Are you an adventurous tourist? Do you love hiking or mountaineering? Have you ever heard about fiery volcano mountains in Africa? Nyiragongo Volcano is one of the most active volcanic mountains in African continent. The Nyiragongo Mountain is among the eight great volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains and it contains one of the largest lava lakes on its crater.
This volcano is situated adjacent Goma Town, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Nyiragongo’s summit has got a one lkm wide caldera. The summit expands about 2000 meters above the level of Lake Kivu. Nyiragongo volcano also contains other peaks like Baruta (3100 meters) and Shaheru (2800 meters). This volcano is believed to have erupted for about 34 times since 1882 and hence it is recognized for over 40% of the previous volcano eruptions in African continent. The Lava eruption impacts are characterized by fluid state which is made of Melilite Nephelinite. The lave flow caused a negative impact on human life as result of silica content which is contained in it and communities adjacent to this volcano have been victimized for instance the 1977 eruption claimed about 70 people in the nearby villages. However, its eruption also led to creation of another small volcano which is called Murara just a few kilometers from Nyamuragira. The second impact of this volcano was realized in 2002 as result of fissure explosion in the Southern flank and it was at 13 kilometers which spread from 2800 meters to 1550 meters of elevation and its impact was also realized at Goma Town and over 147 people lost their lives. Previously, in 2016 another vent was seen open at the North-Eastern part of the crater and it is suspected that it will cause another serious eruption in Goma Town.
Nyiragongo volcano stands in an altitude of 3470 meters and it strongly joined to the Virunga Albertine Rift Valley. With several lavas in this volcano, one of them lies 3175 meters while the other is 2975 meters.
Hiking through the Nyiragongo volcano is some thing not to be missed in life. The hike takes about 4-6 hours but it comes with lots of stunning views at the bubbling lava cauldron. Come and realize the volcanoes energy as it breathes! Though it is strenuous to reach its summit, it leaves a long memory in the minds of those who make to the summit. The Nyiragongo volcano is one of the magnificent stratovolcano’s in DRC and most importantly a place to find the world’s largest lava lake. It is also one of the forested volcanoes providing home to numerous wildlife species like chimps, monkeys and bushbuck. On normal occasions, Nyiragongo volcano hike begins from Kibati ranger post.
How to access Nyiragongo volcano
Nyiragongo volcano is best accessed by simply flying into Kigali Airport where you will link to Goma Town. The drive from Kigali to Goma in Eastern Congo takes visitors nearly 3-3.5 hours to drive. You can as well use Ethiopia Airlines and domestic Democratic Republic of Congo Airlines which fly up to Goma.
Things to pack for the hike
You need rain jacket, hiking shoes, heavy fleece, thin stretchy pants, long underwear and 4 pairs of socks, heavy sleeping bag and light sweater, water and energy giving snacks as well as walking stick.
Nyiragongo volcano permit and accommodation facilities
The hike costs $300 while if you are hire a porter of which is necessary, you pay $24. Among the notable accommodation facilities recommended include the Lulimbi tented camp, Tchegera Island tented camp, Nyiragongo volcano summit shelters, and Bukima tented camp and Mikeno Lodge.
In conclusion, Nyiragongo volcano hike is one of the breathtaking adventures that you shouldn’t miss to experience in DRC. If you are adventure seeker, Nyiragongo volcano is the perfect place for you to be! Visit the volcano in dry season specifically in the months of January and February; June – September.