Volcano climbing is the second most popular adventure activity to do within the Virunga Region. The eight volcanoes within the Virunga offer an amazing opportunity for those interested in mountain hiking. Please note that for all hikes are guided and hiring a park guide is mandatory. There are several trails that have been developed and most trails end with an ascent to the peak. Rwanda is the most popular destination for hiking and there are various trails that have been developed in the volcanoes within the park.
- Karisimbi Mountain Hiking (Rwanda)
- Bisoke Hiking (Rwanda)
- Nyiragongo Hike (Congo)
Trails in Virunga Parks
From Volcano National Park:
– Karisimbi (4,507 m) – This hike takes 2 days and it starts from the Visoke departure point. The Volcanoes National Park authority require bookings to be made atleas 2 weeks before the actual hiking date. Please note that you will spend a night at a metal hut lieing about 3,660 meters. It can be very cold at night and therefore come with clothes that can keep you warm.
– Bisoke (3,711 m) – This is the second most popular hike in PNV. This volcano has a huge crater lake. The crater can be reached from the Visoke departure point in 4 hours. Hikes are possible from the Volcanoes National Park daily. The hike requires climbing along a steep path. The walk around the crater is highly recommended, the total hike will take 7 to 8 hours.
– Lake Ngezi (3,000 m) is a small shallow crater lake. The hike is the easiest of the entire area. From the departure point, the hike takes about 3 to 4 hours to walk there and back.
– Sabyinyo (3,634 m) – This is the most difficult climb. A hike takes about 5 to 6 hours up to the edge of the crater. The departure is from the main office of the park at Kinigi. You can spend the night in a metal hut near the lava fields.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park:
There are two popular hikes in Mgahinga National Park;
– Gahinga (3,474 m) – This hike starts from Gasiza. The path leads to a run-down cabin between the Gahinga and Muhabura mountains and takes about 4 hours to reach the peak.
– Muhabura (4,127 m) – The hike starts from Gasiza and take two days.
– The Nyiragongo volcano (3,465 m) – The Nyiragongo Hike is the most popular and it is indeed extraordinary to reach the 250 meter deep crater. Remember this is an active volcano and you can see lava churning continuously. The Nyiragongo volcano last erupted in 2002 and lava flowed over the village of Goma. It is recommended to climb this volcano with certified guides only.