Mt. Karisimbi

Mt. karisimbi at a glance

With an elevation 4507m above sea level MT. Karisimbi is the highest of the eight major volcanoes of the Virunga field and the 5th highest in Africa. It strides along the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda on the western branch of the East African Rift valley.

The name Karisimbi is derived from the word ‘amasimbi’ in Kinyarwanda which means “white shell”, referring to the white-capped summit which is often seen on top of this volcano. It is flanked by Mikeno to the north, Bisoke to the east and Nyiragongo to the west, on the other side of the Rift Valley. The mountain is situated in Volcanoes national park which also harbours the mountain Gorillas.

Climbing Mt Karisimbi is a strenuous yet very rewarding 2 days hike. The climb starts early in the morning taking 6 hours and involves navigating through the Bisoke side before reaching the first stopping place at an altitude of 3,700 metres for overnight camping before summiting to the peak next day.

The hike also comes with the sights of several bird varieties, primates like monkeys since the volcano lies in the primates’ park of Parc National des Volcans (Volcanoes national park). The hike up the summit is characterized of muddy trails especially during rainy season, though due to the altitude, it can rain at any time of the day. One needs to be in good health and stamina to hike through the slippery slopes to reach the summit which is white capped as a result of hail and sleet which accumulate in the higher elevations from its frequent storms.

East African treks and Safaris offers treks to the top of Mt. Karisimbi and all our trips a combined with a combination of different destinations in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. We are happy to tailor any trip to suit your travel and hike need though see our example itineraries below.


Your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel after an early breakfast and be ready to head out for a grand city tour of Kigali. This tour will take you for a city tour to the Gisozi memorial site where you will learn first hand information of the horrific genocide. Or you can visit the Gokongori genocide site situated in Murambi in Kigali. The city tour will also take you to local markets, craft shops, local markets and later you will ave lunch before you drive off on a 2 hours’ drive to volcanoes national park, driving through beautiful views of rolling hill of the Volcanoes national park.Dinner and overnight at Muhabura Guest House (Budget)/Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Mid-range) / Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Luxury)

Wake up early for breakfast at your hotel, proceed with your tour guide to the Kinigi park headquarters for briefing. Go gorilla hiking with your guide and an armed guard in the Volcanoes forest in search for Mountain gorillas meet them, it’s a great opportunity to study, photograph them. Their behavior and mannerism is mesmerizing and the way they communicate, silverback controls the group is very much eye catching. In the afternoon, you will visit the Ibyiwacu cultural village where you will discover more about the Rwandese culture and also get entertained by the traditional dancers and later return to your lodge for dinner and overnight. Muhabura Guest House (Budget)/Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge (Mid-range) / Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (Luxury)

Early morning after your breakfast, with a packed lunch from your hotel proceed to the Kinigi headquarters for registration and briefing a, you will be escorted by the Ranger guides to Hike Mt. Karisimbi, the fifth highest snowcapped mountain of Africa. Trekking is via Bisoke side and up to an altitude of 3700m where you will have dinner and overnight, half way Mt Karisimbi.

Early in the morning, continue the trek up to the top of karisimbi, where you will enjoy the beautiful scenery. Then descend down the volcano, and retire to your hotel for dinner and overnight. . Dinner and overnight at Lake Kivu Serena hotel (Luxury)/ Palm gardens resort (Deluxe)/ Paradise Marahide (Budget)

Wind up you trip with the relaxing views of lake kivu as you relax at one of our selected lodges, There is an option of afternoon boat cruise on lake Kivu or full day of relaxing. Dinner and overnight at Lake Kivu Serena hotel (Luxury)/ Palm gardens resort (Deluxe)/ Paradise Marahide (Budget)

Transfer back to the airport depending on international flight schedules.

All accommodation is in Doubles/twins sharing an Upgrade to single rooms depending on choice of accommodation. Our Safari accommodation include:

Please note that one night is spent in the camps up on Mt. Karisimbi.


►Kivu Serena Hotel

► Mountain Gorilla view Lodge


► Gorillas Lac Kivu Hotel.

► La Palme Hotel


►Muhabura Hotel

►Paradise Marahide

► Trip starts and ends in Kigali

► Kids below 15yrs are not allowed to Track Gorillas .

► Advance booking is essential as the gorilla permits are limited.


• Rain gear, i.e. rain coat

• Hiking shoes

• Woolen hat

• Gloves for cold weather at the top

• Long-sleeved shirt and trouser to protect from itchy plants e.g. stinging nettles

• Comfortable walking boots

• Sleeping bag

• Water bottle and purifiers

• Toilet bag


► One Gorilla Permit.

► Karisimbi hike.

► Porters

► Guides

► Park entrance fees

► Accommodation at Full board (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) from Day 1 lunch to Day 6 Lunch.

► Transfers in 4x4 safari car.

► Kigali city tour.

► Bottled water


► Travel Insurance covering rescue and medivac.

► Alcoholic Drinks.

► Beverages.

► Service tips.

► Visas.

► International Flights.

► Items of personal use such as Phone calls, Laundry etc.

The preferable months of hiking Karisimbi is basically the hot months that Jan, Feb, March, Jul, Aug, and Sept. Any dates chosen during these months will be more than fin to start off your trip. Gorilla permits are Limited per day hence booking in advance is extremely essential.

PRICE: $$$$ Inquire now.