Mountain Karisimbi hike

August 29, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

As the underneath of the Albertine rift valley grew to become as hot as fire, the molten magma couldn’t help but to force its way from underneath to the earth and this got the ball rolling into an intensified magnificent gigantic mountain called Karisimbi. The mountain derived its name from a Kinyarwanda word called “amasimbi” which means a “shell” and it got this name due to its white capped summit that left the natives tantalized about its glittering appearance. 

Location of the mountain 

Karisimbi majestically straddles between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills. Moving 29 km northeast of Goma into the Virunga National park displays beautiful sites of this wondrous tower, and while in Rwanda its magnificence is appreciated while in the volcanoes. Towering to about 4507m from the ground, this mountain takes pride in being one of the highest mountains in Africa and the highest among the mountains of the volcanoes. 

Uniqueness of the mountain 

  • It is the highest of all the mountains found in the Virungas. Karisimbi takes the lead out of the 8 towers that make up the volcanoes aiming for the sky.
  • It is the sixth highest mountain in Africa. This definitely means that tourists who get to watch these mountains glaze at one of tallest mountains in Africa. 
  • The exotic plants on this mountain are not only attractive to humans but a darling to the mountain gorillas as they feed on them.
  • The mountain has always been known for its white shell as referred to by the locals and the dry season blesses tourists with views of snow on its summit.

History 

Towering to about 4507m high, this prominent mountain came into existence after the drift that happened in the Albertine rift valley. Eruptions in this mountain are a thing in the past because it last erupted in 8050 BCE and is calmly classified as a stratovolcano.

Hiking the mountain 

It is definitely adventurous to climb one of the highest mountains in Africa. The adrenaline rush that tourists who hike this mountain get is worth the risk and deserves its flowers because tourists also get to enjoy amazing views from nature like birds, golden monkeys among others.

Hiking this mountain consumes two days of enjoyment where tourists use one day for ascending and the following day for descending. 

The two day journey commences as soon as the tourists gather from the park’s headquarters where they are briefed about hiking and the start of their 7 hour hike with the guidance from the park wardens. 3700m from the ground is midway the journey and tourists get to spend the night here.

The night is a collection of a variety of memorable moments that can’t be forgotten because it involves camping, having dinner from the bush and interacting with fellow tourists in a space that is exciting above the ground.

Waking up to a well prepared breakfast, tourists get rejuvenated for their one hour hike to the summit of the mountain. This is the most tedious of all sections because the area is steeper than the lower side of the mountain but it offers a remarkable experience and fantastic views to the tourists like the scenic surrounding, other volcanic mountains like Nyamulagira, Muhabura among others.  

Tourists should definitely prepare to descend back to the ground for as long as they have had enough of the great views. The journey from the summit to the park is usually 6 hours but offers the same exciting views that tourists got while they were ascending. 

The best time to visit the mountain

Hiking one of the highest mountains in Africa definitely calls for galloping over muddy trails, steep slippery slopes and brushing the feet into tall bushes and shrubs and it’s for that reason that hikers should choose hiking in the dry season. The dry season usually spans from December to March and June to October. 

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