Mount Mikeno stands at 4,437 meters above sea level positioned in the Democratic republic of Congo, its one of the magnificent mountains of the Virunga volcanoes. Mikeno is the highest peak after mount Karasimbi in Rwanda
Mount Mikeno is also the thirteenth highest mountain in the whole of Africa, the name Mikeno is derived from a local word to mean “poor” this is because of its harsh slopes that don’t favor human habituation. Mount Mikeno is well known as a gorilla habitat
Virunga national park covers an area of 7,800 kilometers squared. The other volcanoes on the Virunga massif are Mount Sabinyo, mount Karasimbi, Mount Muhabura, mount Gahinga, mount Nyiragongo, mount Nyamuragira and mount Bisoke.
The first solo climber to reach the peak of mount Mikeno was W.J Ganshoff Van Der Meesch who climbed in 1932 then it was climbed by Cai Tjeenk Willink, piere Peron and Lewis Judge after 28 years they climbed five other summits before the real summit.
Mount Mikeno creates relief rains because of the rains that hit the sides of the mountain and rise making the soils in this area very fertile as the vegetation on the mountain slopes of mount Mikeno avoids soil erosion that should have been caused by running water.
Apart from hiking to the peak of mount Mikeno tourists can just book gorilla permits which are cheaper in Congo compared to Uganda and Rwanda. Experience the mountain gorilla trekking and encounter one hour of observation with his great apes from the time you find them. Tourists can also view other primates like blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and many more.
At the slopes of Virunga national park, tourists will be able to see a rare species of animal called Okapi that’s related to a giraffe but more like a zebra other animals to be seen are forest elephants, warthogs, lions, leopards and so much more.
In the Virunga ranges, mount Mikeno and mount Sabinyo are the oldest formed as a result if movement of tectonic plates from the Atlantic Ocean over 30 million years ago parallel rifts were created after the heating causing the plates to inflate and shrink forming the Virunga volcanoes.
The most active of the Virunga volcanoes is mount Nyiragongo with the last eruptions in 2007causing destruction to human life and property due to the high fluid lava, some lava flowed even up to the shores of Lake Kivu while mount Nyamuragira last erupted in 2010.
One of the most rewarding things about mount Mikeno is that you will be able to view the great rift valley that’s still forming despite being over 30 million years. The great east African rift valley which one of the largest geographical features on planet can be clearly viewed from mount Mikeno.
The best time to go for mountain hiking on mount Mikeno is in the dry seasons of January, February and then June to September. The rains will not disrupt your paths and the rocks are not very slippery.
The first campsite you can reach after 4 hours of hiking is Kabara campsite which takes about 4 hours to reach, the campsite is near tur burial place of Carl Akeley a conservationists and photographer who died of fever in 1926.
The name campsite in the summit has got no name but it’s very steeply to climb and also takes about four hours
Tourists planning to hike mount Mikeno can lodge in mount Mikeno lodge if you’re planning to sleep in the park before or after the hike.
Nature guided walks, sight seeing and many other activities can also be done at the mountain slopes of mount Mikeno.