Mount Bisoke Volcano Rwanda, Also called Visoke Volcano in Volcanoes National Park

mountain bisoke rwanda

Mount Bisoke (or Visoke), 3711m, is a dormant volcano that straddles across the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bisoke is part of a beautiful chain of lush and verdant volcanoes that form the Virunga Mountain Range. The Virunga Mountain Range, consisting of at least 8 prominent volcanoes & home to the Mountain Gorillas, spans across the borders of three neighboring countries of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mount Bisoke straddles two contiguous national parks across the Rwanda-Congo border, that is, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Volcanoes National Park on the Rwandan side. However the bigger portion of the volcano, including the summit, lies in Rwanda. The summit of Bisoke Volcano has a beautiful Crater Lake, about 400meters of diameter. Another Crater Lake, Lake Ngezi, lies 11km from the summit, and this was formed after an eruption in 1957. Actually it is from these two Crater Lakes that the locals aptly named the mountain “Bisoke”, a Swahili word which means “Soaked with Water”.

Bisoke Volcano is one of the rare mountains that are fully covered by vegetation. The lush vegetation constitutes 3 zones, starting with Hagenia, through Semi-alpine & alpine to the top. Bisoke harbors an array of wildlife, including the endangered Mountain Gorillas & the beautiful Golden Monkeys both of which are endemic to the Virunga Ranges. Other animals include Forest Elephants, Duiker, and Buffaloes. There is a good count of endemic Birds of the Albertine Rift Valley, plus a lot of forest specials in the lower Hagenia Forests.

Activities to do at Mount Bisoke

Hiking to the Crater Lakes

Bisoke Crater LakeMount Bisoke is the most hiked of all the Virunga Volcanoes because of the two stunning crater lakes, breathtaking mountain scenery and relatively easy trek. The volcano has two major hiking trails each leading to one of the Crater Lakes.

The most popular of the trails is the one to the Crater Lake at the summit. It is in total a 6 hour hike, that is, 4 hours to the summit and 2 hours back.

The second trails leads to the second Crater Lake, Lake Ngezi, and this is much shorter, and takes only about 3 hours, with 2 hours to the Crater Lake and 1 hour back.

Both are one day hikes, relatively easy that even the non-experienced hikers can take on. The hikes also offer chances of encountering the Mountain Gorillas, sighting the Golden Monkeys, plus a range of wildlife and breathtaking mountain scenery.

Read more about the Mount Bisoke Crater Lake hike

Gorilla Trekking

Mount Bisoke is home to habituated Mountain Gorilla Groups. Travelers can enjoy one of the most awe-inspiring wildlife adventures, that is, trekking the Mountain Gorillas.

Dian Fossey Tomb Site

trekking the trail to dian fossey tomb and karisoke research centerDian Fossey was a wildlife researcher & renowned primatologist that dedicated her life to conserving the Mountain Gorillas. The survival of these greats is so much credited to her efforts for which she paid the ultimate price. She was buried in the wild of Mount Bisoke, at her research center, alongside the Mountain Gorillas.  A hiking trail leads to her tomb and Kirisoke Research Center. It is roughly 2 hours hiking up steep and slippery slopes, where you have a chance of sighting Mountain Gorillas, Golden Monkeys, numerous birds, & wildlife along the trail.

Read more about the trek to Dian Fossey tomb and Karisoke Research Center

Birding & Forest Walks

Explore the trails through the mountain vegetation for a rewarding birding experience. Volcanoes National Park has about 165 species of birds, of which 17 are endemic to the area.

There is an array of wildlife to encounter including Mountain Gorillas, Golden Monkeys, Forest Elephants, Buffaloes, orchids and other lots of unique mountain vegetation. It is a rewarding African jungle experience.

Tours with Mount Bisoke Hiking

2 Days Mount Bisoke Hike tour

4 Days Volcanoes National Park Adventure

8 Days Rwanda Adventure

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