Mount Karisimbi Hiking in Rwanda

Mount Karisimbi Hiking in Rwanda: A safari to Hike Mount Karisimbi is one of the most thrilling Rwanda safari enjoyed by adventurous travelers on a Rwanda safari. Mount Karisimbi is the highest volcano amongst all the 8 volcanoes that thrill in Virunga Massif including Mount Bisoke, Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Mikeno, Mount Nyamulagira and mount Nyiragongo. Mount Karisimbi stands tall at 4,507M above the sea level bringing it to the 11th position amongst the tallest mountains in African continent. 

Mount Karisimbi Hiking in Rwanda

Mount Karisimbi is one of the dormant volcano in Virunga massif situated in Volcanoes national park Rwanda on the Congo border bordering Mount Bisoke, Mount Nyiragongo as well as Mount Mikeno thus during the hike, hikers are rewarded with stunning views of these neighboring volcanoes as well as Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park.

Mount Karisimbi obtained its name from a Kinyarwanda word “Amasimbi” meaning the white shell due to the snowcapped top of Mount Karisimbi that is usually observed in dry months. The summit of Mount Karisimbi harbors a stunning Caldera and crater lakes that are the main reason for the hike.

Embarking on Mount Karisimbi hike, 

It is very easy to combine a hike to summit mount Karisimbi with mountain gorilla trekking since all these activities are conducted within Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Unlike Mount Bisoke Hike, A hike to make a round trip on Mount Karisimbi is 2 days adventure thus requires a sleepover at the summit.

Mount Karisimbi hike starts early in the morning at about 7:00am with briefing on the 1st day of your hike after which, you jump into the car and set off on a brief drive to the starting point of the Hike where you will start the walk via well-known trails as guided by the ranger guides. Before starting the hike, ensure that you hire a porter and a cook since you will spend a night at the summit of the mountain thus appropriate preparation is necessary to be able to enjoy your adventure. During the ascension, you have might have a golden chance of encountering with primates that thrill in Volcanoes national park including primates like Mountain Gorillas, Golden monkeys, mammals like Elephants, Buffaloes and many other wildlife as will be seen while on your hike. There is yet a fascinating advantage of viewing the Dian Fossey grave situated at Karisoke Research Center along Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke. 

At about 3,700 M, Hikers set up their camp for dinner and a night sleep awaiting to proceed and summit the top of Mount Karisimbi the next day. It is very much possible to summit Mount Karisimbi in just one day but due to a lot of stunning things to see, the best way is to set up a camp for overnight and arise the next day with an early breakfast before proceeding to the summit which is about 1 hour ascension. This is a tiring experience and during rainy season, you will have to endure the toil till you get to the summit. Hikers are expected to arrive at the summit of Mount Karisimbi early in the morning where they are rewarded with a scenic views of the beauty that lies at the summit and beyond. You will spend time enjoying watching the craters, caldera, and enjoying the cool breath among others then finally descend back to the starting point where you will be picked and driven back to the park headquarters in Kiningi. This marks the end of Mount Karisimbi Hike.

Mount Karisimbi Hiking in Rwanda
Karisimbi Hike

Dry season is the best season for Mount Karisimbi hike when the walking trails are abit dry and easy to pass through unlike during rainy season where you have to toil in mud throughout the hike.

Requirements and what to pack for Mount Karisimbi Hike,

  • First and foremost, before embarking on Mount Karisimbi Hike, you need to ensure that you are physically fit and in good mental state to endure even if the challenge is tiring especially during rainy season.
  • On hiking day, hire a porter to assist you with carrying your extra luggage.
  • In case you do not have sleep equipment (sleeping bag, tent etc), this is the time to hire them before setting off on a hike since there are no shops at the summit.
  • A walking stick, though sometimes provided at the park
  • Appropriate hiking boats / shoes
  • Warm clothes
  • A cap
  • A rain jacket
  • A cap
  • Garden gloves
  • Enroute packed lunch
  • Snacks
  • Enough drinking water
  • A cook if you need to enjoy freshly prepared food

How much is Mount Karisimbi Hiking Permit

A permit to Hike mount Karisimbi costs $400 per person and it can be obtained either direct from the park headquarters on the hiking day though paying for it in advance is the best option to keep the park aware of your coming. A permit to Hike Mount Karisimbi only includes park entrance fees to Volcanoes national park, armed ranger fees and guide fees. However, the Permit excludes Accommodations, Meals, porter hire fees, tips, Gratuity etc. At Achieve Global Safaris, Explore Rwanda tours and Focus East Africa Tours, we can arrange for you a Mount Karisimbi Hiking permit and as well organize the entire trip to Rwanda on your behalf including transportation, accommodation, meals etc.


Since a hike to summit the top of Mount Karisimbi and back requires 2 days, one can as well add a 3rd day and enjoy the mountain gorilla trek and enjoy a maximum experience in Volcanoes national park Rwanda. Kindly, check out our bestselling itineraries including 3 days Mount Karisimbi Hike, 4 days gorilla trekking and Karisimbi Hike and many more exciting safaris to Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo.4

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