Nyiragongo Volcano Travel Tips

Nyiragongo Volcano Lava Lake

Nyiragongo Volcano Lava Lake

Nyiragongo is in eastern Congo of Central Africa, an extremely amazing active volcanic mountain that has erupted over thirty times, the last eruption in 2011 destroying 1000s of nearby valuables. Nyiragongo is dangerous and critical during eruptions because of warm silica content of its lava flowing. Nyiragongo lawa flows are very fluid. During the 2002 eruption, some of Nyiragongos lava flows reached Lake Kivu. Nyiragongo mountain specs the world’s biggest lava lake at the with red boiling lava deep inside. The Volcano vegetation has a big range of animals including monkeys, chimpanzees, and bushbuck.

Hiking Nyiragongo volcano starts at the Kibati post with the guide and park rangers that lead all treks. The time needed to reach the summit depends on the average fitness of each group, but it generally takes four to six hours.

Nyirangongo highest altitude is at 3472m, trekkers are suggested to carry enough drinking water for right hydration you are suggested to hire a porter to carry their luggage arranged by Virunga National Park at Kibati station.

Temperature at the summit are below 0C/32F, so every person is attracted to pack hot jackets, rain coats, head gears, as it gets to cold, people prone to coldness should visit their physicians before and notify the rangers before starting the treks.

Best time to hike Nyiragongo Volcano

When planning your Virunga National Park Safari trip it is best to do a bit of research on when to go for the experience that you want in Congo. Democratic Republic of Congo is hot and sunny all through most of the year and even areas within a country experience a big range of climates. The key thing to bear in mind if you are planning a Congo safari is the difference between the wet and dry seasons.

Nyiragongo volcanoes can be travelled full year but bear in mind there is irregular weather changes such as unexpected rains during certain months of the year for the reason that Nyiragongo is in the center of equatorial rain forest. Like from March to May as well as November tends to be a rainy period. The dry seasons tarts in June to September and also December. So during the dry seasons the forests are forever clear providing you a chance to enjoy and take images of the lovely landscape views of the greater Virunga mountains national park.

What a place! It is simply remarkable to have the chance to climb a dynamic volcano and sleep on the border of the crater. Hike is tough, mainly for the reason that there is not much warming up; it is a continue climb with a pretty rest, although several stops are planned. The thing is that when you arrive at the top and you view the magma.

Nyiragongo lava lake

There are only 6 permanent lava lakes in the planet, and Nyiragongo is the largest of them. At its fullest it can be up to seven-hundred meters.

The 200-metre wide pool of red-warm lava boils and bubbles at 2000 C, with spurts up to tem meter tall and gas explosions bursting like fireworks. It is continually shifting, replacing and moving, new cracks appearing and old ones closing up, old lava chilling and sinking as fresh, molten rock rises to the area.

Climbing Nyiragongo volcano things to know

High is hard but doable

Hike is pretty hard. The terrain in some parts is extremely slippery. So you need to be in best fitness level. Having said that, hike is doable. Definitely, there is 1500 mts of elevation but you have complete day to hike it. Guides are extremely supportive and they will ensure that you reach the summit safely.

Dress up well for the summit

It is extremely chill at the summit, more than you can guess. So ensure to carry sufficient layers. Temperature reaches subzero temperature and will be sitting there in awe for long hours. So ensure you carry ample hot clothes. Also ensure to change you sweaty hiking layers right after you get the summit to reject hyperthermia.

Be prepared for four season weather when hiking

Weather will replace every fifteen minutes when you are hiking Nyiragongo volcano, so ensure you have all the important necessary items handy such as hot layers, rain pants/jackets, scarf etc.

Take a porter

Hike is extremely steep and you will be carrying at least ten kg weight including food and water for two days, 4-5 layers of hot clothes, sleeping bag, rain jacket etc. it costs 24 USD to hire a porter for two days.

