2 Days Nyiragongo Hiking Tour – Starting From Goma Congo or Rwanda


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This 2 days Nyiragongo Hike tour takes you Virunga National Park in the Congo for an amazing time viewing a boiling lava lake. Mountains with lava lakes at the summit are very few in the world. Most are not open to tourism except for research purposes in very controlled conditions. The Nyiragongo volcano is very special because it is the only one in Africa were tourists can pay to observe boiling magma up-close. The mountain is found in the eastern part of the Congo, 17 km away from Goma town and in Virunga National Park.

Virunga National Park is known around the world as one of the last strongholds for the endangered mountain gorilla. It is a world heritage site with many of Africa’s famous mammals including the rare okapi and bongo antelope. As the oldest national park in Congo and Africa, Virunga was once larger than it is today. At that time, it was merged with the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and parts of Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. The park is made up of mostly rain-forest, lakes, rivers, savanna grasslands and 3 volcanoes. The key attractions in the park are hiking mountain Nyiragongo and gorilla trekking.

Mount Nyiragongo is 3,470m high and is one of the 8 making up the Virunga chain of volcanoes. Others include Mikeno, Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo. Nyiragongo is one of the most active volcanoes in the world with a crater that is about 2 km wide. The Volcano has erupted over 30 times but the most recent eruptions where in 1882, 1977, 1994 and 2002. The eruption in 2002 was so fast that it flowed up to Lake Kivu and Goma town in only a few minutes. The eruption displaced thousands of people while also leaving many dead and properties destroyed. During this last eruption, the lava lake was drained for a short while but refilled after a few weeks. Mount Nyiragongo is not about to erupt soon and remains calm and safe for tourism.

Our 2 days Nyiragongo Volcano Hike starts from Goma or Kigali in Rwanda depending on circumstances. It is one of the best packages we offer because it offers travelers a very unique experience. Nyiragongo volcano hiking can be combined with gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park for a truly unforgettable experience.

The 2 days Nyiragongo hike tour includes:

  1. The Nyiragongo hiking permit
  2. The Congo Visa (Will depend on whether you are arriving from Congo or Rwanda)
  3. Transport to and from the Volcano
  4. The Nyiragongo Package which includes porters to help with carrying supplies and someone to prepare food while at the summit.

The tour excludes: –

  1. Porters to carry your personal stuff
  2. Gratuities/tips to porters, rangers and park guides
  3. Personal expenses like alcoholic drinks and cigars


  1. Hiking mount Nyiragongo is organized throughout the year and the park is currently very safe to visit.
  2. This tour can also start from Gisenyi or Kigali in Rwanda. Excellent African Safaris will help process the Visa through the Virunga National Park. The cost of the Visa processing is included in the price of the overall tour. It is important to have a yellow fever vaccination card before arriving in Congo.
  3. Climbing up and down the volcano can be very strenuous although the trails are not so steep compared to other mountains in the area. With that in mind, this tour is not recommended for pregnant mothers, those with back problems or serious medical conditions.
  4. Expect a personal cook among the porters moving with you to the summit. You will be provided with a lunch package, a sleeping bag and warm fleece.
  5. In order to have the best possible hiking experience, it is important to pack a rain coat, a hat, night torch, a camera, extra clothes, binoculars, sun cream, toiletries, proper hiking boots and a walking stick.


Mikeno Lodge: Mikeno is the only true luxury lodge built within the Virunga National Park. It is managed by the park and was built to offer high quality services offered close to the park offices. Guests who book with Mikeno Lodge have an opportunity to visit the nearby Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Centre. This Centre was established to take care of orphaned mountain gorillas. It is the only one of its kind in the word. Visits to the Centre are usually arranged late in the afternoon after the completion of gorilla trekking or Hiking Mount Nyiragongo.

How are the rooms? Mikeno has 12 large cottages made of lava stone and thatched roofs. The rooms are built on top of a hill overlooking a forest/valley with amazing views of Mount Nyiragongo and Mikeno. Each room are self-contained (showers, stone baths, open fires for warmth, verandahs and quality furniture) with modern and local Congolese decorations. Colobus Monkeys, chimpanzees and other park animals visit the lodge premises occasionally making for very interesting observations while relaxing at the verandah of your room. The lodge also has a separate bar, restaurant and lounge area.

