Mount Nyiragongo Hike
Mount Nyiragongo is one the volcanoes in the Virunga range along other mountains like Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, Mount Sabinyo, and Mount Karisimbi. All these Virunga mountains lie along the Albertine rift valley western escarpment. Mount Nyiragongo is visited from the Virunga national park and all tours headed to the mountain are arranged by the Virunga national park along with any trusted tour operator. Mount Nyiragongo’s trailhead is located about 15 minutes away from the Goma city and Lake Kivu that is about 20 meters away. Mount Nyiragongo stands at an elevation of 3,470 meters that is equal to 11,380 feet.
The hike up Mount Nyiragongo is a 2 day hike that sets off from the Goma border to the Bukima patrol post which is where the hike up the mountain starts. The mount Nyiragongo is still an active volcanic mountain that you can visit any day of the week throughout the year. The hike up the active volcano is a bit challenging but rewarding once at the top. Hikers will take about 6 hours ascending the mountain with two stopovers to rest a bit and refresh. The flora and fauna on the path up to the summit shelters of Nyiragongo is breathtaking and is also a great hike for birders as there are many birds to be discovered along the hike up.
You will have to purchase a Nyiragongo hike permit from the Virunga national park if you are interested in ascending up this volcano. A Nyiragongo hike permit goes for 300 USD per person and is sold along with a DRCongo tourist visa, one night stay at the Nyiragongo summit shelters and transportation to and from the trailhead back to the Grande Barrier building. All guests have to check in with the Virunga tourism office at the Grande barrier border as early as 7 am of the day of trekking where you are issued your hike permits and also all travel requirements to allow you into the country are done. The latest time to check-in is 8 am otherwise you risk being left behind by the convoy of the other trekkers headed to the trailhead and you will not be allowed to follow them and that means your booking will be null and void. All packages headed to the Virunga national park have departure times and days for those headed to the Rumangabo sector. The Virunga tourism office is found in the Grande barrier building of the DRCongo side.
On clear nights once at the crater rim, guests are able to have the best views of the boiling lava of the crater lake at the top of Mount Nyiragongo. Mount Nyiragongo crater lake is believed to be the world’s largest crater lake with a width of 2 meters. This active Nyiragongo volcano along with the neighboring Nyamulagira volcano is reportedly responsible for 40% of the volcanic eruptions of Africa in the past years. The last eruption of Mount Nyiragongo was recorded in 2002 where the lava flew up to the Goma town and Lake Kivu destroying property and claiming some of the DRCongo people’s lives. There was a crater lake formed a few months after this eruption on top of the 1994 Crater Lake that was last formed after that year’s eruption.
Hiking Mount Nyiragongo has an option of staying 2 bed nights up at the volcano and can be arranged by getting in touch with us. This opportunity is organized only twice a month on 2 consecutive nights on selected dates for a minimum of 4 hikers. This gives you a chance to see the volcano from the top at all hours of the day. You will need to be fully equipped as once you hike up mount Nyiragongo for the night, there is no getting back or supply shops at the top where you can purchase the items you may have forgotten. It is important to hire a porter so that he can guide you on your hike and also ensure the safety of your luggage.
What to take on your Nyiragongo Hike is a major question usually asked. This overnight hike will require you to check if you have the Nyiragongo backpack booked and this is inclusive of a water bottle, sleeping bag to use in the shelters at the summit, and a chef to prepare for you meals while on your hike. The other essentials are walking sticks to help you or give you balance uphill and downhill, porters to help you with your luggage, long sleeved pants and tops to protect you from getting irritations on your skin rubbing against the bushes you will be making your way through, a cap or hat is important to protect you from the sun. Binoculars, good cameras, navigation maps or campus, energy snacks/ bars should not be left behind.
While hiking up Nyiragongo an active volcano, one can envision the area being hot but that is not the case as the temperatures up the volcano can get as low as 0 degrees so ensure to pack warm clothes in your luggage to keep you warm throughout the night at the summit. Enough batteries for your phone and camera or power bank might come in handy on this hike.
Carry along with your vital medication you may need like the height fear or dizziness as you ascend the volcano, pain killers to mention but a few. Also, personal effects should be included in your Nyiragongo pack. Not forgetting great hiking shoes that you have used before and trust to do the job. You are advised to use shoes you have used before to avoid surprises on the hike.
Check out our 3 day Nyiragongo hike package and the 2 day Nyiragongo hike and book your hike up this volcano. You also top it up with a visit to the home of the mountain gorillas on our 4 days Mikeno mist package.