Found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is 4,437 meters above sea level. Mount. Mikeno is part of the Virunga Conservation Area that has a total of eight mountains with only three currently active. Mount Mikeno is one of the dormant ones. Located in Virunga National Park together with Mt Bisoke, Nyamuragira, Nyiragongo and Karisimbi. It has the highest peak after mount Karisimbi.
It is the thirteenth highest mountain in Africa. Mikeno means “poor”, it was named so because of its harsh slopes. However, these slopes have been embraced by gorillas hence acting as home to Mountain gorillas that occupy its fertile slopes that have supported the growth of rich vegetation just fit for gorilla settlement.
Travelling to Mount. Mikeno can be arranged from Kigali Airport. Rwanda and Congo are close neighbors therefore it won’t take long getting there. Driving there might take about 3-4 hours this is so because Congo is a much larger and bigger country as compared to Rwanda.
You could use the domestic airlines within Congo and these will fly you to Goma, though these are not up to international standards.
Due to the insecurities within Congo, most visitors just fly in from Rwanda and if you booked accommodation in Kigali, they normally arrange an airport pick up at an additional fee of $100-$120 from Kigali to the Congo Border.
You will need a Visa and yellow fever vaccination certificate before crossing both Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo border.
When to visit?
Best time to visit Mount Mikeno is between December and February or June and August as these are the periods with little rainfall as rainy seasons will make it hard to hike the harsh slopes as they would be very slippery giving you a bad experience.
However being located within the tropical region, you are to expect some rains any time of the day so always be woke and be ready for the rain by carrying along rain gear equipment like umbrellas, rain boots and heavy jackets.
While at the foot, the temperatures are cool annually and credit goes to the altitude of the area. Which comprises of Goma at 1500m, Kisoro at 2050m and Musanze at 1800m above sea level, these lowlands highly contribute to the cool temperatures which are favorable for visiting Mount Mikeno all year round. The temperatures range between 20o and 28o C during day time and it gets cooler in the night at 10o and 15o C.
Activities done at Mount. Mikeno.
Gorilla trekking can be done alongside hiking, you can either do both at the same time or just one of them.
While hiking you get to spend about 8 hours before reaching the summit however there are campsites found along the hike such as Kabara campsite which is 4 hours after starting. The second one at the summit has no name though it’s very steep.
While at the summit, you get to take in the natural beauty of the great East African rift valley which is interestingly still forming even after 30 million years.
Nature guided walks and sightseeing can also be done at the slopes of this mountain.