Mount Nyiragongo is a popular tourist destination in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Nyiragongo volcano is one of eight volcanoes in the Virunga conservation zone, located in the country’s east and overlooking the Virunga national park. Mount Karisimbi, Mount Bisoke, Mount Muhabura, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Mikeno, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Nyamuragira are among the other volcanoes. The Nyiragongo volcano climbs 3470 meters and takes around 5 – 6 hours to reach the summit.
Mount Nyiragongo volcanic lava lake is incredibly interesting and striking as one of the world’s largest active volcanoes. The Virunga National Park officials launched Mount Nyiragongo hiking excursions to tourists in 2014. Mountain gorilla trekking and hiking the Nyiragongo volcano are frequently combined by visitors. Hiking Mount Nyiragongo is the solution for those searching for a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime mountain hiking excursion. It is the only spot in Africa where visitors may witness a lava lake up close. You might also be interested in Mount Kilimanjaro facts or how to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Mount Nyiragongo may be accessible from a variety of locations, but for security concerns, Gisenyi town in Rwanda is the best option. Visitors will be taken for 20 kilometers from Gisenyi to the Rwanda-DR Congo border before traveling to Goma. A large black cloud visible from Goma town is a memory of the volcano’s last eruption in 2022. The lava, which once flowed at high temperatures, has now cooled and become a black rock. Following Goma, you will be transported to the trailhead at Kibati hamlet. Before beginning your Mount Nyiragongo volcanic hike, you will be informed on what to expect. The briefing covers all critical elements of trekking the Nyiragongo Volcano, such as what to anticipate, where to halt, and what to bring. Except for the final section of the trip, hikers will need to proceed in a group throughout the most of the activity.
Hiking Mount Nyiragongo can be extremely difficult for people who are unprepared and out of shape. One must be prepared to deal with high hills and difficult terrain. Porters may be hired for a charge at the beginning point at Kibati Ranger post to assist with hauling heavy items. Following the briefing at 9 a.m. and gathering as a team with the cooks and other hikers. When ascending Mount Nyiragongo, there are five stages. The initial section of the trip entails rising through lower-altitude locations. Those who are not emotionally or physically prepared often give up at this time. After the first big halt, the altitude rises, posing new problems. The second half of the journey involves dealing with little loose lava rocks. Those who have adequate hiking footwear should have no trouble getting through this stretch.
After finishing the second section, hikers must now contend with not just little loose pebbles, but also slick stones and harsh altitude conditions. By the fourth section, the mountain slopes get steeper and steeper, with increased cold owing to high altitude. Aside from the cold, rain is prevalent in this region; warm clothing and rain coats are recommended. The last section is the steepest but also the shortest. The cottages can be seen from here, which is enough inspiration for even the most fatigued hiker. Hikers who make it to this part are free to finish the rest of the trail at their own time. You might be interested in our 4 day Nyiragongo hiking package.
At the peak of the volcano, 12 summit huts are available, each with two single mattresses where climbers can sleep. The cottages have a mattress and a cushion. Hikers are given with snacks, breakfast, supper, water, and sleeping bags while at the cabin. With high gusts, the peak summit may be bitterly chilly. You should bring warm clothing with you. The cooks and porters will assist make hot tea and coffee to warm up the trekkers. The permit price includes the expense of an overnight stay at the top. The boiling and bubbling lava may be smelled from the cabins.
It’s time to descend after gazing at the hot lava lake and magma. Descending is significantly faster, taking around three hours to reach the starting position. However, it is not as simple as it appears. Climbing down via jagged rocks and steep areas can be difficult, and one must be careful not to be injured by the sharp rocks. The beautiful part about descending is that you get to see the huge Virunga National Park and distant Volcanoes like the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda and Lake Kivu for a long time.
Hiking permits for Nyiragongo cost $300 and may be purchased directly from the Virunga National Park or through a tour operator. Nyiragongo Hiking permits are non-refundable once purchased. Before applying for a Congo Visa, you must first obtain a trekking permission. A single tourist visa to Congo costs $105 per person. This visa is valid for 14 days from the date of entrance. Aside from the VISA, extra documents is required to enter the Congo border from Rwanda. A valid passport, as well as a yellow fever vaccination card, are required.
A competent tour operator should assist you in obtaining the VISA as well as organizing transportation, lodging, and porters. We have an intriguing 4 day Mount Nyiragongo Climbing Package that you will like.
A rain jacket: This should be light so that it does not impede your progress up the mountain. The rain jacket will protect you from the severe downpours.
Hiking boots: Hiking boots should have a solid grip (rubber soles), be weather resistant, comfy, and keep your feet warm.
Warm clothes and a sleeping bag: As you climb higher up the mountain, it becomes colder, so you should be as prepared as possible. Bring warm gear to protect yourself from the bitter cold at the summit. You’ll need a sweater, rain pants, a jacket, long underwear, thick socks, and a cap.
Water and a packed lunch: Climbing Mount Nyiragongo may be exhausting, leaving you thirsty and perhaps hungry. Bring a packed lunch and plenty of water.
Hire a porter: Hiring a porter at the volcano’s base costs around $15 per day. These porters are accustomed to ascending the volcano several times each week and have no trouble handling big load. They will also assist you in climbing the most challenging sections of the mountain.
A hat and sunscreen: These will come in helpful during heavy rains or the hot/dry season.
Camera and Binoculars: You can’t have such an amazing experience without a nice camera or images to show for it. Seeing a live volcano is an experience that only a few people will ever have. You’ll need beautiful images for your records as well as to wow your friends and relatives. A pair of binoculars will help you identify spectacular vistas, especially as you descend the mountain.
Backpack: This is where you’d keep all of your electronics, such as phones, iPads, cameras, binoculars, and so on. Check that it is rainproof.
Portable charger: This will keep your iPads, laptops, and phones charged while in your summit cabin.
A Torch: There is no electricity at the summit. Solar power is obtained, however, it is not available everywhere. To go to the kitchen or bathrooms, you’ll need a torch.
The ideal time to hike Mount Nyiragongo:
Hiking Mount Nyiragongo may be done all year, however visitors prefer the dry season. The dry season lasts from June to September, as well as December, January, and February. Rainy seasons make the routes more slippery and challenging for walkers.
Be in Good Shape:
Climbing Mount Nyiragongo is difficult and needs physical fitness. The mountain grows steeper as one ascends, but descending down has its own set of difficulties, including knee and ankle discomfort caused by pressure. As one ascends the mountains, the weather conditions become increasingly difficult. You should keep this in mind, especially if you are susceptible to drastic weather fluctuations.
Mental preparedness is essential because it is not only about physical fitness. You must be committed to accomplish the hike despite any obstacles that may arise. Minor treks on rocks or hills near your home might help prepare your mind and body for the hike.
Hiking with a stick:
Hiking with a stick can assist you maintain balance and relieve pressure on your knees as you trek up and down steep slopes. Climbing sticks are supplied at the start.
Keep your possessions safe:
Keep valuables such as cameras, money, and computers near to you at all times, even when in cabins with other hikers.
It is critical to have a yellow fever vaccination card:
To enter Congo, you must present your passport and yellow fever vaccination card. You may be denied admission to Congo if you do not have the card.
N.B. : For a more full and unforgettable experience, combine hiking the Nyiragongo Volcano with gorilla trekking in Congo.
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