mount Nyiragongo Virunga National Park

Nyiragongo Volcano Hike: Congo Tours

Nyiragongo Volcano Hike; Nyiragongo Volcano Hike is one of the most stunning safari destinations around the world. However, Mountain Nyiragongo stuns as one of the largest eye-catching active volcanoes in the world with a caldera summit that offers a diameter of 1.2 kilometers with steep-sided walls thus rewarding it as the largest active lava lake in the world. Currently, the volcano stands at a height of 3,470 meters high, and there are several volcanic actions causing lava to flow downhill to the neighboring Goma settlements found on the foothills. Today, Nyiragongo is one of the deadliest and most dangerous Volcanoes in the world.   

Many travelers prefer visiting this remarkable stratovolcano containing the world’s largest lava lake though a few are easily accessible to starters while some require gear, technical climbing skills or training, a high level of fitness, and a bit of courage to reach the summit, however, there are several spectacular trails found in between the extremes. At its lower ground are forested slopes home to various animals such as chimpanzees, lots of monkey species, three-horned chameleon, bushbuck, and a myriad of bird species thus rewarding the walk to the summit of mighty Mount Nyiragongo all more gratifying.

Tchegera island

Historically, Nyiragongo Volcano is known for its glamorous eruptions and last erupted in 2002 where millions of people died, a large part of Goma was destroyed by the lava and more than thousands of people went homeless. History shows that it has erupted over 34 times, including the continuous eruptions series that tend to occur over many years which flew over a very wide area with a stunning Lava Lake from the crater. However, this hasn’t stopped its uniqueness like the hazard posed by the eruptions, more so is one of the world’s active volcanoes with a steep-sided stratovolcano that contains a lava lake holding such fluid lava. This is the lava that once flowed at great temperature and has now cooled to leave a black rock.

Location of Nyiragongo Volcano: Mount Nyiragongo famously known as Congo’s beauty and one of the top tourist attractions in the world, lies in the volcano region of Virunga National Park Congo near the Rwanda border and just 12 miles north of Goma town

Nyiragongo Volcano Hike /Climbing Mount Nyiragongo

The Nyiragongo Volcano Hike is an extraordinary hiking adventure on one of the world’s active volcanoes of which hiking is divided into five sections with a 15-minute break at each stop. So hikers commence the ascent at the Kibati Ranger post at an altitude of 1870 meters and reach the summit at 3,470 meters taking a 6.5kilometer hike each way. Note the average climbing time can take between 4 to 6 hours and descent off the volcano can last around 4 hours.

 While time is dependent on group speed and ease as the slowest person on the trek sets the pace. However, taking part in the Nyiragongo Volcano hike is one of the best experiences without any doubt if you tend to access its top the reward is extraordinary and when it comes at night the view of the lava lake is like nothing on earth as you can spend hours watching the waves of lava as well as listening to its roars which is a truly amazing and quite unforgettable experience.

Well, the Nyiragongo Volcano Hike starts with a briefing that covers all important aspects of the Nyiragongo volcano hike, including; what to expect, stopping points, and what to carry with you. Hikers are advised to move as a group except for the final part of the hike.

The first section of the Nyiragongo Volcano Hike will take guests through the dense forest at the base of Nyiragongo. However, this is the area where hikers are encouraged to keep their eyes wide open for wildlife viewings such as monkeys, and bushbucks among others.

The second section of the Nyiragongo Volcano Hike ascends you to the open skied trails that offer a gainful view of the valley below. Hikers are likely to face some difficult conditions of the higher altitude. By the time you access the fourth segment, the mountain slopes start getting steeper and steeper with a greater cold due to high altitude. Knowing that at this section rain tends to fall, so you need to carry warm clothes and rain jackets for your healthy. The final part looks to be steepest but shortest. The cabins can be easily viewed from this point and enough motivation for even the most tired hiker.  Hikers who make it to reach this section are allowed to complete the remaining hike at their own perfect pace. You can book the 4 Days Nyiragongo Hike tour package.

Nyiragongo Volcano HikeThe third section of the Nyiragongo Volcano Hike leads you across old lava flows and past steaming volcanic fissures. After accessing the high montane forest traverse the fourth section, the fifth and final ascent which takes a steep of about 300 meters to the summit. At the summit, there are 12 comfortable cabins are provided to cater to visitors’ stay at top of the volcano. Each cabin consists of 2 single beds where hikers can place their sleeping bags for warmth. These cabins are featured with mattresses and pillows and hikers are served snacks, breakfast, dinner, water, and sleeping bags. You need to go prepared with warm clothing, cook and hired a porter to help you. The cost of an overnight at the summit includes the permit fee. While at the cabin you can smell the boiling and bubbling lava.

Once you achieve its top, exhaustion melts away as Nyiragongo offers an exhilarating reward to those who have achieved its slopes; the world’s largest lava lake churns away in a mosaic of molten red fire. While at the lava lake the most breathtaking is rewardable and saved for last, however, the sun goes down and Nyiragongo begins its nighty glow against a backdrop of stars.

Hiking Down

After a gainful view of the boiling lava lake and magma. It will be time to descend back. Hiking back is much faster and it can take 3 to 4 hours to reach the starting point. However, it is not easy as you could imagine. Hiking down through sharp rocks and steep sections can be a bit challenging and one needs to be heeded so as not to be hurt by the sharp rocks. The good thing about descending is that you have a spectacular view of the endless Virunga National Park and distant volcanoes including Lake Kivu and the magnificent Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda.

