Are you a hiker or a climber? Do you wish to challenge yourself with the most breathtaking adventures in life? Do you know where the world’s powerful fiery volcano mountains are found in Africa? Nearly 4 months are left for you to achieve that long time dream this year. Mount Nyiragongo is popularly one of the world’s most active stratovolcano mountains which are wholly situated in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Besides traveling to Virunga National park to track the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas, DRC also offers you a fantastic opportunity to hike through Mount Nyiragongo that will certainly leave you with the most life changing adventure experiences.
This smoky mountain is famously one of the 8 wonderful volcanoes that are found within the Virunga Massifs and incredibly a home to world’s largest Lava Lake which lies on its crater which is undoubtedly one the remarkable volcano activity that is worthy visiting is your safaris to Virunga National Park. Just as you get into Goma Town, East of DRC is where this fiery volcano is found. With its one kilometer caldera, climbing Mount Nyiragongo will certainly fill you with dramatic and unforgettable experiences of life time.
The Volcano’s summit covers nearly 2000 meters. Climbing through Mount Nyiragongo gives hikers opportunity to explore some of its remarkable peaks such as Baruta which is 3100 meters above sea level and Shaheru 2800 meters above sea level. Catching a glimpse of its bubbling Lava is the most incredible experience in life but only safe viewing it at a good distance. Mount Nyiragongo has had nearly 34 eruption cases ever since 1882 which is translates into 40% volcano eruptions in Africa. The Lava comes with Melilite Nephelinite that spreads around leaving a negative impact in human lives due to silica content that is contained in its fluid. For this case, adjacent communities have been victims of this volcano activity especially in 1977 eruption that left 70 people dead in nearby villages.
Besides the negative impact on human lives, the explosion of this tremendous volcano also comes with small volcano that formed as a result for example Murara which is situated some kilometers form Nyamuragira. The second eruption occurred in 2002 when its weak fissures exploded in the southern flank at 13 kilometers. The volcano then spread from 2800 to 1550 meters. As a result its effect was experienced at Goma Town and about 147 residents were left dead. In 2016, another vent was sight around North Eastern side of the crater and it is speculated to cause yet another severe explosion around Goma Town.
Mount Nyiragongo lies 3470 meters above sea level and it is linked to the Virunga Albertine Rift Valley. It has numerous Lavas with one that is located at 3175 meters above sea level and the other is 2975 meters. Climbing Mount Nyiragongo is undoubtedly the loveliest adventure for climbers which take hikers or climbers nearly 4 to 6 hours; it is such a breathtaking adventure but after rewards the efforts with spectacular views at the bubbling Lava cauldron. Hiking through this stunning volcano offers visitors with memorable experiences after discovering the strength of volcano energy as it breathes! Besides catching a glimpse of its bubbling Lava, this remarkable volcano also comes with wildlife species that are impressively attractive to excite the mind for example the chimps, monkeys and bushbuck that are found its forested areas.
The hike usually starts at Kibati ranger station! Don’t miss a life time experience with bubbling Lava cauldron!
How to get there:
Interested hikers and climbers can reach Mount Nyiragongo by flying into Kigali International Airport and then connect to Goma Town where you will spend about 3 to 3.5 hours driving on road. As well, visitors can use Ethiopian Airlines and DRC Airlines that fly up to Goma Town. But it is important to checkout with government security embassy alerts before traveling DRC.
What to pack for the hike:
Interested travelers can come with light rain jackets, climbing/hiking shoes, heavy fleece, thin stretchy pants, long underwear and four pairs of socks, heavy sleeping bag and sweater for cold, water and some energy snack and walking stick.
The cost of hiking permit and Lodging facilities:
Climbing Mount Nyiragongo costs $300 per visitor and if you are planning to hire a porter which is unavoidable if you have heavy luggage, you will spend $24. For Lodging interest, no doubt for you, there are most decent lodging facilities to offer you that wonderful atmosphere to spend your night or have a meal. Some of these include Lulimbi tented camp, Nyiragongo volcano summit shelters, Tchegera Island tented camp and Bukima tented camp, Mikeno Lodge.
In conclusion, hiking through Mount Nyiragongo is a strenuous experience that needs hikers or climbers to be physically fit. For adventure seekers, visiting Mount Nyiragongo is probably the best choice for you to achieve your dreams. Hiking experiences are convenient especially during the dry season especially in the months of January and February; and between June and September. Most importantly, if you are traveling for gorilla trekking, you certainly combine your safari with hiking experiences in Mount Nyiragongo. You can choose to take a 4 day Mountain Gorillas and Nyiragongo Hike Enjoy your hike!