Facts About Mount Bisoke – Rwanda

Mount Bisoke volcano Rwanda is also well known as Visoke volcano in the volcanoes national park. It is 3711meters and a dormant volcano stands across the border of Democratic republic of Congo and Rwanda. Mount Bisoke is part of an amazing chain of lush and verdant volcanoes which form the Virunga mountain range. The Virunga mountain range consists of at least eight outstanding volcanoes and a habitat to the mountain gorillas, stretching across the borders of the three neighboring countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The mountain stands in between two neighboring national parks across the Rwanda & Congo which the volcanoes national park on the Rwandan side and the Virunga national park in Democratic republic of Congo. Still the bigger part of the volcano with the summit inclusive lies in Rwanda. This summit of mount Bisoke has got a beautiful crater lake of about four hundred meters of diameter and the other Crater Lake, Lake Ngezi lies eleven kilometers from the summit and it was formed after the eruption in 1957. Meanwhile it is because of these two crater Lakes that the local people suitably named the mount Bisoke which is a Swahili word meaning soaked with water.

Mount Bisoke is one of the rare mountains fully covered by the vegetation and the lush vegetation has three zones which start from Hagenia through semi-alpine and the alpine to the top. The Bisoke harbors a set of amazing wildlife and close to 2 endangered apes – the beautiful golden monkeys and mountain gorillas both of which are endemic to Virunga ranges. There are also other animals like Duiker, buffaloes and forest elephants. It has good count of the indigenous bird species of the Albertine rift valley and lots of forest specials in the lower Hagenia forests. There are a lot of activities to be done at the mount like hiking, gorilla trekking and birding.

Hiking expeditions and gorilla trekking are the most common activities done in the neighboring Volcanoes national park which is home to habituated mountain gorilla groups.

The hiking takes roughly two hours where visitors hike up steep and slippery slopes and find opportunities of sighting the golden monkeys, birds, mountain gorillas and wildlife along the trail. One will have to cross these different vegetation habitats which starts from bamboo forests moving into Hagenia and then through senecio-lobelia to the top near the summit. The fast and experienced hikers can take only three hours or less to return to the base of the volcano.

Hikers head to the starting point by 7:00am to attend a short briefing and to be assigned a parker ranger or tour guide and these people are very knowledgeable about the area and a climb generally. At exactly 8:00am the adventure starts the guide will transfer you to the starting point and this is where the porters will help the visitors with carrying their luggage.

This adventurous hike can only be arranged with an official guide and it costs 75USD per person to hike and this fee doesn’t include transport to take the visitors to headquarters also the guide from the park. In case the climbers don’t have a car to transport them to the trail head this can be charged 60usd per day.

Birding and forest walks done along the trails within the mountain vegetation present an extremely rewarding birding experience. The park has got about 165 bird species yet they are only 17 endemic to this particular area. There is a batch of wildlife to encounter like the golden monkeys, forest elephants and buffaloes.

Travellers planning their safaris in Rwanda, mount Bisoke is a rewarding African jungle experience so it is a must visit and one should include it in their bucket list.