the summit of the volcano is covered by swampy caldera. Like other volcanoes, the slopes of Mount Gahinga are a home to the endangered mountain gorillas and other wildlife and bird species.
This is an active volcano situated in the heart of Virunga national park Democratic Republic of Congo. Mount Nyiragongo is 3,470 meters above the sea level and its summit hosts the world’s largest lava lake. Mount Nyiragongo is one of the key attractions in Democratic Republic of Congo, which attract thousands of travelers to DRC from all parts of the world. Nyiragongo’ds last eruption took place in 2002 and new eruptions are expected any time since signs have started showing.
Situated in the heart of virunga national park, Mount Nyamuragira is the very active volcano of the eight Virunga volcanoes whose active stet discourage travelers from hiking it. The volcano is just 25 kilometers north of lake kivu and is believed to have erupted over 40 times since 1885 when the volcano first erupted. Mont Nyamuragira stands at 3058 meters above the sea level, which is roughly 10,033 feet. The slopes of mount Nyamuragira are covered by the forests, which shelter different kinds of wild and bird life.
Note: All travelers taking part in hiking any of the volcanoes should be physically fit, and highly committed. Remember to carry enough drinking water, energy giving snacks, wear light hiking boots for easy movement on the lose stones, hand gloves, long pants and sweaters to provide warms in case it rains.
Conclusively therefore, book a hiking safari to the Virunga volcanoes in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo which reward you with a memorable experience.