Ultimate guide to hiking Mount Karisimbi : Mount Karisimbi is one of the highest Stratovolcanoes in the Virunga Mountain Rangers on the borders between of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the western arm of the African rift valley. It is currently a dominant mountain and stands at 4.507 meters above the sea level making it the highest of the eight Volcanoes that make up the Virunga massif and the most fascinating form Rwanda hiking tours . Mount Karisimbi is situated in Rwanda Volcanoes national park and is bordered by Mount Mikeno to the north, mount Bisoke to the east, and Mount Nyiragongo to the west. The name Karisimbi id got from the Kinyarwanda word ‘’Amasimbi ‘’which means the Snow. Mount Karisimbi is known as the 5th tallest mountain in Africa.

Below are some of the Ultimate Guide to hiking Mount Karisimbi

Booking Mount Karisimbi hiking permit

 When you need to book mount Karisimbi hiking, one is required to purchase a hiking permit which includes accommodation overnight at the peak and the guide’s fee costs 400USD per person per hike for foreign non-Resident, 250 USD for Foreign Resident, 300USD for East African Foreign Resident and 200 USD for Rwandan and East African citizens. Mount Karisimbi hiking permits are often issued at the parks headquarters. the permits can be obtain in one day of the hike, however you are advanced to book for the permit in advance, either 3 days before the hiking dates to ensure that the activity is not sold out, it is always recommended to book with the local tour operators who will however help you design for you transportation hiking permit, accommodations, potters and other hiking equipment among others.

Achieve Global Safaris will make sure that the permit is bought in time and by the time you get in hiking you will find everything arranged for you and all the permit equipment are ready.

What you should know about Mount Karisimbi hike

Hiking at Mount Karisimbi is quiet difficult but with wonders of adventure memories and hiking is interesting during dry seasons of the land from June to September and December to February. The dry season provides more enjoyment and interesting hiking experiences since the trials or pathways are smooth as compared to hiking conducted during rainy seasons because of muddy pathways, fog and overgrown foliage among other challenges.

Weather conditions at Mount Karisimbi; being at the higher altitudes, it’s always very cold and cloudy, the temperatures are always very low. However it can tend to shine over some days but often tend to raindrop at any time of the day. So a traveler is recommended to move with rain gears and worm clothes. The weather at the peak is unpredictable as said earlier, there it can rain or shine at any time so be ready to copy with any situations while on hike.

What should move along with when hiking Mount Karisimbi?

As you prepare to go for hiking it’s recommended to carry appropriate items and essential which will facilitate y9u while in the safari f9r the best experience. They include;

 Hiking shoes. A good hiking shoes are important essentials to help you move through the slippery and muddy hiking pathways which lead you to the summit of the volcanoes.

Long trousers, long sleeved shirt, and warm stockings for the cold e in the Volcanoes national park.

 A porter. A porter is needed to help you with carrying your bags and other personal items as you hike

In terms of clothing’s, you need to have a waterproof rain jacket, heavy sweater and overall. Being at the tropical zoon, raindrops can tend to downpour any time and you need to move with gloves and sun glass to keep you warm also warm sleeping clothes,

Camping tent; if you didn’t book any with the local tour companies at the peak as it is snowy.

First aid kit; to help you in case you get some scratches from a thorny plants or some medicine in case of any illness while at the peak.

Sun protection; you will also need to have hut to protect your head from burning sunshine in case of the sunshiny days.

Activities you can combine with hiking Mount Karisimbi

Mountain gorilla trekking

While on a safari to hike Mountain Karisimbi, you can trek mountain gorillas that have found their home in volcanoes national park. To trek the mountain gorillas, you need to book the gorilla permit before coming for the hike because these permits are sold out quickly at the Rwanda Development Board so it’s better to tell your tour operator that you want to encounter mountain gorillas and they book a permit for you.

After hiking Mountain Karisimbi, you can trek mountain gorillas and the activity begins with a briefing at the park headquarters where you learn about the dos and don’ts of the trekking activity. The ranger guides you to meet at the commencing point leads you through different trekking trails looking for the primates with opportunities of meeting different park animals like the buffaloes, elephants, spotted hyenas, monkeys, and different bird species. When you meet the mountain gorillas you will have 1 hour being around them and this will give you an opportunity to learn about their habits, watch them do daily activities and take photos.

Golden monkey trekking

Ultimate guide to hiking Mount Karisimbi
Golden monkey

On a Mountain Karisimbi hiking safari, you can trek the golden monkeys that are only found in this park in the whole of Rwanda. You will be recommended to book the golden monkey trekking permits before arrival into the country in order to be rest assured of the activity. The Golden Monkey trekking permits can be got from the Rwanda Development Board at a fee of $100 per person per trek.

Golden monkey trekking activity can be done a day before or after hiking Mountain Karisimbi and just like gorilla trekking.  The activity starts with a briefing from the wardens and thereafter the ranger guides lead the trekkers through different trials searching for them. Once the golden monkeys are found, the trekkers do get 1 hour to be around these primates as they watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos


Birding in volcanoes national park is an activity you can do before or after the hiking of Mountain Karisimbi. You will have an opportunity to see some of the birds while hiking Mountain Karisimbi but you can still do birding from the best spots in order to see over 178 bird species that have been so far recorded in the park. The rangers will lead you to these birding places or areas all you will be recommended to carry is a birding book and a pair of binoculars.

Some of the birds you are likely to see  in volcanoes national park Rwanda including  Ruwenzori batis, African long-eared owl, Ruwenzori Turaco, archer’s robin-chat, strange weaver, brown woodland warbler, African green broadbill, grey-backed fiscal, African goshawk, bronzy sunbird, crested barbet, palm nut vulture, and red chested sunbird among others.

Who many days do u need to hike mount Karisimbi?

Hiking to mount Karisimbi is one 9f the interesting retreat one should engage in for a lifetime, hiking on the Volcano is approximately a 2day hike to reach the peak 9f this Volcano though it is not so easy  it’ is rewarding and worth a try. Mount Karisimbi hiking starts at 6: am in the morning and this requires a tourists to be physically fit to get to the summit.

Accommodations facilities at Mount Karisimbi?

There is a hut built with a kitchen. The hut has one large room, where clients and guides camp in their separate tents. As part of the logistics and package, you will be provided a sleeping tent, sleeping bag and porch. You will need to bring warm clothes, to keep you warm at night. The guide will provide you with dinner and breakfast, at the camp, with the help of the cook. Others accommodations are got from Mountain Gorilla Nest Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Hotel Muhabura, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Villa Gorilla among others.

book a gorilla safari