On the western part of East African rift valley lies some East African countries like DRC that have the pleasure of housing the huge mountains of Virunga massif. The serenity of Nyiragongo mountain lies close to the border of Rwanda and visitors who wish to access it should arrange for a trip to Virunga national park through Rwanda.
Uniqueness of Mount Nyiragongo.
Nyiragongo is one of the world’s largest volcanoes.
Mount Nyiragongo possesses a lava lake on its summit that is still active with boiling lava and offers intriguing views while on its peak.
It is the only mountain in Africa where visitors can hike to the top and see a lava lake up close. Such lakes pose existential threats to people as they contain boiling lava that can erupt in an unforeseen way.
Mount Nyiragongo offers one of the challenging hikes among Virunga volcanoes since it has steep slopes that are more demanding due to ragged terrain of this tower. It is therefore advised for mountain climbing die-hards and experienced hikers.
It is among the few mountains in the Virunga area offering overnight experiences while at the mountain top. Tourists who want to enjoy the wonders of freezing on top of a boiling surface shouldn’t miss this hike.
Mount Nyiragongo hiking experience.
The mountain is best accessed through Goma town where visitors are driven off to Kibati village where they go through a short briefing of what to expect while on a hike to this active volcano.
During a short but exhaustive briefing session conducted at 9:00am, hikers are informed about what to expect during the climb, what to pack, stopping points for resting. A hike to the top of Nyiragongo mountain is made up of 5 segments whose challenges keep on progressing until the summit of the mountain is reached.
The first segment gets hikers through areas that have a fairly low altitude but they go on increasing and by the time trekkers reach on the second level, they have to deal with small loose lava rocks. The third level gets tourists hit up on both the small loose rocks met at the second stage, slippery rocks and a steeper altitude than undertaken before.
The fourth level is harder than the previous three as it is steeper than what has been covered and colder hence offering a bigger challenge than what the previous stages offer. The last stage presents both pleasure and pain as it’s the steepest and shortest offering beautiful sights of the cabins at the top. This is a good motivation for hikers that their demanding climb is almost being paid off.
Other attractions and activities around Mount Nyiragongo.
The place has a variety of birds therefore visitors shouldn’t think that they are as scarce as hen’s teeth because D.R. Congo boasts over 600 species with about 32 species being globally threatened.
More 24 species are endemic and visitors get incredible sights of birds like Rwenzori Turaco, Francolins nobilis, Rwenzori batis, rare birds like Rockefeller sunbird, nectarinia Rockefeller that can be found around swamps, wetlands, bamboo plantations and other areas.
Tourists who visit the mountain for hiking can also engage in trekking to meet the spectacular primates that are abundant with in Virunga National Park. This legendary park resounds with about 22 species of primates but the most famous and sought after are mountain gorillas, eastern chimpanzees, eastern lowland gorillas and colobus monkeys.
Visitors can engage in sighting the wondrous wildlife that can be wowed while in the park with views that come from one of the 218 mammal species that can be seen in the park including hippos, okapis, lions, savannah and forest elephants. Virunga national park possesses the highest number of amphibian species in Albertine Rift and over 109 reptile species are available where visitors can sight all these while on the hike.
Activities around Mount Nyiragongo.
Gorilla trekking tours.
Virunga national park holds secretly the lives of eight gorilla families that are available for trekking and other wild and solitary individuals in its thick brimming forests. With an early morning briefing, trekkers are split into groups of eight people and hit the forest in search of the primate giants of the park which activity usually spans from 30 minutes to six hours.
Congo is a birder’s haven with over 1185 species including some endemic species and about thirty-two species being globally threatened. Get amused by the songs sung by these small creatures and enjoy sights they give while flying aimlessly from different places and trees in the sky.
The dense, thick equatorial forests that are studied about are evidenced by tourists who choose to walk through the rewarding national park with exquisite views that can be scooped during wildlife encounters like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee treks and forest hikes.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience.
This adventure offers visitors an in depth understanding of what a day in life of a chimpanzee looks like. Here, visitors get more than just one hour and make research about these amazing primates while training them on how to socialize and get used to human beings comfortably. Usually, this activity takes in only four tourists per chimpanzee family therefore those thrilled by this activity need to book for it in advance.
When to hike Mount Nyiragongo?
A hike to Nyiragongo mountain takes over 6 hours, but people intrigued by nature can have a stay over and spend their night surveying the wilderness at the peak of this mountain. Hiking can be done throughout the year but it is much easier to go through the strenuous terrain of Nyiragongo during dry season that falls in months of June to September and December to February.
How much does hiking Mount Nyiragongo cost?
Mount. Nyiragongo offers a strenuous hike but rather rewarding at a cost of $300 per person. Trekkers get access to galloping over the mountain and the permit comes along with accommodation in mountain shelters. Come take refuge at the mountain’s summit and enjoy survey of nature.
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