Mount Karisimbi is a sedentary volcano erected at the Rwanda- DR.Congo boarder Part of the great Albertine crevice in the western branch of the East African Rift valley. Strata volcano is deemed to be the youngest (lava dated from 0.24ma- 0.1ma) and the highest of the eight volcano within the Virunga region with an estimated height of 4,507 meters earning it a spot in Africa’s top five as 5th overall. The upland was named after the “Amasimbi” a Rwandese phrase used to mean “Snow”, evidenced seasonally during the dry spell of Jun-August snow fall at the peak. The backdrops of this mountain are Mikeno to the North, Bisoke to the East and to the West, Africa’s number 11 and Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo Volcano stands also amazing to trek owing to its beautiful caldera.
Climbing Karisimbi is a strenuous and quite fantastic experience and requires determined and fit proletarians and experienced hikers to ready sustained the hiccups trolling them in their two days trail therefore good health and fortitude to hike through the slippery slopes to white capped summit of accumulated hail and sleet in the higher elevations as result of subsequent storms.
The climb starts early in the morning from the edge of Volcanoes National Park to the ridge of the huge caldera that extends at the base of the actual cone of Karisimbi, crossing first the bamboo forests and then the Hagenia – Hypericum forests continuing through the giant Lobelia and Senecio. Alternatively one can start this trek from foothills of Mount Visoke past the saddle and up Mount Karisimbi. The routes go past the Karisoke research Centre founded Dian Fossey and now agave to her remains. Thus one has a chance to visit the grave to this re-known mountain gorilla conservationist and American zoologist as well mixed treat with glance to the gorillas and the golden monkeys, sights of bird assortments living in the area what a necessitating experience for a traveller worth encounter during the stop period to refresh.
It is also known for its exotic plants in its four belts of vegetation, from the dense forest at its base to the barren volcanic core at the summit.
The hike up the summit is characterised of muddy trails especially during rainy season therefore not advisable to challenge the odds in the clumsy season but time during the dry spell between June-Aug where climbers can enjoy beautiful morning light and astonishing scenery with spectacular Rwandan and Congolese sides at exposure on a clear day as the Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira active volcanoes captures your sight.
The first day the hikers aim at navigating an altitude 3,700 metres for more than 5 hours set first stop for overnight camping that calls for self sufficiency of ramblers. Towards the climax, physique highly rated requirement due to the high altitudes, freezing summit in the early hours of the day finishing off the journey to the extraordinary hike of life time to Rwanda’s highest altitude.