Nyiragongo Hiking Permit
Nyiragongo hiking permit is a document that allows one access to hiking Mount Nyiragongo. Mount Nyiragongo is one of the two active volcanoes in the Virunga Conservation Area with its most recent eruption being in 2002 though some volcanic activity was in 2016. Mount Nyiragongo is one of the most recent volcanoes in the world to have had an eruption and it is believed to erupt in the near future. The Nyiragongo volcano has erupted up to 34 times in the past, making it one of the most active volcanoes in Africa and the world at large. The Nyiragongo is however safe to be hiked and explore, given that the Goma Volcano Observatory has a watch over it 24/7 year after year.
Mount Nyiragongo has the world’s largest lava lake, one that millions of travellers have moved miles just to have a glimpse of. Hiking the Nyiragongo volcano requires at least two days with some travellers opting for 3 days. The two days are enough for one to ascend the Nyiragongo, see the lava lake, spend the night at the summit and then descend the next day. The ascent to the Nyiragongo volcano starts at 10 am and travellers who do not make it on time are not allowed to follow the team on their own in the bid to catch up with them. It takes 6 hours to reach the summit, while only about 4 hours are required to descend the Nyiragongo. Travellers who do hike the Nyiragongo volcano are rewarded with amazing views of the scenery and landscape, plus the bafflingly fascinating beauty of the lava lake at the summit.
For one to be allowed to hike the Nyiragongo to get to marvel at the wonderful lava lake, a Nyiragongo hiking permit is required to be purchased. A Nyiragongo hiking permit costs $300 only, per person per hike. The Nyiragongo hiking permit can be purchased at the Virunga National Park headquarters, or through a reputable tour operator. Booking in advance may be required just to secure one’s spot on a particular day. During off season, though, one may not require to book in advance. The Nyiragongo hiking permit does not attract a refund.
The Nyiragongo hiking permit price excludes the cost of food. You might have to hire a chef to do the cooking for you, which is very much advised because you will not be up to it once at the summit with the cold and altitude. The Nyiragongo hiking permit cost however covers an overnight stay at the summit in one of the shelters. Most travellers however book the Mikeno package that has the fee covering meals as well, that is lunch, dinner and breakfast the next day.
Travellers travelling from Bukima Tented Camp or Mikeno Lodge are provided with a ‘Volcano Pack’ that has items like a rain poncho, thermal sleeping bag, warm long sleeved sweater, fleece liner for the sleeping bag, drinking water and a packed lunch. If not staying in one of the two mentioned lodging options, you might want to carry them as part of your hiking gear.
Porters can be hired at the start of the hike at Kibati patrol post. Porters cost about $24 and they help you carry your load during the whole hike, as well as help you with a push or pull while at it. The maximum weight that the porters are allowed to carry is 15kgs, you might need to keep this in mind.
One needs to first acquire or book a Nyiragongo hiking permit before applying for a Congo Visa. A Congo tourist visa costs $100 for a 14 day stay in the country. Hiking the Nyiragongo is for persons that are 12 years and over. A bit of physical fitness is required for one to successfully hike the Nyiragongo. Travellers are encouraged to extensively research about the Nyiragongo or simply ask their tour operator of choice for loads of information as they plan for a visit.