Tips For hiking Mount Nyiragongo volcano

Hiking to the summit Nyiragongo volcano is an awe inspiring experience that happen once in a lifetime. Its a breath taking experience having this life time opportunity stationed at the edge of the gigantic crater  watching the red-hot bubbling lava lake measuring  approximately hundred feet beneath the gound. Located in Virunga National Park, Climbing and Hiking Mount Nyiragongo Volcano is a must do for every avid hiker traveling to the Democratic republic of Congo for memorable Hiking Experience. Though accompanied with sweating, panting, and altitude sickness, the hike to the summit of an active volcano is surely an incredible and stunning experience. The bubbling lava lake is clearly seen at night as the sky glows red from the lava, which makes it more beautiful. The hike to summit is approximately 11500 feet (8.5km) hence requiring travelers to be physically fit and highly committed.

Below are a few tips to climbing or hiking Mount Nyikragongo Volcano.

Early Preparation

Like any other hiking destination, climbing  Mount Nyiragongo Volcano is an adventurous activity which  requires all hikers to plan and prepare prior to the hiking date of the activity so as to ensure physical fitness. Early booking with a trusted tour operator such as Congo gorilla safaris or else direct with Virunga national park at least two months prior to the actual day of hiking is highly recommended. This helps in timely booking of  the Nyiragongo summit accommodation services in the cabins  so as to  avoid any disappointments at the last hour.


Nyiragongo Volcano Packing list

Hiking Mount Nyiragongo Volcano involves walking on hot volcanic rocks some of which are slippery and lose, which calls for hiking boots for easy the movements and hand gloves to protect the hands from sharp stones and hot surfaces while descending down on steep slopes. Besides hiking boots, waterproof rain gear, sweaters, and warm jackets also come handy to handle un expected weather conditions and very cold weather in the night. Walking sticks as well are required for they are very helpful for balance on uneven rocks. Hiking gaiters and bicycle arm warmers are also important not forgetting enough drinking water and energy giving snacks to keep travelers strong in the source of hiking.

Hiking time in Nyiragongo Volcano

Mount Nyiragongo Volcano Hikers must be at kibati patrol post by  9:00am for briefing about the Rules and regulations for hiking the volcano. Hikers with the help of an armed ranger guide start off their hiking  before 11:00am. The group hiking speed depends on the slowest person in the group meaning therefore all hikers involved hike at the same speed.  All hikers who arrive after the group has left for the hike will not be allowed to hike after the others. This therefore calls for all hikers to be at the starting point early enough. There are several resting points on the slopes of the mountain which helps hikers to acclimatize with the weather and rest during the hike. It takes 4-6 hours to hike to the summit of the volcano providing hikers/climbers with breathtaking views of Virunga national park and the adjacent communities.

Nyiragongo Volcano Hiking Permit

A Nyiragongo volcano hiking permit is a must have for every hiker/climber taking part in hiking Nyiragongo volcano. The Hiking permit is purchased and issued by Virunga national park at cost of $300, which affordable compared to the gorilla trekking permit, which cost $400 for an hour. Hikers are required to book in advance prior to hiking date, which guarantees access to the permit on the actual hiking day. Hiking permits can be reserved via any trusted tour operator like  Congo Gorilla Safaris or directly through Virunga national park.

hiking Nyiragongo Volcano

Unlike other activities where tourists can do without porters, a successful hike to the summit of Mount Nyiragongo volcano requires every climber to have a porter. Since all hikers spend an overnight at the summit of the Volcano, they are urged to carry along heavy baggage with food, drinking water, cameras, and clothes all make the baggage heavy to carry hence a need for a porter. Each porter is  hired at accost  of $24 for ascending and descending which is a fair price. The porters are helpful in a way that they provide support to the hikers/climbers in case they slide and get so tired. Tipping of porters and guides is good but not compulsory and the amount to give depends on the climber. A tip is an indirect support for the local livelihood.

Accepted age and health status

The recommended age limit for a hiker is at least 12 years below which is not accepted, despite the physical fitness.

Travelers to hike Nyiragongo volcano are restricted to 12 years and above. This means anyone aged below 12 years are not allowed to hike the volcano despite the physical appearance. hikers are required to carry with them their visa cards and other travel documents for clarification. All hikers must be properly hydrated so as to adapt to altitude changes in the process of climbing to the summit.

Where to sleep in Nyiragongo Volcano

The Nyiragongo Volcano summit has 12 cabins at the summit, which provide quality accommodation services to travelers. Each shelter has 2 single beds where hikers can lay their sleeping bags. Travelers who book through tour operators or direct with Virunga national park enjoy these sleeping services as part of the hiking permit fee. Porters and guides, carry their own sleeping tents where they spend a night and carry them back as they descend the following day, Hikers are urged to carry some extra cash with them since they may need to buy some essentials such as extra food and drinks which is not part of the pre-paid fee.

Nyiragongo Volcano Safety advice

All travelers are reminded to take care of their belongings such as money, cameras, clothes and even food. This is because the cabins at the summit are not secure as different groups of travelers together with porters with different hobbies and characters converge at the summit hence requiring  strict guarding of their property. However, climbers are also advised to keep distance while at the edge of the dazzling volcano.

In conclusion, taking part in hiking Nyiragongo volcano rewards every hiker with a memorable experience at an affordable price.