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Nyiragongo Mountain trek hiking Congo

Congo Nyiragongo Volcano Climbing - 3 Days

Tour price: 1 pax - USD1457; 2 pax USD1084 PER PERSON; 3 pax USD970 PER PERSON; 4 pax USD914 PER PERSON; 5 pax USD880 PER PERSON; 6 pax USD858 PER PERSON. These prices can be lower if you are make you way to the DRC border at 6am. Please send email to inquire or book here

The 3-days Congo Nyiragongo Volcano Climbing starts and ends in Kigali. It includes the hike to Nyiragongo on Congo with overnight there, 1 night at Lake Kivu close to the border so that you easily cross into the Congo on  the Nyiragongo hiking day, transfers from Kigali and back, tourist visa to DRC, overnight gear for Nyiragongo volcano. Mount Nyiragongo is a spectacular stratovolcano that hosts one of the worlds largest and rarest lava lakes, making it one of Africa’s most exciting and rewarding hiking experiences.

Overview
Itinerary
Accommodation
Tour Price
Overview

Congo Nyiragongo Volcano Climbing (from Kigali) - 3 Days

3-days Congo Nyiragongo Volcano Climbing (from Kigali) - 3 Days.

  • Day 1: Drive from Kigali to Lake Kivu, boat trip near the border in Congo (DRC)
  • Day 2: Climbing mountain Nyiragongo
  • Day 3: Descent and Drive back to Kigali for departure flight.

This is a 3-day Nyiragongo climbing which starts and ends in Kigali, Rwanda with  Nyiragongo trekking permit and DRC Tourist visa included.

Mount Nyiragongo is a spectacular stratovolcano that hosts one of the worlds largest and rarest lava lakes, making it one of Africa’s most exciting and rewarding hiking experiences.

Lava lakes are without a doubt one of the most impressive forms of volcanic activity that any outdoors enthusiast could hope to witness. Once you have reached the summit on your Mount Nyiragongo climb, you will be able to observe its bubbling lava cauldron (from a safe distance) and feel this volcano’s energy, as it heaves and breathes. An overnight stay at Mount Nyiragongo’s crater edge will allow you to enjoy this spectacle in the dark, but also at dawn and dusk when its alluring beauty is enhanced.

Mount Nyiragongo, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, rises majestically to an altitude of 3470m overlooking the Virungas National Park and associated Albertine Rift. The climb up Mount Nyiragongo is not technically difficult and reaching the top should not take longer than 5 hours.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK?

As Virunga is located on the equator, the temperature remains roughly the same (hot and humid) throughout the year. The notable difference is between the rainy and non-rainy seasons.

Ironically enough, the best time to enjoy clear blue skies (particularly for photography purposes) is during the rainy months (April, May, October and November), as it can get quite foggy during the dry season.

The good news is that it rarely rains for a full day, and the periodic spatters actually make way for beautifully clear viewing conditions.

November is the wettest month of the year but this does not make travel impossible. It's just that you have to have rain gear with you to overcome some of the wet areas.

Itinerary
 

Congo Nyiragongo Volcano Climbing (from Kigali) - 3 Days

Day 1: Drive from Kigali to Gisenyi – Lake Kivu

We start our trip from Kigali (from your hotel or at the airport) at 8am. We visit some of interesting sites in Kigali before proceeding to Gisenyi, Lake Kivu. While Lake Kivu,  we  have a boat cruise to one of the Lake Kivu Islands and visit the shores of Lake Kivu for swimming. In the evening, visit the local market, you will also move around the streets while looking at the old colonial buildings.

At 6:30 am, you will be picked up from your hotel or from Kigali Airport by our driver guide who transfer you to Goma Grande Barriere border crossing in the Democratic Republic of Congo at 10:30 am and ensure check-in with Virunga tourism office by 11:15 am. The tourism office is conveniently located in the Grande Barriere border post building, opposite passport control. Guests will receive gorilla and volcano trek permits at check-in which must be presented at the start of each trek. Once check-in is complete, visitors will be transported to Kibumba.

Dinner and overnight at Hotel Malahide Paradise.

Day 2: Climbing Mount Nyiragongo

We depart from the hotel to the border  Goma, overnight on the volcano and return to Goma at the Grande Barriere border crossing by 7:00 am and check-in with Virunga tourism office by 8:00 am on the morning of the scheduled trek. The tourism office is conveniently located in the Grande Barriere border post building, opposite passport control. During check-in, guests will be provided with a volcano trek permit that must be presented before climbing.