Important Information: Nyiragongo Volcano Hike

At the top of the volcano, there is a high temperature that usually drops below freezing with occasional high winds and rain. On a visit to a mountain hike always ensure that you carry adequate rain and cold weather gear. Furthermore, we recommend travelers pack a couple of extra pairs of dry, clean socks, hand cotton gloves, and headwear all essential items for your hiking adventure.

Trekkers are encouraged to take enough mineral water bottles and must be responsible for their equipment, food, and water. Take note, that all water, charcoal for cooking and heating as well as food and cooking equipment have to be carried to the top of the volcano. If you want to hire a cook, porter, and hiking equipment from the park can be hired at an extra cost. Local porters are available for hire at the starting point of the trek at Kibati Ranger posts

What to Pack for Nyiragongo Volcano Hike

A rain Jacket

You should pack a light rain jacket which will not inconvenience you while trekking the mountain’s top.

Suitable hiking boots

Pack shoes with rubber soles, waterproof, comfortable, and able to keep your feet warm.

Warm clothes and a sleeping bag

The higher you go the colder it becomes so you need to visit well-prepared. Pack warm clothing which will protect you from the cold at the summit. Also, you need a sweater, rain-resistant pants, a jacket, long underwear, warm socks, and a hat.

Packed lunch and water

Climbing Mount Nyiragongo is quite tiresome hence leaving you thirsty and hungry. So during your visit need to pack a lunch and enough mineral water bottle.

Camera and Pair of Binoculars

You can’t tell me that a traveler can go for a remarkable and unforgettable experience leaving behind a camera, yet watching a live volcano is a great experience a few can ever get into. Meaning, a camera is needed to go with you to take photos for your future remembrance.  Pair of binoculars will also enable you to spot beautiful scenery while climbing down the mountain.

Backpack –Waterproof bag

This will help you keep your gadgets safe such as phones, pads, cameras, binoculars, and personnel documents.

Portable Charger

This item helps in keep power or connected to the internet while in your cabin at the summit such as items such; Laptops, phones, and pads.

A hat and sunscreen

This can be used in handy when there is a heavy downpour or during the hot–dry season.

Hire a porter

Travelers with heavy luggage can hire a porter at the starting point of the Volcano to help them climb the most difficult parts of the mountain which cost USD15 per day.

Strong flashlight

The summit has no electricity and the power there is not connected everywhere.

Note: Before you set off for your planned hiking safari to Mount Nyiragongo adventure in Congo, you also need to know this first as explained below;

Best time to Hike Mount Nyiragongo Volcano

Hiking Mount Nyiragongo can be done all year round but it’s more adventurous in the dry season. The dry season happens between June and September and December to February. During rainy seasons the trekking trails seem to be more slippery thus causing difficulty for hikers.

Be in Good Shape

Climbing mount Nyiragongo is not a simple experience that requires one to be physically fit in the body. Assuredly the mountain becomes steeper as one ascends while trekking back can experience a challenge in knee and ankle pain because of pressure. The weather condition also acts as a challenge as one ascends the mountain. On a visit here, always put this into consideration especially if you know that you’re sensitive to extreme weather changes.

Mentally Preparedness

You need to be determined mentally to achieve the hike despite all the challenges you may face. Before your safari travel, you need to prepare the mind and body weeks before the hike, by going for minor hikes on rocks or hills around your home.

Hiking Stick

Hiking mount Nyiragongo seems to be a tough experience and for that reason, we advise trackers always go with a hiking stick to help them climb up and down steep slopes by helping you mountain balances and feel pain in the knees from greater strain. They are available at the starting point.

A yellow fever vaccination card 

To any traveler wanting to access the Democratic Republic of Congo through a border crossing, you will be required to show your valid passport and yellow fever card. 

Note; You can choose to combine a hike to Nyiragongo Volcano with Mountain Gorilla Trekking both experiences can be done in Virunga National Park –Democratic Republic of Congo for a great memorable Safari Adventure. You can visit one of our websites, to select an interesting 3-day Mount Nyiragongo Climbing package best all ever.

What is the Cost of Nyiragongo Hiking Permits

The Nyiragongo Hiking permit costs USD300 which includes the overnights at the Nyiragongo Volcano summit. Once bought do not expect a refund.

What Requirements Needed to Get a Congo Visa

A traveler needs to first secure the hiking permits before you apply for a Congo Visa. However, a single Congo tourist entry visa costs USD105 per person and is valid within 14 days from the day of entry. Apart from obtaining a Visa, a traveler to the Democratic Republic of Congo, need to have other documentation with him to cross the Congo border from Rwanda, like Passport which must be valid for the next six months. We recommend you always get in touch with a fully registered tour company and know what is going on the ground, regarding help you arrange transportation, accommodation, and porters.

How do you get to Mount Nyiragongo

The traveling journey to the famous Mount Nyiragongo starts in Gisenyi town which is found in Rwanda and it takes about 30 minutes to drive to cross the border into Goma town –Congo. From Goma estimates 9miles to the volcano where all hiking adventures on Mount Nyiragongo are based. Note, to be able to cross the border to Congo, you will be required to present your valid passport and yellow fever card, and without them, you may not be permitted entry to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  Get started planning a visit now! To one of the world’s active volcanoe famous Mount Nyiragongo Volcano’’ on the African Continent – Congo Tours.

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