Can you visit mount nyiragongo now?
Can you visit mount Nyiragongo now? Yes, hikers can visit mount Nyiragongo now because the volcano is hiked all year round. There are two seasons at Mountain Nyiragongo and these are the dry season characterized by little or no rainfall and the rainy season characterized by heavy rainfall. Most hikers try Mount Nyiragongo in the dry season but a few especially the budget travelers hike this volcano in the rainy seasons to enjoy huge discounts on the accommodation facilities and other activities they can combine with the hiking activity.
Mount Nyiragongo is the only mountain in Africa where hikers are able to see the lava lake up close. Nyiragongo volcano is located in DR Congo in the central part of Africa. The volcano is right inside Virunga national park home of 20 primates including mountain gorillas, 216 mammals, and 706 bird species. Nyiragongo volcano is the second-highest mountain in Virunga national park with an elevation of 3,470 meters above sea level. Other mountains are Mount Mikeno and mount Nyamuragira and all these can be hiked in a period of 5-6 hours.
Hiking Nyiragongo volcano now
Hiking Mount Nyiragongo is not challenging as you might think if you do exercise in advance but it can be a difficult one for those that are not physically fit and not in good shape. The hiking activity starts with a briefing at Kibati ranger post where hikers join and listen to what the wardens have to say. Here they are taught about the rules and regulations of the hiking activity.
Armed ranger guides lead the hikers through the quickest trails on the volcano protecting them from wild animals and rebels. Hikers go through different segments when climbing Nyiragongo volcano, they go through the easy areas at the low altitude, loose lava rocks, slippery stones, and much more. Hiking trails become steeper when you are about to reach the summit but eventually, you do make it to the top.
During ascending and descending mount Nyiragongo, there are opportunities of meeting some of the park mammals, primates, birds, and different vegetation covers. You will need long-sleeved clothes and keep your equipment in a waterproof backpack because at the summit there are always few droplets of rainfall even if it’s a rainy season.
At the summit, there is a boiling lava lake you can spot from a distance, take photos, and record videos, you will be able to have a view of the surrounding area such as Virunga national park, Virunga volcanoes, mountain Rwenzori, Goma city, Lake Kivu, and so many other things. The night is spent at the summit where 12 shelters were constructed each containing 2 single beds. In the morning you will have breakfast to relieve you from coldness and later you will join your group and descend.
What are the requirements needed to visit mount Nyiragongo?
To visit Nyiragongo volcano, you need a hiking permit that you will present at the park offices, you need a Congo visa to allow you to cross to DR Congo, you need a national identity card or passport that matches your permit details, and you also need a yellow fever vaccination card because Virunga national park has vector aedes aegypti mosquito present in its thick forest cover.
How much is a permit for Mount Nyiragongo?
To be able to join other hikers on Mount Nyiragongo, you need to get a hiking permit. This can be got from Virunga national park offices or booked in advance by a trusted local tour operator. Nyiragongo hiking permits cost $300 per person and the permit is used for one hike. The hiking permit fees for mount Nyiragongo do include accommodation at the summit and ranger guide fees only.
What you need to pack for a visit to mount Nyiragongo?
There are so many you need for Nyiragongo visit now but we are to look at the most important ones to give you the best of the safari. The packing list for Nyiragongo includes waterproof hiking shoes, a pair of gaiters, cotton stocks, long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, rain jacket, a hat, sunscreen, a sleeping bag, a camera, a pair of binoculars, backpack, insect repellents, drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, facemask, sanitizer, and first aid kit.
Best time to hike mount Nyiragongo
Although mount Nyiragongo can be hiked at any time of the year, there are months that are better than the rest and hikers have recommended fellow hikers to visit the volcano in such months. These months are the dry months and they do occur from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall and this leaves the hiking trails less muddy hence not slowing down the speed of hikers, the vegetation is thin with unclear views of the park animals and surrounding areas and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Hikers can still try Virunga national park in the rainy seasons of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. Hikers should note that in the rainy season, there is plenty of rainfall that makes the hiking trails muddy and slippery and this lowers the speed of hikers, the vegetation is thick with unclear views of animals, the summit has snow with unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the Virunga national park are impassable.
Getting to mount Nyiragongo now
Getting to Nyiragongo volcano in Virunga national park can be done by either road transport or air transport depending on your budget. Travelers using air transport to Virunga national park will fly to Jomo Kenyatta airstrip and use Jambo jets which fly to Goma international airport on some weekdays. From Goma, you do drive for a short distance to Virunga national park where you connect to Mount Nyiragongo volcano.
Travelers using road transport can access mountain Nyiragongo using Uganda Congo border or Congo Rwanda border. Travelers from Kigali will drive to Gisenyi town and cross to Virunga national park using Goma birder and those from Uganda will drive to Kisoro and cross to DR Congo using Bunagana border. From the birders, security patrols will escort you to your booked accommodation or Virunga national park where you will connect to mountain Nyiragongo.