Once check-in is complete, guests will be transported to Kitabi Ranger Post, starting point for the Nyiragongo volcano trek. The ascent up the volcano starts around 10:00am with most climbing groups reaching the summit by 5:00pm. 

On arrival to Kibati, guests will receive a briefing and will have the opportunity to hire porters. The climb up the Nyiragongo volcano will take around four to six hours and trekkers will overnight on the summit.

The party will be lead and escorted by a set of rangers/guides and a small contingent of porters.

For the first two hours of the walk, you will traverse a lush pristine forest, where towering trees offer a welcome shelter from the sun until you emerge from the forest onto a small plateau with commanding views that stretch towards the infinite horizon, with Lake Kivu, Bukavu, Rwanda and Burundi at your feet. You are now standing on the lava flow remnants of Mount Nyiragongo’s 2002 eruption.

From here on, the climbing trail becomes firmer and the forest gives way to several swathes of recovering heath with vegetation dominated by ferns, sedges, heather and everlastings.  Shortly afternoon, you will reach Mount Nyiragongo’s crater and your overnight cabins.

The remainder of the afternoon will be spent exploring the crater's edge and soaking in the surrounding views and Mount Nyiragongo's’ bewitching lava cauldron. Fortunately, your guides know exactly how to reach the best observation and photogenic spots safely.

When everyone has had enough, the party will return to camp to settle into their cabins, rest and enjoy an early supper.

At 18h00 you will return to a designated spot at the crater's edge to gaze and appreciate again Mount Nyiragongo’s molten lava lake. In the dark of night, one is able to appreciate better the dark crusty surface of lava, spliced and splitting into ever-changing plates. As the plates separate, bright orange lava fill the cracks and a fantastic spider-web pattern emerges. Every now and then fountains of lava flare-up disrupting these pretty patterns, but adding a surge of dynamism and power to this spectacular sight.  Sometimes, fountains appear throughout the crust like a collection of campfires, creating yet another fascinating show.

Day 3: Descent from Mount Nyiragongo, Transfer to Kigali departure flight back home (about 3.5 hrs drive).

After a rather early cup of tea/coffee, you will be summoned back to the crater’s rim at dawn for one last peek. Wrapped in warm clothing you greet the new day as the intense red and yellow glow of the lava below mixes with a backdrop of blue and indigo skies.   

After breakfast, the party will commence its descent from to Kibati. The descent generally takes 2-3 hours. Back at Kibati, your transport will be waiting to take you back to Goma before crossing back into Rwanda.  It will be about 3 hours of driving before we arrive Kigali International Airport from where you catch your departure flight.

 

Accommodation
Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelters
Aerial view of Nyiragongo summit shelters

Aerial view of Nyiragongo summit shelters

Nyiragongo is a beautiful stratovolcano that features the world’s largest lava lake. The volcano’s forested lower slopes are home to a variety of animals, including chimpanzees, monkeys, and bushbuck. Nyiragongo’s summit rim is largely devoid of vegetation and is frequently dusted with snow. From the rim, visitors can peer down into a churning lava lake and see and hear hot gases exploding up though a mosaic of molten lava. Although predictable and therefore safe for tourists, Nyiragongo is greatly feared during eruptions. Because of the high silica content of its lava, Nyiragongo’s lava flows are extremely fluid. During the 2002 eruption, some of Nyiragongo’s lava flows were clocked at 100 km/hr (62 mph) and reached all the way to Lake Kivu.

Treks to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano begin at the Kibati patrol post, which is approximately 30 minutes by car from Goma. The patrol post is less than a one hour drive from the Mikeno Lodge in Rumangabo. Park rangers lead all treks and porters (unaffiliated with the park) are available for hire. The time required to reach the summit depends on the average fitness of each group, but typically takes 4 – 6 hours. Altitude sickness can be an issue for some because the climb begins at 1989m (6,525 ft) and ascends to 3470m (11,382ft) in a short time. Proper hydration is the best way to adapt to the change in altitude. People prone to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) should speak to their physicians about taking preventative measures before making the climb. It is possible for fitter people to climb up and descend in one day, but most groups choose to overnight in basic accommodation available at the top (included in the permit fee). Trekkers are advised to bring raincoats and cold weather gear. Rain showers are a common occurrence on the climb up during the rainy season and temperatures at the summit can dip below 0°C/32°F.

Guests staying at the Mikeno lodge can arrange packed meal service for the trip, while those coming with tour groups must supply their own. There is no food service on Nyiragongo. Porters can be hired at the base of the climb to carry loads for $12/day ($24 for the overnight trip). The maximum weight that porters are authorized to carry is 15kg.

