Mount Karisimbi

Mount Karisimbi Hight Elevetion : 4507 metres, (14,787 ft)
Congo – Rwanda : 1.5°S / 29.45°E
Current Status : Dormant
Starting Point : Kinigi – Volcanoes national park

The Karisimbi Volcano is the Highest and largest of the Virunga Mountain and the fifth highest in Africa, situated along the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda with in the Volcanoes National Park region.Mount Karisimbi gets its name from a Kinyarwanda word ‘amasimbi’ which means snow white as it has a snow peak which is seen in the dry season of June, July, August December, January, February and March at the summit of the volcano.

Mt. Karisimbi comprises of a 2 KM wide branca caldera, with is peak filled with viscous lava flows and two explosion craters, the largest called Muntango. The Muntango pit crater is situated south.

Hiking the Karisimbi Volcanoes

Hiking the Karisimbi Volcanoe begins from the foot hill of Volcanoes national park in Rwanda hiking up the branca caldera that extends at the base of the actual cone of the Karisimbi top, climbing through bamboo and Hagenia – Hypericum forests. Another hiking route is starts from the foot of Mount Bisoke.

Mountain Karisimbi volcanoe is quite adventurous but strenuous as its at a very high altitude and hence requires some one to be in good physical shape. The Karisimbi Hike is a 2 day hike with a basic camping over night at the mountain.

The climb will start early in the morning and takes 6 hours reaching the first stopping place at an altitude of 3.700 m for overnight (basic camping). The next day, the hike begins early in the morning for the summit. The Karisimbi summit offers spectacular and magnificent views of the different volcanoes including distant views of the Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes. Climbing back down takes the rest of the day.

Best Time

The Karisimbi Volcanoe hike is best done during the dry seasons from January, February, March and July, August, September and early October

Trek Price

1 Day Hike – USD 75 Per Person
2 Day Hike – USD 175 Per person – which includes a Park guide

Starting Point

The hike starts with a briefing at the Volcanoes national park headquarters in Kinigi at 8:30 AM. After briefing about the hike overview, you will drive to the forest hike starting point.


Hiking Permits can be got from the park headquarters on the trekking day but its very necessary to inform the park offices in advance so that they are ready to receive you.

Trekking Tips

  • Carry a tent or a camp for overnight
  • Hire a porter to help carry your backpack and watch out for you.
  • Carry overnight accessories like a sleeping bag, worm clothes
  • Carry overnight Food, which can be prepared up the mountain hand gloves and water proof pants and coats
  • Good hiking shoes and a walking stick
  • Heavy jackets, sweaters, hats