It is the safest way to experience DR Congo

DRC is one of the best ten dangerous nations in the planet and you are not permitted to enter most of the regions in Congo. But if you still would love to explore offbeat locations like we do, climbing Nyiragongo volcano is a safe and best way to explore this country.

Opt for little groups. Reject weekends

Up to twenty-four people can join 1 group. But the little the group, the better. You get more focus and you have more time to enjoy the scenery. Generally, during weekends group are full as travelers from bordering nations tend to join the hike. So reject weekends.

Leave unnecessary things in the locker

There is a locker at the begin of the hike, so if you do not need anything for the hike, save it in the locker. You can get it the following day.


Bring  Diamox

If you have not performed any hike this high before, please ensure to take Diamox a day before. You do not want altitude sickness to prevent you from reaching the summit.

Carry yellow card

You must carry your yellow fewer card, or else you would not permitted to enter the country.

How to travel to Nyiragongo Volcano?

Now, you arrive at Kingali airport in Rwanda. Then you have two choices: take a public which will cost you approximately twenty dollars one-way or either to take a direct taxi to Gisenyi (100-120 USD one-way).

There is no direct bus from airport so you will be renting a taxi for fifteen dollars from the airport to the central bus stop. Ensure to negotiate. Then you will be taking a bus to Gisenyi which will cost you approximately two to three dollars. Once you arrive in Gisenyi bus stop you can either take a taxi to the border for three dollars or motor taxi for one dollar.

The border crossing was pretty easy too. Get stamped out of Rwanda, submit your internet visa at DRC immigration, get your temperature checked, present your yellow fever card and then get stamped into the DRC.

Right outside the immigration office your vehicle will be waiting for you to take you to Mount Kibati, Nyiragongo trail.

Book a trip or do it on your own?

You book the online tour through Virunga official site and you get all the detail right away. Please note that you can book transportation to the national park  as well as trekking permit on the official site. Someone will pick you at the DRC border at joint agreed time and drop you back in your hotel.

Also English speaking rangers and guides are already part of the permit price.

If you book a trip, you will have the right same setup and experience at higher cost. So we would advise you to book it on your own.

How to get Visa for DRC?

You cannot obtain a DRC visa without booking a trip. Gorilla tracking and climbing Nyiragongo volcano are the 2 big activities in DRC.

Once you book a trip, you can purchase your visa voucher through internet as well as at Virguna official site. Visa costs $105. So after buying the visa, you will obtain an application form that you need to fill and send back. They will issue the visa within 1 week. If you do not get it within the dedicated timeframe, reach out to them either by email or phone. They are pretty responsive.

Anyway, with this visa you can just enter the country via the Grand Barriere border crossing between Gisenyi in Rwanda and Goma in the DRC. There are 2 border crossing in Gisenyi, so ensure you are the right one.

Is it safe to travel to DRC?

Answer is no. DRC is considered one of the best ten most dangerous nations in the planet and most of the is inaccessible to the visitors. So traveling extensively within the country is not possible unless you want to die. Anyway, climbing gorilla or Nyiragongo trekking are the safest activities to do in Congo.  If ever there is unpredictable unrest in this area of the country, Virunga NP authority would suggest visitors to postpone or cancel the tour. Not only that, they will refund all the cash too. Safety of all the visitors is their utmost priority.

How much does it cost?

It is one of the cost trips of the world.

A two day trip to Nyiragongo Volcano will cost you anywhere between $600 to $700.

Here is the breakup:

  • Volcano permit – three-hundred dollars
  • Transportation to Kibati station and back to Goma – sixty dollars
  • Visa – 105 USD
  • Porter help – twenty-four dollars
  • Accommodation in Goma -Thirty-five dollars PP per day (based on two people sharing)
  • Meal plan – Seventy-five dollars, meal plus gear plan – Hundred dollars
  • Tips etc- fifty dollars

If you have more questions on how to plan a tour to Nyiragongo volcano, please leave them down in the comment section.

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