Mount Nyiragongo Hike
Mount Nyiragongo Hike : Nyiragongo is a magnificent stratovolcano holding the world’s biggest lava lake. The volcano’s lower wooded slopes are home to a variety of creatures, including chimpanzees, various kinds of monkey, the three-horned chameleon, bushbuck and a plethora of bird species, making the trip to the top of this huge mountain all the more satisfying while on Congo safaris.
The Nyiragongo Volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It stands majestically on the border of Congo and Rwanda, sitting over 11,000 feet high. The volcano’s caldera (magma chamber) is nearly one mile wide and it has a deep lava lake. If you are searching for a trekking experience, going to the peak of the volcano and seeing its flowing lava at the summit is a must. So, before you decide on trekking Mount Nyiragongo, here are a few insider tips:
Mount Nyiragongo Hike.
The Nyiragongo volcano hike is split into five stages, with a 15-minute rest at each station. Hikers start the trek from the Kibati Ranger Post at an altitude of 1870m and reach the summit at 3,470m, with a 6.5km journey each way. Average climbing duration is between 4 and 6 hours, with descending from the volcano lasting approximately 4 hours. Times are based on group speed and agility since the slowest person on the trip sets the pace.
To get to the base of Nyiragongo, tourists will have to walk through deep woodland for the first part of the trip. Hikers are urged to keep an eye out for monkeys and bushbucks in this region. Second, the woodland climbs up to open ski tracks that provide stunning views of the valley below. The final part takes you through ancient lava flows and across boiling volcanic cracks. After entering high montane forest to climb the fourth segment, the fifth and final ascent is a sharp 300m to the summit.
Atop Nyiragongo, the world’s biggest lava lake burbles away in a mosaic of molten red fire. Last but not least, when the sun sets, Nyiragongo begins to sparkle against a sky of stars. However, following its recent eruption in May 2021, the lava lake is no longer existent thus leaving many volcanologists sceptical about the reformation of molten lava lake.
With periodic strong winds and rain, the temperature at the volcano’s peak regularly goes below freezing. Please make sure you have sufficient rain and cold weather clothing with you when you travel.
A couple of additional pairs of dry, clean socks are recommended. Gloves and a hat come in useful, as do safety glasses. Equipment, food and drink must be provided by hikers on a personal basis.
It’s recommended that hikers bring at least three litres of water. All water, charcoal for heating and cooking, as well as foods and cooking equipment must be brought to the summit of the volcano by hand. Please be aware of this fact. There is an additional fee for clients who wish to rent hiking equipment or employ a cook from the Park. Local porters may be hired at the Kibati Ranger Post at the beginning of the journey.
How to get to Mount Nyiragongo in Congo
Get started in Rwanda in Gisenyi and cross into Congo at Goma in about 30 minutes. There is no public transportation in Goma, so you’ll need to take a bus or taxi to reach the volcano’s summit. You may rent a car or pay a taxi driver $20 to transport you to the Virunga National Park if you don’t have your own.
The public bus is the cheapest alternative, but it is frequently packed, and you may wind yourself standing for the whole trip, exhausting yourself even before you begin your climb. Please arrive at the starting location before 9 a.m. if possible. So that you can be at the base on time, it’s usually better if you spend the night in Goma while on Congo Safaris.
Planning your Trip to Mount Nyiragongo in Congo.
In addition to private tours offered by travel firms such as Mission Africa Safaris, it is possible to go alone provided you are certain of the route. A tour company or the park itself can be used to make a reservation for the walk. Using the services of a tour company is slightly more expensive but they will take care of everything including transportation to and from the volcano. It’s also possible to hire a porter for approximately $25 who will carry your backpack (weighing 15kg), but be sure to include cash for tipping since it is traditional.