Hikes and Volcano Climbing – Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda

Posted by on December 16, 2018

Hikes and Volcano Climbing in the Virunga Volcanoes

Experiential Hiking Climbing- Nature Walks – Caving in and around Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda


There is more to Volcanoes National Park than the Mountain Gorillas and Golden  Monkeys that you can track here.  There is also Hiking and Volcano Climbing, the visit to ancient and magical forests, Caves, Lakes and more.

The possibilities are endless here for the outdoor enthusiast, he will find this close to his kind of heaven as he climbs some of the volcanoes he will be, this is simply a great place for those that want to do something off of the beaten tourist path.  The answer is that one explores Volcanoes National Park beyond Gorillas and Golden Monkeys.

One can easily spend a week in and around Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda – if you are into outdoor adventurism – Volcanoes National Park is the place for you to explore and discover.

We offer the Hikes and Climbs as an add-on to our Safaris in Rwanda not as stand alone activities.


 Ngezi Lake Trail – shortest Hike in Volcanoes National Park:

Ngezi Lake is is a small scenic, a shallow crater lake at the foot of Mount Visoke in Volcanoes National Park.  On the hike, that takes  3 to 4 hours round-trip you are accompanied by a Park Ranger – along with the trail you can see birds and monkeys.

The lake its surroundings are a birding area and home to a number of sought-after birds, one of these being Grauer’s Swamp-Warbler.

There are some scenic views of the Democratic Republic of Congo and its Virunga Volcanoes National Park and its seeming endless forest.

Lake Ngezi Trail gives you a taste of the Virunga Volcanoes Foothills, a crater lake, scenic views near and far, wildlife, birds, and monkeys – a taste of the Virunga Volcanoes in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda


 Climbing Mount Visoke (aka Mount Bisoke) – Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda:

The elevation of Mount Visoke at the summit is 3700 meters above Sea-Level.  Mount Visoke appears as what most consider the perfect Volcano from the base of the mountain.  At the top of Mount Visoke, a splendid Crater Lake awaits you.

It is not a most demanding climb, however, many would find it a tough hike due to the elevation and some steep stretches along the trail.

Mount Visoke is both in the Democratic Republic of Cong and in Rwanda – the summit and its crater lake are all in Rwanda.

You pass through several vegetation zones including the Afro-Montane Zone with its unique plants such as large Lobelias.

The ascent for most takes around 3 hours – the round-trip is 5 hours or longer depending on you. Guides will escort you and porter service is available.  A hearty lunch should be packed and plenty of bottled water for the climb-hike.

Sturdy boots, long-sleeved shirt, long trousers, rain-jacket, day-pack, hat with wide brim, and anything else you normally take on hikes.

The scenic views along the hike-climb will be most stunning and those that venture up to the summit of Mount Visoke – enjoy it.


 Dian Fossey’s Research Camp – Gravesite – Hike:

Dian Fossey – dedicated herself to the preservation of her beloved Mountain Gorillas – at the end, she paid the ultimate price – her life. Dian Fossey became a household word for many in the West after the Movie “Gorillas in the Mist” made her life and work known to the world.
In Volcanoes National park you can take a hike to her scientific research camp called “Karisoke” – a hike that begins at the Park Headquarter.
Today the remnants of that camp are found straddled between Mount Visoke and Mount Karisimbi.

Her former home, the gorilla graveyard, and her gravesite are at an altitude of 3000 meters.  A round trip of about 3 hours.Many embark on the hike to see where Dian Fossey labored for years in her dedication to the Mountain Gorillas


 Climbing Mount Muhabura –  Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda:

Mount Muhabura is the second highest peak inside of Volcanoes National Park – it is also in Virunga Volcano Chain the most easterly Volcano and straddles both Rwanda and Uganda and can be climbed on either side of the border. The views from the top of Mount Muhabura are stunning as you view the other Volcanoes- Rwanda – Uganda and on into the DRC in the distance – on clear days one can look even further.

If you are up for a swim in the crater lake you can swim from Rwanda to the Ugandans side – you can also walk around the crater lake.

Getting to the top of Mount Muhabura is not easy – it takes some effort but is done in one day.  Mount Muhabura – the Sentinel as it is called awaits you-you will love exploring the mountain and its various vegetation zones – especially the Afro-Montane one.


