How to get to mount Nyiragongo Volcano? – The Nyiragongo Volcano is one of the largest most spectacular active Volcanoes in the world with a caldera summit having a diameter of 1.2 kilometres with steep sided walls making it the largest active lava lake in the world.
Today Nyiragongo Volcano stands at the height of 3,470 meters high and has seen a number of volcano actions causing lava to flow downhill to the neighbouring Goma settlements found on the foothills. Nyiragongo today is listed as one of the deadliest and most dangerous Volcanoes in the world
Nyiragongo Volcano is located within the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo approximately 20 kilometres north of the town of Goma on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, and today it is among the most active volcanoes worldwide.
It is at a height of more than 11,000 feet and its caldera peak or you can call it the magma chamber is nearly 1 mile wide and it’s in there that a deep lake of lava is found. The mountain has not been exhaustively studied by scientists because of political unrest with neighbouring area
The depths of the crater remains unknown as it changes depending on the amount of magma emitted from below, however it is estimated to be at a depth of 600 meters. Within the crater are a number of platforms that were formed by the previous lava levels with the first platform closest to the rim estimated to be 20 meters from the top room and it was formed by the lava levels back in 1973.
Below that is another platform which is about 40 meters lower and was formed in 1995 by the lava lake which drained to the neighbouring area after it erupted in 2002. Present the caldera lava flow is estimated to be between 430 meters to 410 meters below from the ring of the volcano.
The exact time when this volcano became active remains unknown however occasional bubbling, discharge of fire, clouds of smoke and even bursting of the crater walls for the lava to flow downhill have happened for several years although the first recording of eruption was recorded in 1882
The journey to Mount Nyiragongo begins in Gisenyi town found in Rwanda and it takes about 30 minutes’ drive to cross the border into Goma town in Congo which is the nearest to this mountain. From Goma it is approximately 9 miles to the volcano and it is here that all hiking adventures on Mount Nyiragongo are based.
The mountain can be accessed they either hiring a taxi from Virunga National Park which costs about USD20 or by using your own private vehicle.
Mount Nyirangogo climbs normally begin in the early morning and hikers are encouraged to be at the starting point by 9 a.m. it is for that reason that you are highly advised to spend the night in Goma town to give you ample time to prepare adequately for you hike.
There are a few things that you will be required to have to hike the mountain and these include a yellow fever vaccination certificate as proof of receiving the vaccine shot you will also need a climbing permit and this costs about USD300 per hiker. This you can book directly at the National Park or through a tour company who may give you a round cost figure of about USD1000 including the permit, porter services as well as your meals Read more about how difficulty is climbing mount Nyiragongo?
The most recommended tour up the mountain takes just 2 days for that reason you don’t have to be athletic to ascend the mountain, however good health condition is required to successfully make it to the summit.
Also keep in mind that the mountain surface is not generally even as it is characterized with volcano rocks, and the altitude as well is generally high so signs like dizziness, feeling tired as well as losing courage are likely to happen.
Always keep in mind that the peak is at a height of 11,400 feet so the choice will be yours either to hike slowly or at a fast pace. With the Porter giving you luggage assistance, the success rate registered on Mount Nyiragongo Volcano is very high, Read more about practical advice and tips before the Nyiragongo hike
Warm Clothing: Similar to any mountain across the world the temperatures on Mount Nyiragongo vary from the warm temps on the lower slopes to the very cold temps closer to the summit. it’s for that reason that you are highly advised to pack enough warm clothing and please do not be misguided by the fact that there is a volcano on the peak and you assume that the temperatures are warm up there. Without enough warm clothing, instances of freezing are very high.
Change of clothes: during the wet season that normally runs from March to May and again in the month of November, the mountain receives large amounts of rainfall and for that reason, you are highly advised to pack a change of clothes.
A sleeping bag: a sleeping bag is another highly advise item as this comes handy especially as you sleep on the thin and not insulated mattresses that are provided in the huts up the mountain.
Good hiking boots: this is another requirement and they should offer adequate ankle support considering that the terrain on the mountain is rocky and uneven
Prescription for altitude sickness: to deal with altitude sickness you are advised to get proper prescription for Diamox
Enough Drinking water: please remember to pack enough drinking water up the mountain because you need to keep your body well hydrated; a reusable water bottle is greatly suggested