Mount Karisimbi, a stratovolcano located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the sixth tallest peak in Africa and stands 4,507 meters above sea level. It is the tallest of the eight significant volcanoes that can be found in the Virunga region. It runs parallel to the western arm of the African Rift Valley and shares its boundaries with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lavas from Karisimbi have been dated between 0.24 Ma and 0.010 Ma, indicating that the volcano is relatively young.
The name “Karisimbi” comes from the Kinyarwanda word “amasimbi,” which translates to “white shell.” This is a reference to the commonly visible white-capped top of the volcano. Snow may be seen on the summit even throughout the summer and winter months. It is bounded on all sides by notable geographical features, including Mikeno to the north, Bisoke to the east, Nyiragongo to the west, and the Great Rift Valley to the south. Volcanoes National Park, which is famous all over the world for being the home of mountain gorillas, is where the peak is found.
Mutango and the Branca caldera are the names of the two craters that can be found on the summit of Karisimbi. Mutango is the larger of the two. Because Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are all able to have a good view of this peak, it has become a popular tourist attraction in all three countries. It reduces the amount of rainfall that the region experiences and the green slopes of the mountain provide grazing grounds for both domestic and wild animals.
When descending the Branca crater on September 27, 1908, a snow and hail storm assaulted a trekking group commanded by Von Egon Krischkstein, resulting in the deaths of 20 porters.
HIKING MOUNT. KARISIMBI
Hiking up Mount Karisimbi is one of the most popular things to do for tourists that visit Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. If you go there, you shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity.
Climbing Mount Karisimbi is frequently done in combination with gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. It is a journey that is not only difficult but also incredibly rewarding. The hike is one that begins very early in the morning and continues for a total of six hours. Campers will have to make their way across the Bisoke side before arriving at the first rest place at an elevation of 3,700 meters. There, they will be able to stay the night before resuming their journey the following day. As a direct result of this, climbing to the top requires a total of two days.
Because it is situated within the primate park that is Park Nacional des Volcans, climbing to the summit of Karisimbi is not for those who are easily frightened. During your time there, you will have the opportunity to view a wide range of birds and primates, such as gorillas and monkeys. The four vegetation belts that stretch from the dense forest at the bottom to the parched volcanic core at the top are also noted for the uncommon species that may be found in each of those belts.
As a result of the great altitude, it can rain at any time of the day; thus, the path leading up to the peak can be rather muddy, particularly during the wetter months of the year. If you go up Mount Karisimbi, you will firsthand experience the truth behind the old adage that says temperatures will drop as you travel to higher heights. During night and in the early morning hours, people will encounter temperatures that drop below zero degrees and are much more frigid than during the day. For this trek, you should always have warm gear with you, such coats and jackets.
You will need to be in pretty decent condition and have some strength to climb up the dangerous slopes in order to reach the summit, which is covered in snow and hail that accumulates in the higher elevations as a result of the frequent thunderstorms that pass through the area. If you want someone to assist you carry your bags and hiking equipment, you might need to pay an additional porter cost of somewhere between $15 and $20 each day.
In addition, the burial of Dian Fossey, an American biologist and environmentalist well known for her work with mountain gorillas, can be seen at the Karisoke Research Center, which is not too far from Karisimbi. This suggests that in addition to watching mountain gorillas, a person will also get the opportunity to hike golden monkeys and visit the tomb of a dead hero while paying their respects.
When to visit Mt. Karisimbi?
The dry season, which runs from June to August, is the greatest time to hike Mount Karisimbi since you have a lower risk of encountering rain and muddy trails during this time and the scenery will be clean and beautiful.
It is not difficult to ascend Mount Karisimbi, which may be done so from either the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda or the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.