Other than hiking to see mountain gorillas in the volcanoes national park, which is, the most popular attraction in the Land of a thousand hills, there are other numerous hiking adventures Rwanda can offer hikers. Hiking adventures are mostly found within the volcanoes national park which is park of the Virunga mountainous conservation region and is home to 3 volcanoes; mount Karisimbi, mount Bisoke and mount Muhabura all of which can be hiked from Rwanda side. For every responsible hiker, its highly advisable to pack right and be ready for your hiking adventure; hikers should be dressed in Study boots, long-sleeved shirt, long-trousers, rain-jacket, day-pack, hat with wide-brim, and carry enough drinking water and some snacks. Visitors to Rwanda have a great opportunity to enjoy their adventure beyond gorilla safaris in Volcanoes national park Rwanda and also add on hiking tours as discussed below;
The Dian Fossey Tomb Stone Hike
This is one popular hike while near the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. The Dian Fossey’s Tomb and the adjacent gorilla cemetery in the former Karisoke Research Camp are of great interest for all travels to Rwanda. It is a 30-minute drive from the park headquarters to the trailhead then a 10-minute stroll to the park boundary, after there, the ascent through the forest takes anything from 90 minutes to three hours, depending on one’s fitness and the stopping times to enjoy the scenery while the descent takes 1-2 hours. The Karisoke scientific base was established by Dian Fossey in the saddle area between two volcanoes; Mt Visoke and Mt Karisimbi. The camp site stands at an altitude of around 3000m (over 9000 ft) and was abandoned during the unrest of the 1990’s. It is the memorable experience reaching at this site that every travel will ever live to remember.
The volcanic mountain is situated in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo rises majestically to an altitude of 3470m overlooking the Virungas National Park and associated Albertine Rift. The climbing of Mount Nyiragongo is not technically difficult and reaching the top does not take longer than 5 hours. This depends on the fitness of the hikers and the stopovers for resting and refreshing.
Striding along the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda on the western branch of the Eat African Rift valley, the mountain rises at an elevation of about 4507m above sea level which makes it the highest of the eight major volcanoes of the Virunga field and the 5th highest in Africa. It is situated in the volcanoes national park flanked by Mikeno to the north, Bisoke to the east and Nyiragongo to the west, on the other side of the Rift Valley.
Hiking this mountain is taking two days with a first stopping place at an altitude of 3,700 meters for overnight camping before finishing off the journey the next day. The climb starts early in the morning taking 6 hours and involves navigating through the Bisoke side, it is difficult and requires physical fitness but is so rewarding after reaching at the summit.
Consisting of afro-montane forest vegetation, Mount Muhabura is the second highest peak inside of the volcanoes national park and is one of the virunga volcano chains in the east straddling both Uganda and Rwanda making it possible to climb it on either side of the border.
On arriving at the top of the mountain, there is a crater lake extending to Uganda and travelers can swim to freshen up after along hike, it is quite tiresome but takes one day to reach the top of the mountain.
Although the mountain is in both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Crater Lake and the summit are all in Rwanda, the mountain has an elevation of 3700 meter above sea level, and hikers pass through several vegetation zones including the Afro-Montane Zone with its unique plants such as large Lobelias.
The hiking can take around 5 hours or even longer depending on the speed and fitness of the hikers.
In conclusion, Rwanda is blessed with both natural and manmade features which support different tourism activities and providing different and interesting experiences, they include the endangered mountain gorillas, mountain climbing, community walks and primate watching among others travelers must not miss out all these in Rwanda.