Hiking Mountain Karisimbi in Rwanda at 407M above sea level.
Day 1: Kigali – Volcanoes National Park.
8:00 am.The driver shall pick you up from the hotel in Kigali in the morning at about 9:00 am and travel to the northern province of Rwanda. Arrive in Musanze District and transfer to your accommodation situated outside Volcanoes National Park. You shall have lunch and thereafter spend the rest of the day at the lodge whilst enjoying the lovely scenery all around. Dine and overnight.
Day 2: Hike (3700m)
6:30 am, Early wake up for breakfast at 7:00 am, ready your hiking gear and then transfer to the park headquarters in Kinigi. Meet the rangers who will brief you on the entire hiking activity in Karisimbi. By 8:00 am you get into the cars and transfer to the starting point of the hike near the base of Mount Karisimbi. You shall find the porters here which you hire to carry your hiking items. You are then given the hiking sticks and off the hike starts! Starting at 2600m altitude, the first few minutes are an easy walk at the edge of park.
You have great views of the Mountains before moving into the jungles of the park. Ascend through bamboo jungles in the lower slopes, then hagenia forest, with old man’s beard moss on the branches. Above 3000m you get through the giant groundsel and giant lobella. After close to 6 hours of trekking you arrive at the camp situated at altitude 3700m. Set up your tent and prepare to spend the night here. At this altitude you begin to have a good view of the Karisimbi peak. Mt Mikeno in the Democratic Republic of Congo is also visible at this level. Spend the night.
Day 3: Hike to the Summit, ascend and depart for Kigali.
5:30 am, Be up at about 5:30 am for a snack and about 6:00 am when the light begins to come through get back on the trail. The terrain gets tougher with a muddy grounds and tree branches over the trail. At about 4000m, you get above the tree line and walk on hard volcanic scree for a few minutes before reaching the summit.
There are cold winds and a lot of fog which reduces visibility to just about 20 meters. Temperatures could drop to zero degrees and the chilly winds makes it even feel colder. Stay for about 30 meters and then start descending down. Get to the camp within 2 hours, rest and refresh a bit, park your hiking equipment and then proceed down the mountain and expect to be at the car park by 3:00 pm. You find the driver guide waiting for you and then leave for Kigali.
What you need to bring:
- Proper hiking shoes.
- Rain coat and trousers
- Warm clothes, gloves and head wear.
- Food supplies to eat at camp.
- Porters are available for hire at the start of the hike.
- A tent for the night at the camp.