What to know before climbing mount Nyiragongo – if you want to hike and enjoy the greatest adventure in East Africa, you look no further than the active volcano of Nyiragongo in Congo, our today’s blog post helps you understand and prepare well for your trip to hike nyiragongo volcano in Congo and we always advicse our clients to book for the Nyirango hiking permit in advance.
Mount Nyiragongo Volcano the world’s largest bubbling lava atop mountain with (3,470m/11,380ft) in Virunga National Park. This Democratic Republic of Congo adventure helps support, based on its turbulent history and on-going challenges with conservation. This trip gives you a chance to explore the Nyiragongo Volcano hike for the best safari experience. There are a few things you need to know before hiking the Nyiraagongo Volcano Mountain and some of them are as follows.
The feeling of standing on the edge of a gigantic volcanic crater and staring at the red-hot bubbling lava lake cannot be captured with a camera. “Unreal”, “stunning, amazing, humbling”, “coolest thing you will ever do” are some of the written assessments on trip advisor where the experience scores maximum points. Everything else on this lenticel is of secondary importance. If you can do it, definitely do it. It is likely to be among the highlights of your life.
The Democratic Republic of Congo seems to be too big to manage (it’s about the size of Western Europe) or at least too rich (its mineral deposits are extraordinary) not to tempt selfish foreign players. This is why it is crucial to check the security situation first. Do not rely on travel advisories put together by bureaucrats in capital cities far away.
Their top priority is to protect their backs and they will always err on the side of caution. In short: they would prefer you never go to Congo. Focus instead on what the authorities of Virunga National Park have to say. Their interest possibly higher than your own government is to make sure nothing happens to you. Any bad news would hit them too hard to be worth the risk. So when they open Nyiragongo for hikers, they do it because it is safe.
The two days of Nyiragongo hiking are demanding. The most tiresome element is volcanic rocks that wobble under your feet but there is also the sheer distance and altitude factor. The good news is that you will not be in hurry. The trek is timed in a way that allows even a slow person to make it. You might take 8 hours instead of 4 but you will reach the crater and then have a night of rest before the descent. Your legs may hurt for some days afterwards but you will be fine.
Get a stick or two, if you believe in the balance of things. Besides helping on the descent, you get a full body workout if you use two walking sticks actively on the way up. You don’t have to be old or have bad knees to use these things. Local artisans make hand-made wooden sticks for purchase right there at the base of the mountain. They are very artistic, with burnt-in etched designs.
If your Nyiragongo hiking follows Gorilla tracking, forget the idea that your ‘waterproof’ hiking boots will actually stay dry inside. The Gorilla trail can turn into mud and your shoes will get that mud all over them, not just the soles. If you have the luxury of bringing two pairs go for it, or use the old trick of inserting plastic bags as a barrier between your socks and shoes to bring some relief when you set out to climb the volcanic marvel.
Hikers who pay for the complete package directly to the National Park are often surprised that it isn’t as all-inclusive and we always advise our clients to keep USD100 in small denominations in your pocket because you might need to pay your porter (USD25), and will likely want to tip him and the cook at the end (the food is amazing).
It is going to be freezing up there. Bring twice as many layers of clothes as you think you might need, and then some more. Pack some warm gloves for sure, and ideally pack an extra pair. The same apply to socks.
We are conditioned to lose our reservations high in the mountains, and protecting your money and valuables is one such example. This is another dimension of Mount Nyiragongo hike safety: simple huts at the top have no locks. What you have might tempt a desperate porter, or even a fellow hiker with strange hobbies.
If you arrive to the Democratic Republic of Congo border without the Yellow booklet, they will charge you USD70 to make you one, with vaccination or without it. You can, of course, also ask to pay a fine instead.
If you wish to know more, about what you need to know before climbing mount Nyiragongo Volcano? Do not hesitate to contact us at Great Adventure Safaris.