Climbing Mount Nyiragongo, Congo’s Most Highest and most prominent volcano makes up for life long memories. The mountain itself although located in the heart of Virunga National park, looks more attractive both from a far and close, and the views on clear days and the experience of climbing through the early morning hours among equally minded hikers from across the world are very interesting and rewarding.
As the highest and most famous mountain peak in Congo, climbing Mount Nyiragongo is one of the adventures that should be on the bucket list of every traveler in the world! Otherwise although it is known as the world’s most active volacno, it is an active volcano that is regarded as one of Virunga ranges’ 8 sacred peaks and iconic sites.
Despite standing at 3,470 m (11,380 ft) high and its relatively steep slope, it is definitely possible for beginners to climb up to the top, thanks to the availability of professional guides porters,In fact, thousands of hikers (including some inexperienced hikers ) climb Mount Nyiragongo every year, so don’t worry if you’re not a frequent hiker, or just abeginner.
Climbing Mount Nyiragongo Volcano is very popular not only among Congolese residents but also foreign tourists, who seem to make up more than three quarters of the world’s hikers. The peak season for climbing Mount Nyiragongo is during the Dry seasons, and the entire trip lasts for two days, with an overnight stay at one of the mountain cabins on the peak itself.
Getting to Nyiragongo Mountain
Mount Nyiragongo is about 3-4 hours drive from Kigali international airport to gisenyi plus an additional 10 minutes’ walk to goma border where a valid passport, Congolese tourist visa( always issued at $$100 ) and a yellow fever card will be require for border crossing. There are many ways to get to Mount Nyiragongo including Goma, Bunagana(from the Ugandan side) and cyanika border but the most convenient way for those who want to climb the mountain (or just visit it) is a direct highway to Goma. From here you will switch to another vehicle to your respective hotel (preferably near the park) or Virunga National park. You can also fly from Kigali but at times this is unnecessary as there is a lot of adventure you will miss on the road and yet the drive is an opportunity to view all the stunning Congolese scenery.
Climbing Mount Nyiragongo
It takes an average person between 5 and 7 hours to climb Mount Nyiragongo from the Kibati patrol Station to the summit via the beautiful trail and then another three to four hours to descend. With an overnight spent in one of the cabins at the peak of the mountain.
The most popular way to climb Nyiragongo Mountain is to just walk to the Kibati starting point and arrive early before 10:00am since the hike starts either at 10:00am or 11:00am and then climb for about 5-7 hours to reach the summit in time so as to enjoy the stunning views of the red hot bubbling larva. You spend the night there and then wake up very early morning for your breakfast and see the sunrise after then you will descend to the base.