About Mount. Bisoke

August 29, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

History and Location of Mount. Bisoke.  

Mount Bisoke is a volcano that lies at the Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo border with its bigger part and summit in Rwanda.  It is an active volcano and one of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains of the Albertine Rift, the western part of East African Rift. Mount Bisoke also sits on the border of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo that are actually bordering each other.

It’s at the height of about 3,711m and its name “Bisoke” was locally derived from the two crater lakes, Bisoke meaning soaked with water. Its none snowy summit has very comely crater lakes one of about 400m in diameter and the other Ngezi crater lake. 


The hiking is somehow steep but of a walk-able distance and this volcano has two basic hiking trails with each one of these leading to one of the crater lakes.  The most famous hiking trail is the one leading to the top to the crater lake at the summit with about 4 hours in ascension and 2 hours of descending making it a 6 hour hiking experience.  

While the other trail is somehow shorter, about 2 hours of ascending and goes straight to the second crater lake of Ngezi with the other one hour for descending making it a 3 hour hiking experience. Travelers are advised to be in their best health even when the Mount Bisoke hiking experience is not very tiring. Guests can also anticipate the mountain gorillas of Virunga region on their hiking experience. Also around the park, stone walls can be sighted to halt the animals from destroying the local people’s farms and plantations. The volcano hosts several primates and visitors can sometimes sight golden monkeys, mountain gorillas and blue monkeys. 

On a good conducive day in terms of weather especially when it is sunny, Passionate travelers sometimes take a picnic lunch from up on top of the mountain and this is one of the most remarkable moments while on Rwanda Safari. Mount. Mikeno of Congo, Mount Bisoke crater lake and Mount Karisimbi volcano can also be sighted when on top of the mountain blended with beautiful landscape views and lush vegetation of the Virunga Region. 

There is assistance from armed rangers to guide you through the hike and protect you from the animal threats and travelers who prefer walking sticks during the hike can always access them from the office. 


Mountain Bisoke was formed as a result of Rift action that is proceeding to divide sections of Africa and the mountain has so far recorded two eruptions including the first one in 1891 and the last one in 1957 which left one of the largest crater lakes in Virunga mountains region. 


The tickets are paid at the entrance of Volcanoes national park offices with each person being charged 75 USD and this charge includes the fees for the park guide who is also picked from the park’s offices though it doesn’t include transport costs so visitors will be required to hire vehicles separately. For simplicity, porters can be employed for assistance and can be paid about $20 USD.

The hiking kicks off at the early hours in the morning around 8:00 am with a small briefing by the tour guide and it’s a one-day hike. 

However, much hiking can be done throughout the year, the best time to hike Mount Bisoke is always during the dry seasons of the year from June to September and December to February when there is not too much of lush vegetation and floods due to rains, and this is when the trails are easily accessible and not muddy. 

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