Mount Nyiragongo is an active volcano in Africa and the largest in the world located within Virunga Mountain Ranges in the Democratic Republic of Congo a few meters away from the north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu. Mount Nyiragongo is at an elevation of 3,470 meters in the Virunga mountain ranges at Albertine Rift valley and its main crater is about 2 kilometers wide and generally contains a lava lake. More so the crater has two cooled lava benches within the crater walls of which one part is about 3,175 meters and another one measures 2,975 meters. Recently a low elevation of the lava lake was measuring 2700 meters, Mount Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira both are accountable to be 40% of Africa’s historical volcanic eruption. It is close to Virunga National Park and so you can decide to do gorilla trekking after or before visiting mount Nyiragongo.

Mount Nyiragongo

However, the volcano extends over with two older volcanoes commonly known as Barata and Shaheru not only these two but also is surrounded by hundreds of small volcanos. This is a lava lake that was made of mineral rock from nephelinite, an alkali-rich type of volcanic rock to the uncommon chemical composition that may be a factor in the fluidity of the lava. Besides that, it is the most molten rock that is generated by geothermal energy that moves fairly slow at the rare pose which is dangerous to human life.

It is noted that geographers have failed to know how long this volcano has been erupting in the ancient years, including many periods where activity was constantly for years to form consorting lava lake in the crater. Though the reality of the lava lake was imposed for some time but still was not confirmed till 1948. In 1948 this lava lake was measuring at closely 120,000 square meters and its successive expeditions showed that the lava lake differs in size, depth, and temperature over time. When compare for today’s lava lake it is just unbelievable reducing from 120,0000 to 3470square meters in elevation.

Unfortunately, there was a volcano that was realized in the southern flank of Goma and it was measuring 13 kilometers spreading from a few hours from 2800 meter and reduced to 1550meter elevation reaching the suburb of Goma and outlying capital on the northern shore of lake kivu. During that time people were warned and about 400,000 people had to shift from Goma town to Rwanda border into the neighboring Gisenyi throughout the eruption. Lava covered the northern end of the runway at Goma International Airport displayed the southern part of Goma and ended up damaging it. A number of people got scared by that time thinking that the lava might cause carbon dioxide as well as methane which might instantly rise on the surface.

Suddenly, at the beginning of 2002 the lava lake erupted leaving 245 people dead from choke by carbon dioxide and building were destroyed due to the cracking wall of the lava and heavy earth quark left about 120,000 people homeless. However, that very time when the eruption stopped heavy number of earthquakes continued to happen in Goma and Gisenyi. This difficult activity persisted for about 3 months and destroying more builds in the area. Traveller you should not get scared about this eruption this used to happen during those ancient years but   now the situation was sorted out by the volcanolists who are in charge of monitoring this area almost per month. And this is the place where you can go and experience more with your own eyes which can be a witness to you.

Mount Nyiragongo climbing or hiking.

Mount Nyiragongo is full of wonderful sightseeing around with a unique volcano that features the world’s largest lava lake. When you reach here you can get to have a great view of a variety of primates such as chimpanzees, monkeys and many more. However, Mount Nyiragongo some time is feared due to eruption that occurs because of the low silica that flows extremely in fluid. A number of travelers have visited this place and they have engaged in the most emotional experience that is to say trekking at the summit of Nyiragongo volcano which normally begins at the kibati patrol post. It may take 30 minutes by drive from Goma and one hour from Rumangobo. This amazing activity is being led by you with the park rangers to all treks and porters are always here for hire .Each group to participate in trekking it determines on the average time requested to reach the summit which can last 4 to 6hours.Climbing at the summit usually begins at 10:00am at the ranger station . You should keep time for the Checking in at kibati station which cannot be late than 9:15am on the day of your hiking .However ,ranger escorts ,porters and guides work together to make sure that the Mount Nyiragongo hiking is properly done, on daily bases through going in natural hardships such as harsh weather, sharp rock, rough terrain and they are an essential part to the conservation of Nyiragongo. The guides and porters are good in narrating their great experience about hiking at the summit to the hikers or travelers which makes the hiking activity more enjoyable.

Trekking fee: International adults pay USD300 and USD90 for the national.

Landscape viewing

These include the great viewing of Rwenzori mountain, snow summits, the volcanoes in the Virunga conservation area together with the Afro-alpine vegetation of tree ferns and the thick forests. The views provide tourists with marvelous experience in Virunga national park.

Since mount Nyiragongo is located within Virunga national park, tourists can also be able to be part of unforgettable experiences such as gorilla trekking the most enjoyable activity above all, chimpanzee habituation, birding, visiting senkwekwe orphanage center, nature walks and many more.

You should book for mount Nyiragongo hiking permits in advance to a known tour operator with a registered tour company. 

A view of Nyiragongo from Goma Town
A view of Nyiragongo from Goma Town

Things to carry for your hiking safari at mount Nyiragongo include Your identification documents such as passport, VISA,Travel insurance, Hiking boots, Hiking gaiters, sticks, and bicycle arm warmers are also helpful, Hand gloves to protect you from sharp stones and also make you warm, Clear camera with a fully charged battery, warm clothes and rain gears such as waterproof hiking pants, pairs of stockings, Carry energy snacks and mineral water bottle, Strong walking sticks are also necessary to balance on slippery ground.

Travelers must be in good health and able to hike the summit of mount Nyiragongo.

Mount Nyiragongo hiking is one of the most privileged highlights in life and to enjoy this activity, endeavor to carry your person necessities. Because this saves on the weight of luggage you’re to carry to the summit and reduces the number of porters you might hire. You should be extremely careful about your luggage because hikers are from different backgrounds while gazing at the volcano in the night.

The best time to visit mount Nyiragongo is all year round but most especially in the dry months starting from June to September and December to February.

Mount Nyiragongo is surrounded with beautiful lodges for the tourists to sleep and these include; Bukima Tented camp, Lulimbi Tented camp, La kivu lodge, Kibumba Tented Camp, Mikeno lodge, Ihusi hotel, and Nyiragongo summit camp.

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