Mount Karisimbi is in the Virunga Mountains bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. The name of the mountain means “snow” in Kinyarwanda, the local language. This is fitting as snow is typically present on the volcano’s top during the dry season months of June, July, and August.

Why Is It Famous?

This inactive volcano is famous for being one of the mountain range’s eight major mountains. It is also Africa’s 11th-highest mountain. It is popular to hike Mount Karisimbi, which is a strenuous climb but possible and typically takes two days.

What Is Nearby?

Mount Karisimbi sits on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Virunga Mountains. Other nearby mountains include Mikeno in the north, Nyiragongo in the west, and Bisoke in the east. The Karisoke Research Center sits between Bisoke and Karisimbi. Dian Fossey founded this research center to observe and study the local mountain gorillas. Most excursions up the mountain leave from Volcanoes National Park.

Geological Description

The mountain is 4,507 meters high. The range that it is a part of is in the Albertine Rift, which is the western branch of the larger East African Rift. The mountain provides the area with relief rainfall. As an inactive volcano, Mount Karisimbi attracts geologists.

Events in Time

In February 1908, Egon Von Kirschstein was leading an expedition. The team was traveling down the mountain’s Branca Crater when a snowstorm and hailstorm arrived. This storm led to the death of 20 porters on the expedition.


Mount Karisimbi is an African mountain that is an inactive volcano along the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. It is possible to hike up the volcano, enjoying forests along the way, but this requires a high level of physical fitness.