Are there volcanoes in Rwanda? Rwanda is commonly known as the land of a thousand hills or the Switzerland of Africa and this is backed by the terrain of the country. At almost all points of Rwanda, you will spot hilly land or drive along a rolling hill. The hilly terrain of Rwanda is not only hills but there are some volcanic mountains in Rwanda. The volcanic mountains in Rwanda are located in the north western part of the country in the Volcanoes national park.
The Volcanoes national park is a home to the volcanic mountains in Rwanda and for guests interested in visiting these or hiking these volcanoes, permits are available for booking from the Volcanoes national park authority, RDB. The Volcanoes in Rwanda are part of a chain of volcanoes known as the Virunga volcanic mountains.
The Virunga volcano mountains are a chain of 8 volcanoes located in the Albertine region shared by three countries that is Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic republic of Congo. These volcanic mountains are located on the northern land border of Rwanda with Uganda and the DR Congi. These eight volcanic mountains are spread out in this region and they are on the western branch of the East African Rift all located within the Lake Edward of Uganda and the DR Congo and the Lake Kivu of Rwanda and DR Congo.
The Virunga volcanoes are shared by the three countries however there are those whose peaks are found in Rwanda and these are the Mount Karisimbi, Mount Muhabura, Mount Bisoke, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Gahinga. The other of the Virunga mountains are the Mount Mikeno, Mount Nyamulagira and the Mount Nyiragongo that are all fully found in the Democratic republic of Congo.
The Virunga mountains are famous among travelers for being the home to the endangered mountain gorilla species. The 1,063 or so mountain gorillas left in the world are known to stay at the slopes of these volcanoes. A hike to one of these volcanoes goes for about 400 USD to as low as 45 USD. These volcanoes are both extinct and active with five being extinct and the other two being active and one nearing extinction.
Volcanoes of Rwanda
The Mount Karisimbi is the highest of all these volcanoes standing at an elevation of 4,507 meters approximately 14,790 feet. The Mount Karisimbi is located partially in the Democratic republic of Congo and Rwanda as well. The hike up the Mount Karisimbi to the summit is possible from the Rwandan side. The Mount Karisimbi is managed and under the conservation of the Rwanda Development board with whom guests can purchase a hike permit at 400 USD.
The hike up the Mount Karisimbi is a thrilling one and this is a 2 day/ overnight hike where guests hike and spend the night enroute at a camp on the mountain and complete the hike to the summit the next morning and descend.
The Mount Karisimbi is the 11th highest mountain in the entire Africa and during the dry seasons, the peak can get snowy and this is mostly in June, July and August. The Mount Karisimbi was the home of Dian Fossey and her research center still stands at the slopes.
The Mount Muhabura is another of the volcanoes of Rwanda and a hike up the Mount Muhabura is possible by purchasing a permit at 75 USD. The Mount Muhabura is strategically set between Rwanda and Uganda and this mountain can be hiked from both sides. The Mount Muhabura is standing at an elevation of 4,127 meters approximately 13,540 feet.
The hike up Mount Muhabura from the Volcanoes national park goes for 75 USD while that from the Ugandan side in the Mgahinga gorilla national park, a permit goes for 80 USD.
The Mount Bisoke is one of the volcanoes of Rwanda currently dormant standing at an elevation of 3,711 meters approximately 12,180 feet. The Mount Bisoke is located on the land border of Rwanda and the DR Congo located 35 kilometers away Goma town.
A permit to hike up the Mount Bisoke goes for 75 USD on the Rwandan side.
Mount Sabyinyo, standing at an elevation of 3,674 meters above sea level which is approximately 12,050 feet, is located in all the three countries that is Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo. Mount Sabyinyo is famous for being a known home of these mountain gorillas and this volcano is much respected religiously by the locals of the area.
Mount Gahinga is a smaller and much forgotten volcano but a hike to this mountain on a Rwanda safari or a Uganda safari is possible. The Mount Gahinga is standing at an elevation of 3,474 meters approximately 11,400 feet and is shared by both Rwanda and Uganda. A hike permits up the Mount Gahinga goes for 75 USD.
Get in touch with us and let us plan your hike up one of the Volcanoes of Rwanda.