Rwanda: I Scaled Rwanda’s Peak – Let Me Take You There

As an ardent hiker and proud Rwandan, I hold deep within my heart an unquenchable thirst for exploration, a thirst that has led me on countless journeys across our glorious homeland.

The captivating beauty of our nation, its varied landscapes, and the thrilling challenges they offer, have drawn me in time and again.

Before embarking on the formidable journey of conquering the majestic volcanoes that watch over our lands, I had the pleasure of scaling the peaks of several mountains across Rwanda.

These included Mount Kigali, standing tall in the heart of our vibrant capital, the sweeping views from Mount Rebero that offer a panoramic glimpse of Kigali’s cityscape, the lush green highlands of Rulindo, the magnificent and off-the-beaten-path trails of Kayinya, the stunning vistas of Fumbwe, the tranquil ambience of Masaka, and the captivating beauty of Mount Jali, among others.

Having experienced the thrill and joy of these hikes, the next obvious step on my journey was to attempt the awe-inspiring Rwandan volcanoes. Four out of five of these majestic natural wonders are now off my bucket list.

Each has offered an unforgettable experience, an intense challenge, and an incredible connection with nature that I am eager to share.

Bisoke – A dance with the green giant

My exhilarating journey into the wild heart of Rwanda began with the enchanting Bisoke Volcano.

This was my first encounter with such a majestic natural spectacle. And I must admit, the initial experience was intimidating and awe-inspiring.

Trekking through the muddy trails and steep inclines, every muscle in my body protested, warning me about the strenuous journey I had embarked on. There were moments of exhaustion, moments when my lungs felt heavy and my legs wobbled but the thought of what awaited me at the top kept me going.

When I finally reached the summit, the sight that met my eyes was nothing short of magical. A stunning crater lake, like a shimmering sapphire nestled amidst the greenery, appeared as a precious gift left by Mother Nature herself.

The sight of the lake, surrounded by the lush vegetation, under the soft, diffused light of the overcast sky was breath-taking, and the exhaustion from the arduous climb seemed to wash away in an instant.

Muhabura – The beast’s heartbeat

Next on my list was the formidable Muhabura.

It was a trial by fire that tested my limits both physically and mentally, demanding all the stamina, willpower, and perseverance I could muster.

Beginning the ascent in the dim light of dawn, the dense forest vegetation made the terrain challenging to navigate.

Every step required caution and a lot of determination.

As I climbed higher, my muscles ached, my breaths became laboured, but I was fueled by the determination to conquer this mighty volcano.

When I finally reached the summit at 4,127 meters, I was filled with a renewed sense of appreciation for the breath-taking beauty of our nation. It was a moment of triumph that made every drop of sweat, every moment of struggle, worth it.

Muhabura’s climb was an experience that pushed me beyond my boundaries, a trial of strength, endurance, and tenacity that I believe is symbolic of the resilient spirit of Rwanda.

Sabyinyo – Wisdom wrought in stone

July brought me face-to-face with two distinct volcanoes, Sabyinyo and Gahinga, their charm uniquely encapsulating the allure of Rwanda.

I embarked on this duo journey with an added intention: to test my stamina and strength in preparation for the formidable Karisimbi, the crowning glory of Rwanda’s volcanic peaks.

Sabyinyo, presented a formidable challenge.

The climb, much like life’s trials, was steep and gruelling. Yet the sight that awaited me at the summit, the panoramic vistas of our blessed Rwanda, and beyond to Uganda and DR Congo, were moments of pure exhilaration.

Gahinga – In the heart of the emerald forest

Next was Gahinga, less daunting in stature yet full of its own enchanting allure.

It welcomed me with an emerald canopy of bamboo, a forest so dense and rich it seemed like another world.

This verdant wonder is home to our precious mountain gorillas, an integral part of Rwanda’s rich biodiversity tapestry.

It was a humbling experience, further strengthening my resolve to conquer the awaiting giant, Karisimbi.

Karisimbi – A summit of dreams and snowflakes

The next chapter in my journey is yet unwritten, a narrative that awaits me amidst the frost and the clouds, on the shoulders of the great Mount Karisimbi.

The tallest of the Rwandan peaks, Karisimbi towers above the landscape, its lofty heights bearing the rare gem of tropical snow, a shimmering cloak of white draped over its summit.

Yes, that magical moment will arrive.

I will stand at the peak of Rwanda, the top of Karisimbi, bathed in the light of triumph.