Kibumba Tented Camp: This is a recently built mid-range lodge inside the Virunga National Park. Like Mikeno, it also has excellent views of the park, Virunga volcanoes and other points of interest. The lodge has 18 self-contained tents with the capacity to take in 36 people. Each tent is self-contained with warm showers, bathrooms, a large bed and furniture. Although the lodge is not built close to the park offices or the Senkwekwe Centre, the lodge is very close to the Goma/Rwanda border crossing and the Nyiragongo hiking point. Kibumba offers all that one would need for comfortable time in Virunga National Park while remaining affordable. They also have great food, a bar and a central lounge where guests meet to share amazing stories of their time in Africa.

Tchegera Island Tented Camp: This is an amazing mid-range lodge built on the shores of Lake Kivu and is also managed by the Virunga National Park. The lodge offers good quality self-contained tents and is excellent for relaxation after completing activities in the park. It also offers a level of privacy because of its location in a secluded island.

Guests can tour the island more closely using a kayak or paddle board after completing activities like gorilla trekking or Nyiragongo Hiking in the park. Birders and those who love beautiful nature will not be disappointed while at the island. They can go out for a simple walk and look out for herons, African Eagles, gulls and cormorants. In the evenings, all residents gather on the shores of the Lake to relax by the Lake shores/beach while marveling at the red sky as a result of the lava lake spewing from mount Nyiragongo.

  • The Nyiragongo hiking permit
  • The Congo Visa (Will depend on whether you are arriving from Congo or Rwanda)
  • Transport to and from the Volcano
  • The Nyiragongo Package which includes porters to help with carrying supplies and someone to prepare food while at the summit.

Tour Plan

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Day 1 Pickup – Briefing – Ascending the Volcano

Our Driver will pick you up at 7 am from Gisenyi in Rwanda or Goma town in Congo and take you to the gathering point in Kibati by 8 am. The briefing point for hiking mount Nyiragongo is relatively close to the Congo Rwanda border crossing. On arrival, you will be registered and given the Nyiragongo permit. This is the time to hire a personal porter. A porter costs between 10 to 15 US Dollars in cash. After the briefing, you will head out to the mountain slopes along with your personal porter and those carrying supplies (water, food etc.).

Climbing to the top of the volcano takes between 3 to 6 hours depending on how fit and fast the team is.  By 5 pm, you should have reached the summit. The hike is divided into 4 major sections and gets tougher as one gets close to the summit. For the first three sections, the entire group moves as one with no one left behind. Should there be a slow hiker, the group has to wait for him/her. It is only after the 3rd section that faster hikers may leave the slower one behind. By this time the remaining distance is short and anyone left behind is expected to catch up.

Once you reach the summit, you will be shown your room from among the cabins. The cabins are built on a rim just above the lava lake. The cabin has a bed, mattress and warm bed sheets but we recommended that you bring your own sleeping bag if possible. The Guides will take you to a safe spot to admire the boiling magma for as long as you wish. The lava lake glows majestically in the night and witnessing such a spectacle can be very overwhelming.  Although the smoke and amazing fires can also be observed during the day, the spectacle at night is incredible.

Day 2: Descend the Nyiragongo Volcano – Depart

After spending the whole night and morning hours marveling at the lava lake, it’s time to descend the mountain. Wake up at 5:30 am and take breakfast from the summit as you wait to begin the descent at 6:30 am. Descending is much easier and takes a shorter time (2 to 3 hours). As you climb down the mountain, take time to admire the vegetation, lava soils and amazing Virunga volcanoes in the horizon. Apart from mountains, you will have more sustained views of the vast Virunga national park, Kahuzi Biega National Park, the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Mgahinga National Park and off course the amazing lake Kivu. On reaching the starting point at Kibati Patrol post, you will find the driver waiting to transfer you to Goma, Gisenyi or Kigali in Rwanda. If time permits, the drive can take you for an extensive tour of the town of Goma.

End of the 2 days Nyiragongo Hike.

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