Mount Karisimbi Hike, Facts, Hiking Permit Cost & Height

Karisimbi is the tallest of the volcanoes in the Virunga mountain ranges. It is Africa’s eleventh highest point. This dormant volcano is located in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, near the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mount, which rises to 4,507 meters, is flanked by other volcanoes such as Mikeno, Nyiragongo, and Bisoke. Karisimbi (Kinyarwanda meaning “White Shell”) is named for the snow that covers the mountain’s peak during the dry season. Karisimbi features a caldera called Branca and two craters on its peak, the greatest of which is Mutango.

Hiking Mount Karisimbi

Hiking Mount Karisimbi Volcano

Hiking Mount Karisimbi

Visitors to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park frequently combine Gorilla trekking with a walk up the Karisimbi mountain. Climbing Mount Karisimbi may be a challenging but rewarding experience. Hikers might expect to observe various bird species, as well as golden monkeys and mountain gorillas, due to its proximity inside Volcanoes National Park. (Occasionally). There is also the opportunity of visiting the grave of Dian Fossey, a prominent primatologist who conducted considerable research on mountain gorillas.

The track and path leading to the peak of Karisimbi pass through spectacular terrain, volcanic features, lush forest, and flora. During the wet season, however, the trek may require negotiating through dense rainforest, steep hills, and muddy pathways. As a result, trekking Mount Karisimbi is best done during the dry months of December to March and June to early October.

To go over steep and challenging areas of the mountain slopes, one must be in excellent form and have the endurance and stamina necessary. This is particularly critical if you’re trekking with others. You don’t want to keep your hiking companions waiting. Hikers must also psychologically prepare for the high altitude circumstances, which may be stressful and force one to slow down.

Mount Karisimbi Hiking

Mount Karisimbi Hiking

Hiking Mount Karisimbi may be arranged via a local tour operator. The Tour Operator is responsible for obtaining permits, organising tents, lunches, and other hiking equipment. Extra Porters may be hired at roughly $20 per hour. These additional porters can assist with the transport of heavy cameras, tents, and other trekking equipment.

Mount Karisimbi hiking normally takes two days. Hikers must first register at the park headquarters and be instructed by the park Warden and Guides. Following the briefing, hikers are taken to the starting location, which lies at the base of Mount Bisoke. The ascent to the peak takes at most 7 hours; however hikers often stay for the night halfway (at a height of 3,700 metres).

A tent is established, and supper is made while everyone rests in preparation for the last ascent the next day. Hikers should be fresh and eager to reach the top after weathering the chilly night and eating an early morning meal. This last effort takes just one hour but is the most difficult. This is due to the fact that the part from the camp to the peak is steeper and more difficult to maneuver, especially if there is thick mud, high winds, and fog, all of which decrease vision.

The landscape is amazing and breathtaking once you reach the peak. Hikers should be able to see the Muhabura volcano, Nyamulagira volcano, Nyiragongo, the huge forests/vegetation of the Virunga mountains, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hikers should prepare for a 6-hour descent down to the starting point and then to the park office after they’ve had their fill of the spectacular vistas. You may also be interested in our post about Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. You may also learn how to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Packing List and Hiking Tips for Mount Karisimbi

The Volcanoes National Park Rwanda offers guides and rangers to assist hikers in traversing the many paths, however trekkers should have the following items:

  • good hiking shoes,
  • a sweater/warm clothes,
  • a waterproof heavy jacket,
  • a hat and a walking stick.

If they are not utilizing the services of a Tour operator, they will need a tent for overnight camping and a sleeping bag if they did not book their walk with a local firm.

Before reaching the peak, pack food for an overnight stay. This may be arranged by tour operators.

Porters to assist you in transporting your bag, tents, cameras and other equipment. A Tour Company can assist with all of this.

Hiking Permits in Karisimbi

Hiking permits for Karisimbi are often obtained through the park headquarters, the Rwanda Development Board, or a trustworthy Tour Operator. The permit may be obtained on the day of the walk; however we encourage booking in advance to ensure that the activity is not sold out.

Permits for Mount Karisimbi cost $400 per person. Mission Africa Safaris can assist you in planning the full trip, including transportation, lodging, porters/hiking equipment, and obtaining hiking permits. For individuals with exceptional endurance and stamina, we strongly suggest ascending to the summit of this volcano in conjunction with gorilla tracking

Requirements for Hiking Mount Karisimbi

Reporting hours at Visitor Information/Registration Centers upon Park entrance are 07h00.

To qualify for Rwandan/East African Foreign Resident status, foreign residents in Rwanda and East African nations must have a minimum of four consecutive months of residence status/work permit in their passport or diplomatic card.

Even though the spouse and legally accepted children do not have resident visas, a Diplomat with a Residence visa may be permitted to utilise the appropriate resident rates for his spouse and legally accepted children. (Reside outside of Rwanda).

East African citizens must provide EAC ID cards or passports upon reporting.

A tourist with one Rwandan parent and a tourist with a Rwandan spouse shall be regarded Rwandan as long as the Director General of Immigration and Emigration certifies it.

Restrictions on Hiking Mount Karisimbi

Hiking Karisimbi requires a minimum age of 15 years.

A maximum of twelve (12) Karisimbi trekkers are allowed in one group.

This system will automatically issue a Tourist Permit upon completion of the application procedure.

The Application Procedure

The application procedure is as easy as selecting an open slot in the product of your choosing, completing the required forms, uploading the necessary support papers, and paying the associated costs.

At the time of payment, applications are sent with the client’s complete information (names, passport number, email address, and phone number).

  • Reservations and bookings are handled on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Rwandan nationals must pay the whole amount at the time of booking.
  • Tourists are encouraged to avoid submitting incorrect, incomplete, or fake applications.

Examples include applying for the incorrect product, submitting a fraudulent ID/Visa, and uploading an expired ID/Visa. Please be aware that tourist papers are verified at park access gates. Tourists who submitted incorrect, incomplete, or fake applications WILL BE REFUSED ENTRY TO THE PARK, regardless of whether they paid for and received a system-generated permit.

If you have any questions regarding your application or accompanying documentation, please contact the RDB Tourism Reservation Office at

The Rwanda Development Board assumes no responsibility for incorrect, incomplete, or fraudulent applications.

Fee for a Tourist Mount Karisimbi Hiking Permit

  • Foreigner: $ 400
  • Foreign resident in Rwanda: $ 250
  • Rwandan citizen: RWF 30000
  • East African citizen: $ 200
  • East African Foreign resident: $ 300