Mount Karasimbi situated in Rwanda in Volcanoes national park at the border of Congo and Rwanda is among the renowned Virunga volcanic ranges standing on an elevation of 4,507 meters above sea level making it the highest of the eight Virunga massif volcanoes and the 11th highest mountain in Africa.
The name Karasimbi was derived from a local Kinyarwanda word for Amasimbi to mean “snow” the locals named it that way because of the snow that can be seen at its top even during the dry months of the year, mount Karasimbi is also one of the two mountains the famous American primatologist derived the name of her institute from called Karisoke research institute.
Mount Karasimbi provides stunning views of most of the other Virunga ranges, the top has got a crater known as “Mutango” which has over 100 cones connected to Lake Kivu. The Karasimbi lavas are said to be dating from 0.24Ma to 0.010 meaning the volcano is very young. Mount Karasimbi is characterized by dense forests, exotic plants and volcanic cores at the summit,
Hiking mount Karasimbi takes two days, the first-day tourists will ascend to 3,700 meters above sea level and camp then continuing hiking the next day to the summit and descend that very day. In 1908 an expedition led by Von Egon Krischkstein led to the death of 20 porters as they were coming down from Branca crater due to a hail and snow storm. While climbing mount Karasimbi, tourists can spot golden monkeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, and blue monkeys among other primates or can even be lucky to see a mountain gorilla though chances are less.
The best time of visiting mount Karasimbi is during the dry season from June to September and February to December, during this time tourists can have excellent views and also not get disrupted by rain, in the wet season is hard as the rocks become slippery. When visiting mount Karasimbi, tourists will need to wear warm clothing’s as temperatures can reach 0° at the summit early mornings, good hiking boots, insect repellents, jackets, energy snacks, socks and gloves among others.
Tourist hiking mount Karasimbi can also include gorilla trekking as one of their activities, trekking mountain gorillas is one of the most sought activities in Africa gorilla permits cost $1500 in Rwanda per person. As soon as tourists find a mountain gorilla family they are always given a period of 1 hour to observe the gorillas. Volcanoes national park where mount Karasimbi is located boasts with over 100 species of birds some of which are endemic to the Albertine region some of the birds you will see are; spur winged lapwing, Grey-backed fiscal, African fish eagle and many more.
Tourists who need porters to help carry their luggage can pay an extra cost of $20 per person to help them, mount Karasimbi can be climbed from Volcanoes national park in Rwanda or Virunga national park in Congo.