Booking a Mount Nyiragongo hiking permit is a must have before you start the Hike of the world’s largest lava lake, learn about the Nyiragongo Volcano permit, how to secure, plan for Nyiragongo hike, cost of Nyiragongo Hiking Permit.
If you are planning for Nyiragongo hiking tour you are advised not to book flights before confirmation of the availability of the Nyiragongo permit as it’s a must have in order to trek the Nyiragongo. Availability of the Nyiragongo permit is dependently determined by the shelter at the top of Nyiragongo volcano; find the most reliable Great Adventure Safaris to book for you a Nyiragongo Volcano hike for the trekking tour in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
One of the top most safari experiences in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the Mount Nyiragongo hike to the world’s largest lava lake found in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park. Securing a Mount Nyiragongo hiking permit is among the top most requirements that need to be done before you book the flight to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Find a complete guide about how to book the Mount Nyiragongo hiking permit, Nyiragongo Volcano hike pass and what’s included on Nyiragongo hiking permit.
Mount Nyirangogo can be reached from several areas but for security reasons, it is safer through Gisenyi town in Rwanda. From Gisenyi, you will be driven for 20 kilometres to the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo before crossing to Goma. From Goma town, a great black cloud is visible which reminds you of the Volcano last eruption in 2002.
The lava that once flowed at great temperatures has now cooled to leave a black rock. After Goma town, you will be driven to the head trail at Kibati village. You will be briefed on what to expect before starting your Mount Nyiragongo volcano hike. The briefing covers all important aspects of hiking the Nyiragongo Volcano and includes what to expect, the stopping points and what to pack. You will need to move as a group for most of the activity except for the final part of the hike.
Climbing Mount Nyiragongo can be very challenging for those who are ill prepared and not good shape. You need to be ready to deal with the steep slopes and rugged terrain. There are porters at the starting pointing in Kibati Ranger post who can be hired for a fee to help with carrying heavy stuff, after the briefing and assembling as a team together with the cooks and other hikers.
There are five segments when climbing Mount Nyiragongo. The first part of the hike involves climbing through areas at lower altitude. Those who are not mentally or physically prepared usually quit at this point. After the first major stop, the altitude increases presenting more challenges. In this second part of the hike, one has to deal with small loose lava rocks. Those who have proper hiking boots should pass through this section with ease.
After completing the second part, hikers have to now deal with not only the small loose rocks but slippery stones and the difficult conditions of higher altitude. By the time you reach the fourth segment, the mountain slopes gets steeper and steeper with greater cold due to high altitude. Apart from the cold, it’s common to find rains at this section.
Warm clothes and rain jackets will be required. The final part is the steepest but also shortest. The cabins can be sighted from this point and that is enough motivation for even the most tired hiker. Hikers who manage to reach this section are allowed to complete the rest of the hike at their own comfortable pace.
12 summit cabins are provided at the top of the volcano each comprising of 2 single beds where hikers can put their sleeping bags. The cabins have a mattress and a pillow. While at the cabin hikers are provided with snacks, breakfast, dinner, water and sleeping bags.
The mountain top can be freezing cold with strong winds. You need to be to go prepared with warm clothing. The cooks and porters will help prepare hot tea and coffee to help relieve hikers from the cold. The cost of an overnight at the summit is included on the permit fee. From the cabins you can smell the boiling and bubbling lava.
After marvelling at the boiling lava lake and magma, it is time to descend. Descending is much faster and it takes about three hours to reach the starting point. However it is not as easy as it seems. Climbing down through sharp rocks and steep sections can be very challenging and one needs to be cautious so not to be hurt by the sharp rocks. The great thing about descending is that you have a sustained view of the great Virunga National Park and distant Volcanoes including the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda and Lake Kivu.
This should be light so as not to inconvenience you while climbing the mountain. The rain jacket will help shield you from the heavy rains.
The shoes should have a good grip (rubber soles), water proof, comfortable and able to keep your feet warm.
The Mountain gets colder as one ascends higher and you need to be prepared in the best possible way. Go with warm clothing to stop protect you from the freezing cold at the summit. You will need a sweater, rain resistant pants, jacket, long underwear, warm socks and hat.
Climbing Mount Nyiragongo can be very tiring leaving you thirsty and even hungry. Carry along packed lunch and enough drinking water
Hiring a porter at the base of the volcano costs about USD15 per day payable at the end of the exercise, and these porters are used to climbing the volcano several times a week and have no difficulty helping with heavy luggage. They will also help you climb the most difficult parts of the mountain.
These will come in handy when there are heavy downpours or during the hot/dry season.
You cannot go for such a great experience without a good camera or photos to show of your time at the volcano. Watching a live Volcano is an experience only few ever get in their lifetime. You need good photos for your record and to also show off to friends and family. Binoculars will enable you spot amazing scenery particularly while climbing down the mountain.
This is where you would be keeping all your gadgets – phones, ipads, camera, binoculars and more. Ensure that it is rainproof.
This will ensure that your ipads, Laptops, phones are powered while in your cabin at the summit.
The summit has no electricity. Power is got from solar but is not available everywhere. You will need a torch to move about to the kitchen or bathrooms.
Hiking Mount Nyiragongo can be done throughout the year but dry season is preferred by tourists. The dry season fall between June and September and also December, January and February. The rainy seasons cause the trails to be more slippery and difficult for hikers.
Climbing Mount Nyiragongo is challenging and requires one to be fit. The mountain becomes steeper as one ascends while climbing down has its own challenges. Knee and ankle pain because of pressure. The weather conditions get more challenging as one ascends the mountains. You need to take that into consideration especially if you are sensitive to extreme weather changes.
This is a key because it is not all about being fit. You need to be determined to complete the hike despite all the challenges you may face. One can prepare the mind and body weeks before the hike by going for minor hikes on rocks or hills around your home.
A hiking stick will help you climb up and down steep slopes by helping you maintain balance and relive the knees from greater strain. Climbing sticks are available at the starting point.
Always keep your valuables like cameras, money and laptops close to you even while at the cabins with fellow hikers.
To cross the border to Congo, you will be required to show your passport and yellow fever card. Without the card, you may not be allowed entry to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
N.B: Hiking the Nyiragongo Volcano can be combined with Gorilla trekking for a more complete and memorable safari experience. If you are interested in combing the two activities, contact Great Adventure Safaris for your Nyiragongo hike and Gorilla tracking package.