Mount Nyiragongo is located in Virunga National Park is an active volcano and considered dangerous since its never calm and characterised by frequent eruptions. The volcano is 3470 meters high and it’s the oldest volcano in East Africa. The mountain has a boiling crater lake which attracts many tourist to come witness this natural wonder. The slopes of the mount Nyiragongo are habitant to the buffaloes, leopards, chimpanzee rare okapi, mountain gorillas, Bongo antelopes, lions, elephants, and countless birds. The gorilla trekking activities and the boiling lava at the top of the mountain forms the major tourist attraction of the volcano. The Crater Lake at the peak of the mountain is 2 kilo meters making it the world’s largest Crater Lake.
At the moment the mountain does not pose serious any danger of eruption soon since it erupted in 2021. It is the only active volcano which is open to tourism since 2007. You can choose the mountain as your tourism destination to enjoy the roaring volcano Crater Lake at a safe distance.
Location of Mount Nyiragongo
The volcano is found in the Virunga National Park located in the Democratic republic of Congo. It is about 20 km north of the town of Goma along the border of Congo and Rwanda.
How safe is it to visit Mount Nyiragongo?
The volcano experiences eruptions and it lasted erupted in 2021. Its lower slopes are however occupied by people. The forested lower slopes is a home to animals including bushbucks, chimpanzees, monkeys, bird species and a unique 3 horned chameleon.
The depth of The Nyiragongo Crater Lake
The depth is not certain but it is estimated at 600 meters. It has various platforms in the crater formed by the previous lava levels formed in 1973, 1995 and 2021 respectively with varying depth.
When Did Mount Nyiragongo Volcano Become Active?
The first eruption was recorded in 1882. It has always experienced frequent bubbling, fire discharge, clouds of smoke and bursting of crater walls leading to lava flow over years.
How Many Times Does Mount Nyiragongo Erupt?
The Nyiragongo Volcano is recorded to have erupted over 34 times dating from 1882 to 2002. Currently the activity of the volcano is limited within the crater which forces lava levels to swell up within the crater.
Why Does The Nyiragongo Lava Flow Very Fast?
The exceptional fluid consistency formed by the volcanic rock composed of alkaline and melilite nephelinite on the mountain is responsible for the high speed at which the lava flows. Even at the depth of 10,700ft of the crater lake, the volcano was able to erupt in 1977 and this was the deepest depth ever recorded.
How you can reach Mount Nyiragongo?
You can board from Gisenyi town located in Rwanda, it is a 30 minutes drive to cross the border into Goma town in Congo and this is nearest to the Mountain. When at Goma, it is about 9 miles to the volcano. This is where all hiking
The journey to Mount Nyiragongo begins in Gisenyi town found in Rwanda and it takes about 30 minutes drive to cross the border into Goma town in Congo which is the nearest to this mountain. From Goma it is approximately 9 miles to the volcano and it is here that all hiking of Mount Nyiragongo are based.
Cost of reaching Mount Nyiragongo
The journey can cost you about $60 when you hire a taxi from Virunga National Park. You can also use your own private vehicle.
Hiking Mount Nyiragongo
The hiking of the mountain usually starts at 9 a.m. in the morning. Not to be late you should spend a night in Goma town to adequately prepare and be on time. You can choose to hike the mountain either before or after Congo gorilla trekking safaris.
Requirements for hiking Mount Nyiragongo
Yellow fever vaccination certificate as proof of receiving the vaccine shot.
Nyiragongo trekking permit costs about $300 per hiker and you can book this from the National Park. You can also book through a tour company at total cost of $1,000 including the permit, porter services and your meals.
Do I Need To Be Physically Fit To Climb Mount Nyiragongo?
Good health condition is necessary if you are to make it to the summit because the tour to the mountain is recommended to take 3 days. The mountain surface is not even, it has volcano rocks, altitude and very high. You are most likely to feel dizziness, tired and getting discouraged.
Be aware that the height of the peak is 11,400ft, you have to choose to either climb slowly or at a fast pace. You will have porter assisting in carrying luggage and many hikers have been successful on Mount Nyiragongo is very high
What To Pack For A Mount Nyiragongo Hike?
You need to pack enough warm clothing since temperatures get colder as you climb Mount Nyiragongo and to avoid freezing at the summit.
You will need to also change clothes since the rain season starts from the month of March to May, and again it rains in November. So you will require a change of clothes.
You also need a sleeping bag to back up a thin mattress which is not insulated usually provided to visitors while up on the mountain.
Come along with hiking boots to offer proper ankle support since the surface of the volcano is rocky and even.
You have to get adequate prescription for Diamox to manage altitude sickness.
Carry a lot of drinking water to always quench the thirst and refresh your body as you keep it hydrated. You can carry a reusable water bottle.
Accommodation On Mount Nyiragongo, Where To Stay
Hiking Mt. Nyiragongo involves spending a night on the summit. There are huts for accommodation, they are well constructed to keep visitors warm and dry while inside. They are better compared to some accommodation at the slopes of the mountain. The accommodation found at the slopes of the mountain are; Kivu Serena Hotel which costs about $210, hotel Paradis Malahide costs about $90, Tiloreza Volcanoes Ecolodge cost about $130
Nyiragongo Mountain Hike schedule
The hike is recommended for three days.
Day 1 boarding from Gisenyi to Goma, Congo
Day 2 starts the Mt. Nyiragongo Hike
Day 3: Descend, departure
The real hike starts at an elevation of 6,510 ft. you will cover a distance of about 10miles. There is stoping to rest for about 20 minutes. The speed at which you climb is determined the slowest hiker in the group. You will have park guides, two armed rangers one at the front and another behind, a cook and porters to assist with luggage. The weather on the mountain varies as you ascend, from sunny to mist.
How Much Is A Mount Nyiragongo Hike Cost?
The total cost is about $24 when you directly hire you own porters who are very much available at the national park. However the cost is slightly high if you book through a travel agency.
Best Time To Visit Hike Mount Nyiragongo
The dry season which starts from December to Mid march, and from mid june to September is the best time to visit Mount Nyiragongo Congo. The temperatures are condusive and favourable during this time unlike in wet season. There is also less mist on the peak hence enabling a clear view of the lava crater. The temperatures around the mountain range between 10°C to 30°C and 8°C being the lowest temperatures and 31°C being the maximum temperatures.
Facts About Mount Nyiragongo
Here are some facts about Mount Nyiragongo in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is an active volcano which last erupted in 2021.
It Has Erupted 35 Times
It is not fully know how many times this mountain has erupted but since the year 1882, this volcano has erupted about 34 times. This includes the times when the eruptions were continuous for a long time in a year, often in the form of a churning lava lake in the crater.
Hard for Trekkers to Reach
It’s hidden in the depths of Mount Nyiragongo and hikers must trek up to an altitude of about 11,400ft (3.47km) to catch a glimpse of the lava lake.
Mount Nyiragongo is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, erupting on average every 30 years.
What caused 2021 Nyiragongo Volcano Eruption
The lava lake on Mount Nyiragogo was filling up quickly in 2020 and Kacho Karume the leader of the Goma volcano Observatory had warned of this trend. But due to limited funding of the organisation, they had spent nearly a year without properly functioning. The Observatory was not even able to pay for an internet connection to connect remote monitors or even fuel to drive the staff to the volcano observation points staff manually downloaded data from memory cards during their few visits to the volcano. Please check out hiking vacations in Uganda to Rwenzoris, Mount Elgon and more