Exploring the Virunga Mountains of East Africa


Should you wish to climb the Virunga volcanoes, here are the 5 Virunga Mountains to hike.

Gahinga and Sabinyo are fond in Mgahinga gorilla national park Uganda, Bisoke and Karisimbi are in volcanoes national park Rwanda and mount Nyiragongo is in Virunga national park Congo.

Mount Gahinga

Standing over 3474 m above sea level, Mount Gahinga is the Virunga’s lowest volcano found in Mgahinga gorilla national park south western Uganda. It has a beautiful swamp crater that creates picturesque scenery. It is open for hiking all year round, the climb is medium but there are surprisingly 5 ladders to scale taking 6 hours.

Mount Sabinyo

Sabinyo is a local word meaning old man’s teeth” too much weathering took place on this volcano making its shape look an old man’s teeth. It has one of the most interesting locations. Sabinyo volcano sits across the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo.  Visitors can stand at one point where the three countries meet. You need just one day to trek this volcano and return back to your lodge. Standing at 3669 m above sea level, it can feel like serious hiking taking only 8 hours but for those who are lazy, there are porters to hire and give you a push.

Mount Nyiragongo

Nyiragongo is the most active volcano in Africa having been in a state of continuous eruption since 1882. Nyiragong is well known for the eruption that occurred in 2002 killing people and destroying property in the city of Goma 15 km below the volcano. It is located in Virunga national park eastern democratic republic of Congo near the border with Rwanda. Adventure travelers have been getting up close with the live lava lake. However, Virunga Park is currently closed due to security threat. Visitors are permitted to climb up the 347o m above sea level summit with a guide and spend overnight on the edge of the active lava lake. There are excellent views to be enjoyed from the summit shelters which can reach in 6 hours of hiking on foot from the base Kibati.  The area on the summit is exposed and at the summit the  weather conditions are particularly windy.

Mount Karisimbi

Mount Karisimbi is the tallest volcano among the 8 Virunga volcanoes. The Mt Karisimbi volcano area is very massive rising at 4507 m above sea level. It is considered the 5th highest mountain in Africa and Rwanda’s most recognized landmark. Mount Karisimbi’s summit is most of the time surrounded by a smoke of clouds while its forested slopes are home to wildlife which make it one of the most impressive volcanoes. It is located in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park. Those who come to this park for gorillas can as well enjoy hiking Karisimbi. The trek to the summit takes 2 days and is challenging with steep terrain. Experienced Rwanda development guides are available to help hikers to reach the summit. It is requires that visitors come ready to pitch their or hire camping tents for a night to spend on the volcano. The hike provides great views of the Albertine rift valley and wildlife encounters such as birds, primates.

Mount Bisoke

Mount Bisoke is located in Volcanoes national park Rwanda. On the summit of Bisoke 3700 meters above sea level is a beautiful crater lake. Trekking Bisoke offers you a chance to hike the picturesque mount Bisoke and view the beautiful Crater Lake on the top.


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