The stunning Virunga Mountains are a chain of Volcano Mountains shared between Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. The mountains are part of the Albertine rift located at the Great Rift Valley one of the world’s largest natural features. The word Virunga is got from a local word “Ibirunga* the Kinyarwanda word for “mountains”. The Virunga Mountains are 8 in number; the Virunga mountains are also home to the remaining endangered species of mountain gorillas.
The Virunga mountain stretch on an 80 kilometers long area between Lake Kivu and Lake Edward. The Virunga Mountains also harbor different kinds of animals’ part from mountain gorillas, plant species, butterflies species, moth species and various species of birds some of which are endemic to his area.
Mount Karisimbi is the highest of the Virunga volcanoes standing at an elevation of 4,507 Meyers above sea level. Mount Karisimbi straddles in the boarder between Rwanda and Democratic republic of Congo. The summit top of this mountain is always snow capped even during the dry season. In 1908 an expedition of 20 porters died after a hailstorm and snowstorm on the mountain. The mountain is also near the Karisoke research institute where Dian Fossey set up for the study of mountain gorillas.
Mount Mikeno is one of the oldest volcanoes in this Virunga ranges dating back to Pleistocene Epoch, mount Mikeno is the second highest standing at 4,437 meters above sea level. Mount Mikeno is located in the Democratic republic of Congo and it’s the 13th tallest mountain in Africa. Its home to the endangered mountain gorillas in Virunga national park.
Mount Sabyinyo is shared by Uganda, Congo and Rwanda, the mountain derives its name from a local word to mean “old mans teeth” the name was given because of its serrated summit that looks like a gum of an old mans tooth. Mount Sabyinyo can only be climbed on the Ugandan side providing views of three countries mount Sabyinyo is also home to the enchanting golden monkeys and gorillas.
Mount Nyiragongo is one of the Virunga massif volcanoes located in Rwanda, its one of the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes. The mountain is said to have erupted at least 35 times since 1982 and no body knows how long the volcano has been active.
Mount Nyamuragira is a very active volcano in the African continent, an active lava lake appeared for the first time in 50 years. Mount Nyamuragira last erupted in November 2011 and it has erupted at least 40 times since 1985 the mountain stands on an elevation of about 3058 meters above sea level.
Mount Bisoke is also one of the Virunga volcanoes boasting with unique montane forests and crater at the summit, the hike to Mount Bisoke takes a whole day and starts at 7:00am. it’s shared between Rwanda and Congo. The mountain last erupted in 1957.
Mount Mgahinga is the smallest of the Virunga volcanoes, standing on an elevation of 3,474 meters above sea level characterized with afro montane forests and bamboo forest habituating the endangered mountain gorillas the name Mgahinga is derived from a local word to mean “piles of stones”.
Mount Muhabura is situated in Ugandan and Rwandan boarder, the mountain is home to the endangered mountain gorillas and it’s one of the hardest to climb because of its steeply slopes. Mount Muhabura provides striking views of the twin lakes of Burera and Ruhondo. Mount Muhabura has got a beautiful crater near its summit with unique vegetation cover.