Located approximately 35 kilometers in North East Goma town and adjacent to Lake Kivu, Mount Bisoke is an active volcano found in the Virunga mountains in the Albertine rift, on the Western branch of the East African Rift. It is on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo through the summit is located in Rwanda. It stands at 3,711 meters/1,215ft above sea level and is a dormant volcano both in Rwanda and Congo it is called Mount Visoke.
Mount Bisoke has recorded two eruptions that happened in 1891 and 1957 and the most recent one happened just 11 kilometers north of the summit forming two small cones on the volcano’s North flank. Mt Bisoke is located within the Volcanoes national park of Rwanda as well as the Virunga national park of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Equatorial rainforests and alpine cover steep slopes. Bisoke is also considered a hub for the endangered mountain gorilla and Karisoke Research Centre founded by Dian Fossey is located in the valley in the West.
Mount Bisoke is one of the eight volcanoes that make up the Virunga Mountains and are spread along the borders of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is famous for hiking and trekking tours because of the larger Crater Lake measuring 400m in diameter and about 100 meters in depth.
Mount Bisoke has a conical shape covered in green from the base with varying vegetation zones from bamboo, at the bottom which ends at 2,800m, and Hagenia Hypericum ranging between 2,800m-3,200m to a sub-alpine zone at the top. Mt Bisoke slopes are covered by vegetation that harbors some animals and the most common one here is the mountain gorillas with several groups occupying mountain territories.
There are several habituated gorilla groups on the mountain and these are open to visitors for tourism. As you trek these mountain gorillas, coming face to face with them is one of the most rewarding and unforgettable experiences one should not miss in a lifetime.
These live in the forests at the base of the volcano. Both golden monkeys and mountain gorillas are endemic to the Albertine rift where the Virunga Mountains are located. As you go about doing the golden monkey tracking activity, also look out for other animals like elephants, duikers, and buffalos among others.
The cost of hiking Mount Bisoke differs depending on the tourist’s nationality.
Foreign Non-Residents (FNR) pay USD75 per person per day and Foreign Residents (FR) pay USD60. For East African Nationals, each person pays USD55 and East African Citizens pay USD45.
However, these prices are subject to change at any time. Tourists should put it in mind that before going for the hike at Mount Bisoke, they have to register at the park headquarters in Kinigi as well as meet the park guidelines that are included in the briefing.