The 3 Days Mount Nyiragongo hike takes you up one of Africa’s most active volcanoes found in the Virunga Mountains of east-central Africa. It lies in the volcano region of the Virunga National Park, Congo (Kinshasa), near the border with Rwanda, 12 miles (19 km) north of Goma. It is 11,385 feet (3,470 metres) high, with a main crater 1.3 miles (2 km) wide and 820 feet (250 metres) deep containing a liquid lava pool. Some older craters on the mountain are noted for their plant life. Nyiragongo one of Africa’s active volcanoes is known for its devastating eruptions. In 1977 some 2,000 people were killed, and in 2002 Goma was largely destroyed by lava, creating a refugee crisis.
The 3 days Mount Nyiragongo hike will start with Dylan Africa Tours driver guide meeting you at the airport or your hotel in Kigali. If you arrive early, you will have an opportunity to go for the Kigali city tour before the transfer to Congo. Kigali is relatively small when compared to other African cities but it stands out because of its neat streets and beautiful hills. During your tour of the city, you will visit the genocide memorial sites, the presidential palace museum, the main city market and artisan shops. The Guide will then start the journey from Kigali to the Goma border crossing via Lake Kivu. The journey from Kigali to the Congo border crossing will provide you an opportunity to see Rwanda’s beautiful countryside (Green tea plantations, rolling hills, smiling locals and the beautiful Lake Kivu). You will have lunch by the Lake Kivu or at a hotel restaurant next to the border crossing. Once you are done with lunch, you will go to the border offices to clear with immigration. Your Congo Visa should be in the system but you will also need to have your yellow fever card and passport before being allowed to cross to Congo. Once your documents have been checked, you will cross to the Congo side and find a team from Virunga National Park waiting to transfer you to your lodge.
Dinner and overnight:
Accommodation Options: Kibumba Tented Camp (Mid-range), Bukima Tented Camp (Mid-range) of Mikeno Lodge (Luxury).
You will wake up and take early morning breakfast as you wait to be taken to the park offices for registration and the briefing about Mount Nyiragongo Hiking at the Kibatsi village (The Nyiragongo hike starting point). You will meet many other hikers at the starting point. This is the time to hire any porters to assist with your extra and heavy backpacks. If you have slower hikers in your group, do not expect to leave them behind until you reach the last section of the hike. As you head towards the volcano, you will notice that the lower slopes are full of lush green rain-forest. These forests are home to mammals, birds, small primates and rare plant – Take advantage of it. To be specific, look out for chimpanzees, monkeys and antelopes. You will begin to notice that there is less vegetation as you head upwards. Much of the vegetation was destroyed by hot lave during the last eruption. The lack of vegetation is a good thing because it allows you to the surrounding landscape including the Virunga National Park, the Rwenzori Mountains, other Virunga Volcanoes, Goma town, Kahuzi Biega National Park and Lake Kivu. Hiking mount Nyiragongo takes between 4 – 5 hours depending on the overall fitness of the hiking group. Remember that no group member is left behind during the hike. Expect to reach the top when it is almost getting dark. You will go straight to marvel at the amazing boiling lava lake.
Dinner and overnight: Cabins.
On the third day of the 3 days Mount Nyiragongo hike after observing the volcano and partying with other hikers during the night, it’s time to depart. Wake up early and take breakfast prepared by the porters. Descending the V olcano starts at 8am. If you never had the time to have sustained views of the beautiful landscape in Virunga National Park because you were too tired, this is the time. Once you reach the base, you will be transferred to the Congo Rwanda border crossing. This time you will be dealing with officials from Rwanda. They will ask you to pay for another Rwanda Visa in order to cross back at a cost of $30. Our guide will be waiting for you from the Rwanda side to start the journey to Kigali. If you never toured Kigali on the first day of the tour, this is the time to do so.
After your Congo trip, you can as well precede to your next destination on the Rwanda trips with Dylan Africa Tours