Mt. Bisoke is an extinct volcano in the Virunga mountain range in east Africa. It stands at 3,711 meters with a crater lake at the summit that can be reached only on a guided hike by ORTPN, the Rwanda tourism office. The hike leads through rain forest inhabited by the endangered mountain gorillas that were the subject of the movie "Gorillas in the Mist" about Dian Fossey. The hike to the crater lake (no swimming) takes about 3 hours up and 2 hours down. It is non-technical but can be muddy and slippery, especially on the steeper sections. Long pants are suggested due to the stinging nettles plants that are found along the trail.
All guided trips for both volcano hikes and gorilla trekking leave from the ORTPN office in the Virunga National Park near Ruhengeri (Musanze). The trailhead is about a 30 minute drive over rough terrain from the ORTPN office so be sure to have organized transportation ahead of time.
Guided trips cost US$50 plus the US$25 park fee entrance and should be arranged ahead of time by calling the ORTPN office in Kigali. Transportation from the ORTPN office to the trailhead must be arranged ahead of time on your own. If you are travelling alone you can possibly get a ride with other hikers. The typical cost to hire a Land Rover for the day to take you to the trailhead and back afterwards is about US$50. Also tips of about US$5 dollars per person are customary for the guide.
There is no camping on this hike.
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