Guide to Hiking Mount Nyiragongo in Eastern Congo


Looking to Hiking Mount Nyiragongo in Eastern Congo? Here is a complete guide to planning a hiking expedition to Nyiragongo, one of the few active volcanoes in Africa.

Mount Nyiragongo is a spectacular strato volcano that hosts one of the world’s largest and rarest lava lakes, making it one of Africa’s most exciting and rewarding hiking experiences. Lava lakes are without a doubt one of the most impressive forms of volcanic activity that any outdoors enthusiast could hope to witness. Once you have reached the summit on your Mount Nyiragongo climb, you will be able to observe its bubbling lava cauldron (from a safe distance) and feel this volcano’s energy, as it heaves and breathes. An overnight stay at Mount Nyiragongo crater edge will allow you to enjoy this spectacle in the dark, but also at dawn and dusk when its alluring beauty is enhanced.

How the Hike is Planned

After an early wake-up call, breakfast and a swift transfer to the Rwanda/Congo border post, you will cross into the Democratic Republic of Congo and drive on towards the Kibati patrol post at the base of Mount Nyiragongo, a mere 50km outside Goma. After a safety debrief and final check of everyone’s packs and equipment you begin the climb towards Mount Nyiragongo summit. The party will be lead and escorted by a set of rangers/guides and a small contingent of porters.

For the first two hours of the walk you will traverse a lush pristine forest, where towering trees offer a welcome shelter from the sun until you emerge from the forest onto a small plateau with commanding views that stretch towards the infinite horizon, with Lake Kivu, Bukavu, Rwanda and Burundi at your feet. You are now standing on the lava flow remnants of Mount Nyiragongo 2002 eruption. From here on, the climbing trail becomes firmer and the forest gives way to several swathes of recovering heath with vegetation dominated by ferns, sedges, heather and everlastings.  Shortly after noon, you will reach Mount Nyiragongo crater and your overnight cabins. The remainder of the afternoon will be spent exploring the craters edge and soaking in the surrounding views and Mount Nyiragongo bewitching lava cauldron. Fortunately your guides know exactly how to reach the best observation and photogenic spots safely. When everyone has had enough, the party will return to camp to settle into their cabins, rest and enjoy an early supper.

At 18h00 you will return to a designated spot at the craters edge to gaze and appreciate again Mount Nyiragongo molten Lava Lake. In the dark of night one is able to appreciate better the dark crusty surface of Lava, spliced and splitting into ever changing plates. As the plates separate, bright orange lava fill the cracks and a fantastic spider-web pattern emerges. Every now and then fountains of lava flare up disrupting these pretty patterns, but adding a surge of dynamism and power to this spectacular sight.  Sometimes, fountains appear throughout the crust like a collection of campfires, creating yet another fascinating show and if you want to experience this amazing adventure in Africa take the Rwanda Gorilla & Nyiragongo Hiking Tours in DRC Congo.

Frequently Asked Questions about Planning a Hiking Trip to Nyiragongo

Is it Safe to Climb Mount Nyiragongo?

What is the Best Time to Visit Nyiragongo?

What Degree of Fitness is Need to Hike the Nyiragongo Volcanoes?

Which Companies can I book With?


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