 2 Day Mount Karisimbi Climb – Hike:

This guided – two day Mount Karisimbi (white shell Mountain) to the 5th highest snow-capped peak in Africa is a most amazing journey – not soon forgotten.

The first day – you spend 6 hours hiking and climbing to the 3700-meter level where you stay overnight (camping gear is required for this journey – and though you are in Africa – it gets cold here at night including food.)

The next day you continue to the summit and the scenic wonders that await you – simply most amazing.

The descent takes about 6 hours.

A two-day hike and climb that is not for the faint of heart but for the adventurous. Another one of the adventures of Hikes and Volcano Climbing in Volcanoes National Park.


  Twin Lakes of Burera -Ruhondo -Trek to Russumo Falls:

Visit Rwanda’s scenic lakes of Burera – Ruhondo .  You can take a walk to the viewpoint – an afternoon cruise on Lake Ruhondo – preferably toward sunset. On arrival, you have the choice of taking a three-hour hike to Russumo Falls.  Follow your guide along a most scenic trail through a beautiful valley before coming upon some impressive waterfalls.

At the waterfall, you have a chance to not only see the natural wonders but it also a good place for birding and you will come across the Long-crested Eagle, African Marsh Harrier, Stonechat, Plain Martin, Cinnamon-breasted Bee-eater, White-tailed, Grey-throated Tit, Paradise Flycatchers, Pink-backed Pelican, Common Moorhen.

The waterfall trek is about 3 hours in length and it is best done in the morning and if the afternoon you can explore the lakes including a cruise on Lake Ruhondo that is about a 1 1/2 hours long.


 Buhanga Sacred Forest Nature Walk – Hike:

Buhanga Sacred Forest Hill- now a small forest it comes with a large track of history, culture, and meaning to many Rwanda.

Buhanga Sacred Forest was the place where the kings of Rwanda came and bathed in the waters of before their coronation.  The forest became sacred grounds in that those who lived locally refused to cut down trees or plant and cultivate gardens and farms nearby.

It is said that the forest takes on different colors, even different dimensions depending on the season of the year, the weather, light and more.

You can walk beneath the tall and quite majestic trees and see the birds and colorful butterflies all around.

The trails are made of lava stones and the trails run throughout the forest.  Buhanga forest – a peaceful place to gather, to be refreshed in spirit.


  Exploring the Musanze Caves:

The ancient Musanze Volcanic Caves – millions of years old.  When you enter the massive cave complex you think you stepping into a natural cathedral – the size alone is simply amazing.

Musanze caves are one of the many caves in or near Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.  The caves are not ancient but have provided a place of refuge for many including the storage of supplies and food by Rwandan Kings during times of war.

The silence of the caves that go deep into the earth is overwhelming – the only sounds you will hear is that of your footsteps and drops of water hitting the ground.

If you look high above you will see hundreds of bats having above you, which become visible as you shine your light to the ceiling.

There is a well-constructed path that leads you to the other side of the cave and out into the daylight…an amazing experience.


 Climbing Volcanoes in Mgahinga Gorilla Park – Uganda

A short drive from Rwanda is Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Another park from where you can climb the Mountains that cook, the Virunga Volcanoes.

There are many activities found here for the adventure enthusiast and it is off of the beaten tourist track.

There  are 3 Volcanoes that you can climb in one day in Uganda, from 6 to 9 hours in length for each Volcano – the most popular hike being Mount Sabinyo as it is called in Uganda

The same care and kind of ranger guides found in Rwanda are found here and you can continue your Volcanic Mountain ascents.


 Our Advice:

There are many opportunities for Hikes and Volcano Climbing, cave and lake explorations in and near Volcanoes National Park – most come to the see the Mountain Gorillas and miss out on the beauty and natural wonders that are all around.  Enjoy – Volcanoes National Park on Foot along with its Hiking and Volcano Climbing.

Be sure to be properly equipped for the hikes and climbs that you take you to the peaks of the Mountains that cook, the Virunga Volcanoes.

Most Hikers add one volcano climb to their time on safari with us.

We do not offer volcano hikes as a stand-alone activity but as part of an overall safari in the Land of a Thousand Hills.

Hiking-Climbing Safaris – Tips and Advice


If you are interested in Hikes and Volcano Climbing – Nature Walks Caving and want to add them to your Safari Itinerary – Please Contact us.