You don’t have to track gorillas to go trekking in Volcanoes National Park; there are other interesting hiking trails here. Before your visit to the gorillas, a guided walk into the mountains can be good for acclimatisation. It also allows you to spend more time looking at the other wildlife in forest, and to gain a better understanding of the overall ecosystem.
One of the more popular routes is to the tomb of Dian Fossey and the Karisoke Research Centre she established, which takes a couple of hours of fairly steep walking. Another beautiful option is a day hike to the Crater Lake on Mount Bisoke.
Visoke and Karisimbi are climbed from Visoke, Rwanda, though you would normally sleep in Ruhengeri, or as it is now officially called: Musanze. From Kigali to Musanze would take you about two hours, and from there to Visoke about half an hour.
Karisimbi is hiked for 2 days that means you have to sleep there, you go on day 1 and sleep there in a tent and then come back the following day.
DIAN FOSSEY GRAVE HIKE
The park later became the base for the American naturalist Dian Fossey to carry out her research into the gorillas. She arrived in 1967 and set up the Karisoke Research Centre between Karisimbi and Visoke. From then on she spent most of her time in the park, and is widely credited with saving the gorillas from extinction by bringing their plight to the attention of the international community. She was murdered by unknown assailants at her home in 1985, a crime often attributed to the poachers she had spent her life fighting against. Fossey's life later was portrayed on the big screen in the film Gorillas in the Mist, named after her autobiography. She is buried in the park in a grave close to the research center, and amongst the gorillas which became her life.
The hike up to Karisoke, Dian Fossey’s camp is Beautiful hike. The jungle is magnificent. The Virunga Mountains are cool. Many of the trees and plants have medicinal uses. Karisoke was destroyed during the genocide; however outlines and some footings of the old cabins remain. Dian’s grave is next to those of a number of her beloved gorillas. Although Dian and the gorillas died violently, there is a sense of peace in the graveyard it is a very spiritual site.
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