Is it safe to hike Mount Nyiragongo?
Is it safe to hike Mount Nyiragongo? It’s known to the world that DR Cong is among the unsafe countries to travel to in Africa. The Democratic Republic of Congo is not stable at the moment but there are some parts of the country that are safe to be in. But Nyiragongo is one of the safest places in DR Congo because it’s within Virunga national park and it’s a tourist area for hikers.
Most of the tourist places in DR Congo are very safe and areas around the cities as well as the borders. There are security personnel in most of the places in DR Congo and these do protect the local people and tourists from rebels. Travelers to Mountain Nyiragongo are always picked by the army security from the border or from the airport to Virunga national park.
Yes, hiking Mountain Nyiragongo is very safe in Virunga national park, the activity is led by the armed ranger guides that lead the hikers to the summit while protecting them from wild animals and rebels. Mountain Nyiragongo is 3470 meters high and it takes 5-6 hours to make it to the summit depending on the nature of the slopes and the speed of trekkers.
Hiking mountain Nyiragongo
Hiking mountain Nyiragongo is a 2 days activity that starts from the Kibati patrol post early in the morning. The hikers will have to wake up for morning breakfast and then meet the driver guide to transfer them to the briefing point. At Kibati patrol post, there are armed ranger guides that teach the hikers about the rules and regulations of the hiking activity, the time taken to get to the summit, and other relevant information.
After the briefing, armed ranger guides lead the group through different hiking trails until they reach the summit. Hiking Mountain Nyiragongo is not for the weak, you need to be physically fit to make it to the summit as the journey takes you through different altitudes, steep slopes, and rugged terrain. The higher you go on Mountain Nyiragongo the steeper the slopes get.
However, after 5-6 hours of passing through difficult terrain, you will enjoy the great views of the largest lava lake at the summit, see boiling lava, take pictures, and record videos. At the summit of Nyiragongo, you will have great views of Mountain Rwenzori, other Virunga volcanoes, Virunga national park, lake Kivu, homesteads, and plantations.
After enjoying the summit views, you get to spend the night at the Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelters and in the morning, you will wake up morning breakfast to warm you up from the coldness, and then join your group again to descend back the mountain. Descending Mountain Nyiragongo takes 3 hours and while doing so there are some of the park animals you meet such as elephants, okapis, mongoose, lions, buffaloes, bongo, mongoose, birds, and different vegetation cover
How much is hiking Mountain Nyiragongo
Mountain Nyiragongo hiking permits do cost $300 per person per hike at all seasons of the year. The hiking permit price includes accommodation at the summit and ranger guide fees but excludes transport to the park. The hiking permits are sold to persons above the age of 15 years and they can be got from Virunga national park offices or a trusted local tour operator. Hikers are normally advised to book the hiking permits for Mountain Nyiragongo in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconveniences
What to pack for Mountain Nyiragongo hike?
There is a lot you can pack for Mountain Nyiragongo hiking but we are going to look at the most essential items you don’t have to leave behind. Some of the necessary items you need for Nyiragongo hiking include waterproof hiking boots, a pair of gaiters, gardening gloves, cotton stocks, scarf, long-sleeved pants, l0ong sleeved shirts, rain jacket, camera, a pair of binoculars, sleeping bag, insect repellents, facemask, sanitizer, first aid kit, drinking water bottle, and energy-giving snacks.
Getting to Mountain Nyiragongo
Travelers can get to Mountain Nyiragongo using air transport from Rwanda or Kenya. From Rwanda, travelers can use chattered flights to Gisenyi airstrip where they will drive for a short time to Congo Rwanda birder and cross to Virunga national park. Those from Kenya can use Jambo jet from Jomo Kenyatta airstrip to Goma international airport. From the airport, they will be drive for 1 hour to Virunga national park where Mountain Nyiragongo is located.
Best time to hike Mountain Nyiragongo
Mountain Nyiragongo can be hiked at all times of the year but there are certain months that are proved to be better than the rest. The drier months are the best for Nyiragongo hiking and they do occur from June to September and December to February. During the dry months, the hiking trails are less muddy, vegetation is short with clear views of the animals and surrounding places, and the roads leading to the mountain are passable.
Hikers can still try out Nyiragongo volcano in the rainy season of much to May and October to November so as to benefit from huge discounts on accommodation facilities. However, during the rainy season, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is short is tall with unclear views of animals and surrounding areas, and the roads leading to the park are impassable.
Accommodation during Mountain Nyiragongo hiking tour
During the Mountain Nyiragongo hiking tour, hikers don’t have to worry about where they will stay because there are shelters at the summit of the volcano and Virunga national park alone has different accommodation facilities spread around the park. The lodges to use during the Mountain Nyiragongo hiking safari include Lulimbi Tented Camp, Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelters, Bukima Tented Camp, Mikeno Lodge, Tchegera Island, Kibumba Tented Camp, and much more.