Summit Shelters

Each of the twelve summit shelters contains two single beds on which visitors can put their sleeping bags. Although these shelters aren’t plush, they offer a welcome escape from the elements. The cost of staying in a summit shelter is included in the permit fee.

Tour Price

2019/2020 Tour Prices for Nyiragongo Volcano Hike

1 pax - USD1457

2 pax USD1084 PER PERSON

3 pax USD970 PER PERSON

4 pax USD914 PER PERSON

5 pax USD880 PER PERSON

6 pax USD858 PER PERSON

Included

1 night stay on Nyiragongo, 1 night at Hotel Paradise Malahide Lake Kivu

Nyiragongo Volcano trek permit

All transport to, from and within the Park once in the country

DRC Tourist Visa

Nyiragongo Backpack (overnight gear).

Excluded

  • Flight tickets and departure taxes
  • Travel documentation (Rwanda visas) travel and medical insurance
  • Drinks
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Tips and gratuities for your guides and accommodation staff
  • Nyiragongo backpack Porter fees Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls, postage fees and so on
  • Meals not indicated on your detailed itinerary

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Nyiragongo Volcano Treks

Nyiragongo is a beautiful stratovolcano that features the world’s largest lava lake. The volcano’s forested lower slopes are home to a variety of animals, including chimpanzees, monkeys, and bushbuck. Nyiragongo’s summit rim is largely devoid of vegetation and is sometimes dusted with snow. From the rim, visitors can peer down into a churning lava lake and see and hear hot gases exploding up though a mosaic of molten lava. Although predictable and therefore safe for tourists, Nyiragongo is greatly feared during eruptions. Because of the low silica content of its lava, Nyiragongo’s lava flows are extremely fluid. During the 2002 eruption, some of Nyiragongo’s lava flows were clocked at 100 km/hr (62 mph) and reached all the way to Lake Kivu.

Treks to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano begin at the Kibati patrol post. Park rangers lead all treks and porters (unaffiliated with the park) are available for hire. The time required to reach the summit depends on the average fitness of each group, but typically takes 4 – 6 hours. Altitude sickness can be an issue for some because the climb begins at 1989m (6,525 ft) and ascends to 3470m (11,382ft) in a short time. Proper hydration is the best way to adapt to the change in altitude. People prone to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) should speak to their physicians about taking preventative measures before making the climb. It is possible for fitter people to climb up and descend in one day, but the vast majority choose to overnight in the basic accommodations available at the top (included in the permit fee) because the best time to view the lava lake is at night.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

1. All climbs begin promptly at 10:00 am. Late arrivals will not be allowed to climb and permits are non-refundable. For security reasons, there will be no exceptions. The Kibati ranger station, which is the trailhead for Nyiragongo, is approximately 30 minutes from Goma by car. Kibati is approximately 45 minutes from Bukima Tented Camp and Mikeno Lodge by car. All climbers must check-in at the Kibati station by no later than 9:15 am on the day of their climb. Climbers typically descend the volcano at between 6:30 – 7:00 am the next morning and arrive back at Kibati station by 11:30 am. If one intends to fly out of Kigali on the same day, please make sure not to schedule your departure flight before 6 pm.

2. Trekkers are strongly advised to bring full rain and cold weather gear (moisture-wicking base layer, sweater or fleece, jacket, rain resistant pants, long underwear, warm socks, hat, and a 0°C/32° – rated sleeping bag). Temperatures at the summit are routinely below freezing. Although most people arrive at the summit sweating from the steep climb, this sense of warmth quickly gives way to cold. A complete change of base layers is a must. Failure to bring proper gear will lead to hypothermia. Please do not endanger yourself and others by coming unprepared for these conditions.

3. All guests can arrange packed meal service and gear rental for the trip at an additional charge at checkout. Packed meal service includes snacks, lunch, and dinner on Day 1 and breakfast and snacks on Day 2. Water is also included for both days. The gear package includes a sleeping bag, jacket, fleece top, hat and rain poncho. Porters can be hired at the base of the climb to carry loads for $24 round trip (gratuity not included). The maximum weight that porters are authorized to carry is 15 kg. Porters can be arranged by speaking with a Virunga National Park ranger at the Kibati station.

4. Packed meal plan includes snacks, lunch, and dinner on Day 1 and breakfast and snacks on Day 2. Water is also included for both days.

The gear package includes a sleeping bag, jacket, fleece top, hat and rain poncho. Porters can be hired at the base of the climb to carry loads for $24 round trip (gratuity not included). The maximum weight that porters are authorized to carry is 15 kg. Porters can be arranged by speaking with a Virunga National Park ranger at the Kibati station.

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