How to get to Mount Nyiragongo
How to get to Mount Nyiragongo? Mountain Nyiragongo is one of the 8 Virunga volcanoes that is located within Virunga national park. Mountain Nyiragongo is situated 19kms north of Goma city near the borders of Rwanda. Mountain Nyiragongo can be accessed by using air transport or road transport from Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda. To use air transport to Mount Nyiragongo, you can fly to Kigali international airport and from there get chartered flights to Gisenyi airstrip where you will use road transport to Goma border. From the border, you will be picked up by drivers from Virunga national park who will transport you to the park or lodge.
Travelers from different parts of the world can still fly to Jomo Kenyatta international airport where they can use the Jambo jet to access Nyiragongo. Jambi jet takes 2 hours to get to Goma international airport where a driver from Virunga national park will be waiting for you to transport you to Virunga national park or booked accommodation. From Goma town, you will take about 1 hour to get to Nyiragongo volcano in Virunga national park.
Nyiragongo volcano can still be accessed using road transport. Travelers can fly into Kigali international airport. Your safari driver guide will be readily waiting for you and they will transfer you to Gisenyi where you will use Le Grand Barrier border to cross to DR Congo. Travelers accessing Nyiragongo volcano from Uganda will have to drive to Kisoro and cross to Goma using Bunagana borders. There you will present your visa card, yellow fever vaccination card, and passport to be allowed in the country. From the border, you will be transferred to the volcano or accommodation booked by the drivers from Virunga national park.
Hiking mountain Nyiragongo
Hiking mountain Nyiragongo starts with a briefing at the park offices early in the morning. The hikers are picked up from their lodges by the drivers after they have finished their breakfast. The hikers first go through a briefing from the park wardens where they learn about the rules and regulations of the hiking activity.
After the briefing, armed ranger guides lead the hikers through the trails that lead to the summit. Hikers that have heavy luggage can hire the porters at a fee from the starting point to carry them luggage throughout the hike. The hiking activity takes you through different vegetation covers, steep slopes, and rugged terrain.
While hiking there are chances of meeting some of the wild animals such as chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, duikers, bushbucks, warthogs, olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, waterbucks, kobs, topis, okapi, aardvark, buffaloes, leopards, elephants, birds such as cardinal woodpecker, banded prinia, grey-headed negrofinch, hadeda ibis, mountain green bull among others.
Hiking Nyiragongo takes 5-6 hours of having different stopovers for relaxation, drinking water, and having energy-giving snacks. At the summit of Mountain Nyiragongo you will find a large lava lake, you will have great views of the surrounding areas such as Virunga national park, Goma city, Kahuzi Biega national park, Virunga volcanoes, Mountain Rwenzori, Lake Kivu, plantations, and surrounding homesteads.
Overnight will be spent at the summit of the volcano which has 12 summit cabins that can accommodate over 24 people. In the morning, you will wake up to a morning breakfast to realize you from the cold and join your group to descend down the mountain. Descending Nyiragongo is faster and it takes 3 hours of meeting park animals, birds, and vegetation.
How much is hiking Mount Nyiragongo?
Permits for Nyiragongo national park are got from a trusted local tour or direct from Virunga national park offices. A single hiking permit for Nyiragongo volcano costs $300 per person per hike. Hikers are advised to book these hiking permits in advance of 3-4 months before arriving into the country to avoid inconveniences although these permits can still be got on the final day of hiking.
What to pack for Mount Nyiragongo?
There are so many essentials needed for Nyiragongo volcano hiking but we are going to look at the most important ones and these include Waterproof hiking shoes, long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, rain jacket, gardening gloves, sleeping bag, cotton stocks, backpack, a pair of gaiters, insect repellents, drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, a camera, a pair of binoculars, face mask, sanitizer, and first aid kit.
What is the most appropriate time to visit Mount Nyiragongo?
Mount Nyiragongo can be visited at any time of the year however there are certain months that are better than the rest and these are the dry months. The dry months are characterized by little or no rainfall and they occur from June to September and December to February. During the dry months, the hiking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is thin with clear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Hikers can as well visit Mount Nyiragongo in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. Hikers need to know that during the rainy season, there is plenty of rainfall that makes the hiking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is thick with unclear views of animals and the roads leading to the park are impassable.
Accommodation during Mount Nyiragongo hike
There are Nyiragongo summit shelters at the summit of the volcano that hikers do use when they spend an overnight stay at the volcano and there are other accommodation facilities that are around Virunga national park that hikers can use while on a safari. These accommodation facilities include Lulimbi Tented Camp, Bukima Tented Camp, Mikeno Lodge, Tchegera Island, Kibumba Tented Camp, and much more.