Mt. Bisoke

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Rwanda, Africa
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
12175 ft / 3711 m
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Mt. Bisoke
Created On: Sep 19, 2007
Last Edited On: Sep 19, 2007


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.

Getting There

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.

Red Tape

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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seancau - Apr 15, 2017 11:55 pm - Hasn't voted

Updated info

4x4s all now charge a standard (rip-off) $80 for the day. They will be half empty, try to combine with another group, you should meet people at the park HQ. Or just take a normal taxi or boda boda (find in Kinigi or Musanze) to the turnoff just after the small village of Bisate & hike 30mins extra on the 4x4 road to the parking lot (leave as soon as you've registered & met the guide at the Park HQ, the others will be ages waiting around there for no reason). Only the last 2km of the road requires a 4x4, there is even a public bus to Bisate & the road is either surfaced or unsealed but in good condition.

Also, this hike does not need to be arranged ahead of time, or in Kigali, you can just turn up at the Park HQ the morning of & get your permits (aim to be there 7am at the latest).

Strongly suggest hiking a different volcano though, unless you want to be put in a massive group with nowhere near enough guides.

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Mt. Bisoke

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