Congo

3 Days Mount Nyiragongo Hiking in Congo

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Duration
3 days
Max People
100
Min Age
10+
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Description

3 days Mount Nyiragongo volcano hike takes you to the see the only volcano with a lava lake and where tourists can pay to observe a boiling Magma Lake. Mount Nyiragongo is an active volcano found at the Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Virunga National Park is the oldest in Africa. At one time, the park extended as far as the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga National Park. Virunga is home to the rare okapi, Mountain gorillas, Bongo antelopes, lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, chimpanzee and countless birds. Because of its incredible biodiversity, the park is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Unfortunately, because of political instability in Congo, much of the has not been explored fully by international tourists. If total peace prevailed in the country, the number of visitors to the park would be astronomical. Even with the current situation and periodic Ebola outbreaks, the park receives thousands of international visitors every year. The key attractions are the mountain gorillas and the boiling lava on top of the Nyiragongo volcano.

The 2-kilometer crater on top of Mount Nyiragongo is the world’s largest lava lake. Most of Africa’s recent volcanic eruptions have come from Mount Nyiragongo and the neighboring mount Nyamuragira. It is not clear when the volcano had its first eruption but geologists trace the first eruption to 1882. There have been times when an eruption went on for years. In the 1997 and 2002 eruptions, liquid lava suddenly flowed from the volcano at great speed killing many people and displacing hundreds of thousands of residents around Goma town. Despite the lurking danger, Mount Nyiragongo is perhaps the only active volcano open to tourism in the world at the moment. There is no danger of a devastating eruption any time soon because the volcano has been calm since 2002. If you are among the lucky ones to hike the mountain, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the boiling lava from a safe distance.

Our 3 Days Nyiragongo package is very popular but if you already in Goma town or are interested in a shorter trip starting from the town.

The cost of the 3 days Nyiragongo volcano hike will include: –

  1. Airport transfers
  2. An English-speaking driver/guide
  3. The Nyiragongo volcano Hike
  4. The Nyiragongo Hiking package (fees, Guide/Ranger and porters to carry supplies)
  5. Bottled water and lunch while traveling
  6. Transport in 4X4 vehicle
  7. Accommodation and meals

The cost of the 3 days Nyiragongo hike excludes: –

  1. International flights and Visas
  2. Personal expenses on laundry, crafts, drinks, cigars, souvenirs and tips.
  3. Personal Porters to carry your back pack and heavy cameras. The Chef and Porters to carry supplies are covered in the tour cost.

ACCOMMODATION

Mikeno Lodge: Mikeno Lodge is built within a forest with great views of the Albertine Rift, the Nyiragongo and Mikeno volcanoes. It takes about 90 minutes of driving to reach the lodge from Goma town. Mikeno lodge is the best luxury lodge in Virunga National Park and surrounding area. It is owned by the Virunga Foundation. The lodge offers beautiful self-contained cottages made of lava stones and thatched roofs. Each room has. Other amenities include free Wi-Fi, a restaurant and a full stocked bar. Guests can take nature walks within the lodge premises to admire blue monkeys, chimpanzees, L’hoest’s monkeys Colobus monkeys, baboons and birds. One of the advantages of booking with Mikeno lodge is the opportunity to visit the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage a short distance away.

Kibumba tented camp: Kibumba Tented Camp is the closest lodge to the Nyiragongo hike starting point. It is a mid-range lodge hence very budget friendly. Kibumba offers 18 self-contained tents that can accommodate up to 36 people. Each tent is well set with a private bathroom, a large bed, working desk and a shower. They have a resident chief who prepares tasty meals for both lunch and supper. If you want to drink something, you can just go to the bar and order for alcoholic or soft drinks. Kibumba is close to Goma town and is highly recommended for those who are planning to hike the mountain.

Bukima Tented Camp: Bukima Tented Camp is an optional mid-range lodge located at the edge of the park – next to the starting point for gorilla trekking. It was initially built to house researchers in the park but is now used by tourists who are interested in gorilla trekking. Bukima Tented Camp comprises of plush platform tents with a bed, wardrobe, working desk, shower and other furnishings. Each tent offers majestic views of the park, the Nyiragongo and Mikeno volcanoes. At night, the beautiful glow of the Nyiragongo Volcano paints the sky red. Bukima is also special because Mountain gorillas can be spotted within or around the Camp on a lucky day. Gorilla trekking starts right from this camp, implying that you get to meet most of the tourists residing in the other lodges.

Highlights

Tour Plan

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Day 1 Pickup – Kigali City Tour – Transfer from Kigali to Congo

Our company driver will pick you up from the airport or your hotel in Kigali. If you arrive early, you will have an opportunity to go for the Kigali city tour before the transfer to Congo. Kigali is relatively small when compared to other African cities but it stands out because of its neat streets and beautiful hills. During your tour of the city, you will visit the genocide memorial sites, the presidential palace museum, the main city market and artisan shops. The Guide will then start the journey from Kigali to the Goma border crossing via Lake Kivu.  The journey from Kigali to the Congo border crossing will provide you an opportunity to see Rwanda’s beautiful countryside (Green tea plantations, rolling hills, smiling locals and the beautiful Lake Kivu). You will have lunch by the Lake Kivu or at a hotel restaurant next to the border crossing. Once you are done with lunch, you will go to the border offices to clear with immigration. Your Congo Visa should be in the system but you will also need to have your yellow fever card and passport before being allowed to cross to Congo. Once your documents have been checked, you will cross to the Congo side and find a team from Virunga National Park waiting to transfer you to your lodge.

Dinner and overnight will be in Kibumba Tented Camp (Mid-range), Bukima Tented Camp (Mid-range) of Mikeno Lodge (Luxury).

Day 2: Nyiragongo Hike – Observing the Lava Lake

You will wake up and take early morning breakfast as you wait to be taken to the park offices for registration and the briefing about Nyiragongo Hiking at the Kibatsi village (The Nyiragongo hike starting point). You will meet many other hikers the starting point. This is the time to hire any porters to If you have slower hikers in your group, do not expect to leave them behind until you reach the last section of the hike. As you head towards the volcano, you will notice that the lower slopes are full of lush green rain-forest. These forests are home to mammals, birds, small primates and rare plant – Take advantage of it. To be specific, look out for chimpanzees, monkeys and antelopes. You will begin to notice that there is less vegetation as you head upwards. Much of the vegetation was destroyed by hot lave during the last eruption. The lack of vegetation is a good thing because it allows you to the surrounding landscape including the Virunga National Park, the Rwenzori Mountains, other Virunga Volcanoes, Goma town, Kahuzi Biega National Park and Lake Kivu. Hiking mount Nyiragongo takes between 4 – 5 hours depending on the overall fitness of the hiking group. Remember that no group member is left behind during the hike. Expect to reach the top when it is almost getting dark. You will go straight to marvel at the amazing boiling lava lake. Your dinner and overnight will be at the summit in cabins.

Day 3: Descend the Nyiragongo volcano and head back to Kigali.

After observing the volcano and partying with other hikers during the night, it’s time to depart. Wake up early and take breakfast prepared by the porters. Descending the Volcano starts at 8am. If you never had the time to have sustained views of the beautiful landscape in Virunga National Park because you were too tired, this is the time. Once you reach the base, you will be transferred to the Congo Rwanda border crossing. This time you will be dealing with officials from Rwanda. They will ask you to pay for another Rwanda Visa in order to cross back at a cost of $30. Our office guide will be waiting for you from the Rwanda side to start the journey to Kigali. If you never toured Kigali on the first day of the tour, this is the time to do so.

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