Mount Nyiragongo

Mount Nyiragongo

Are you aware that Mount Nyiragongo is one of the largest active Volcanoes in the world? Did you know that Mount Nyiragongo is the only place in Africa where people can see the boiling lava lake?

Mount. Nyiragongo is one of the famous active stratovolcano mountains located in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Virunga mountains. Mt Nyiragongo stands at an elevation of 3470 meters above sea level, it's one of the major tourist attractions in DR Congo and can be easily trekked through Virunga National Park. The summit of this mountain has a boiling lava lake that is impressive to watch. It's one of the eight Volcanoes in the Virunga Conservation Area. Other mountains include; Mt Gahinga, Mt Bisoke, Mt Muhabura, Mt Karisimbi, Mt Sabyinyo, Mt Mikeno, and Mt Nyamuragira.

Hiking Mount. Nyiragongo.

Hiking is the main activity carried out on Nyiragongo mountain and reaching its summit takes about 5 to 6 hours. Hiking safaris to D.R. Congo allows tourists to spend a night at this summit camp and the experience is a rewarding memory since a local tour guide offers visitors history about the formation and beliefs attached by the local people. Being located near Virunga National Park, there are high chances of meeting mountain gorillas - the gentle giants.

The Nyiragongo hiking experience is challenging since it's steep, muddy, and rugged terrain mostly for trekkers who are not in good shape and have not prepared for this great adventure. Like any other activity, hiking will begin immediately after briefing and there is a provision for hiring a porter that will help you to carry extra luggage (usually at 15-20$ per day).

The lava lake on top of this mountain is 2 kilometers wide and keeps boiling producing steam that can be witnessed while on the summit. The nearest town is Goma, just 20 kilometers found on the shores of Lake Kivu. Mount Nyiragongo last erupted in May 2021 and left most of the people in Goma town homeless by destroying their houses and properties. The rocks can now be witnessed. History says that it was formed through vulcanicity and since 1882, it has erupted several times and it's still a threat to the people of Congo.

Mount Nyiragongo is located in Virunga National Park, a conservation area known for mountain gorillas. There is more to this mountain’s biodiversity than just primates and these include bird species, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. It's located in the Eastern part of Congo in the Albertine Rift Valley, created in 1925. There are other activities one can do apart from hiking Nyiragongo and these are gorilla trekking, bird watching, visiting the Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage, and many more.

What to pack as you plan to hike Mount Nyiragongo?

Rain jacket to help in case of heavy rains and this should be light to help on your hiking adventure.

Also, one needs hiking boots or sturdy shoes with a good rubber sole, waterproof, comfortable, and warm.

A sleeping bag and warm clothes are essential since the mountain gets colder as you ascend, warm clothes like stockings, pairs of pants, and more.

A camera captures great moments in the form of photos and binoculars to magnify distant objects.

A torch is also important to pack in your bag since there is use of solar energy in the mountain which may not be reliable all the time. You need a torch to give you light in the walkways to the bathroom and maybe the kitchen.

How to reach Mount Nyiragongo?

It's not a challenging journey to reach Mount Nyiragongo. The best route is from Kigali Airport in Rwanda. Head to DR Congo, crossing through the Gisenyi border, and in about 30 30-minute drive, you will have arrived in Goma which is 20km away from Nyiragongo.