Nyiragongo is a stratovolcano and is the world’s largest lava lake with a diameter of 200m, which can be viewed from the rim of the crater. The volcano’s forested lower slopes are home to a variety of animals including; Chimpanzees, Monkeys, and Bushbuck. The crater spans 1 to 1.2 km in diameter and is about 900m deep. Hiking the Nyiragongo is a spectacular experience. It is a tough climb, especially the last half an hour, yet one is well rewarded with a mesmerizing view of the largest lava lake in the world. The shelters being conveniently based at the edge of the summit enable visitors to view the lava lake throughout the day and night. This experience is for the adventurous that are prepapred to compromise on accommdation standards. 

ABOUT THE TREK

The trek begins at the Kibati patrol post,
Approximately 25 minutes by car from Goma.
Approximately a 1-hour drive from the Mikeno Lodge in Rumangabo

Park rangers lead all treks and it is recommended to hire a porter (unaffiliated with the park). The time required to reach the summit depends on the average fitness of each group, but typically takes between 4 to 7 hours. Altitude sickness can be an issue for some because the climb starts at 1,989m (6,525 ft.) and ascends to 3,470m (11,382ft). Which means you will hike almost 2,500m (6,000ft.) in a short period of time. 

There are 4 scheduled breaks during the trek, but more can be taken if necessary. It is possible to decide to return back to the base if the hike gets too tough. You can also decide to hike slowly and still reach the summit within 7 or 8 hours, which will aide your acclimatisation.

SCHEDULED BREAKS ON THE CLIMB

SECTION 1: ROUGHLY 1 HOUR

  • A warm-up hike through the forest floor. Here you are mainly covering distance and not gaining much altitude. Beware that it can be a bit slippery when wet. 

SECTION 2: ROUGHLY 1.5 HOURS

  • This is where the climbing part starts as the gradient gradually increases. You are mostly walking on an old lava flow, so this is a hard uneven surface and has parts with some loose scree. You need to be careful here as the loose scree can make you slip and one can quite easily sprain their ankle. 

SECTION 3: ROUGHLY 1 HOUR

  • The terrain changes as you enter another section of forest. The gradient increases even more, making it a tougher climb, however, there is less scree and more stretches of smooth lava rock to walk on. The rock is not as slippery as it looks!. 

SECTION 4: ROUGHLY 30 MINUTES

  • This is the toughest part and the gradient is about 40 degrees, with mostly hard rocky surfaces and some loose scree. By now you can see the summit of the volcano which helps give you some final motivation to finish the hike. 

WHAT TO PACK

  • Any drinks other than water (4.5 litres is provided in your pack) 

  • Change of dry clothes in a water tight bag (Ziplock bag is perfect)

  • Waterproof bag to put spare set of clothes in

  • Good waterproof hiking boots with ankle support

  • Rain gear, as you may encounter rain on your trek;

    • Raincoat

    • Waterproof Trousers

  • Warm clothes, (as can be ‘0’ degrees up there);

    • Sweater

    • Wool hat

    • Gloves

    • Extra sweater/fleece

    • Thermal Underwear

    • Quick drying pants/shorts

    • Gators (optional but useful)

  • Sun cream

  • Hat for protection from sun

  • Torch/head torch

  • Camera with spare memory cards

  • Long sleeved shirt and trousers to protect against stinging nettles

  • Socks to tuck your trousers into to protect against ants

  • Pillow case

  • Toilet paper

  • Hydration salts

  • Energy bars 

THE SUMMIT SHELTERS & PORTERS

There are 12 basic ‘A-frame’ wooden shelters at the summit, providing 24 sleeping places. Each hut includes a mattress and a pillow. There is one long drop toilet with a view. The kitchen is very cosy (small). All food is included as well as 4.5 litres of drinking water per person. A cook accompanies the group and prepares all snacks and meals. We highly recommend that hikers take a porter. This is to carry their backpack and their food. The porters have their own organisation; thus you are supporting the local community by hiring a porter. The cost is US$ 24 per porter, carrying a maximum of 15kg.

CHECK OUT SOME SAMPLE ITINERARIES HERE

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6 DAYS - 'MIKENO MIST' ADVENTURE

1 x Gorilla Trek & Nyiragongo (Kibumba Tented Camp)

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