How to Experience Mount Nyiragongo Volcano
Nyiragongo Volcano is found within Virunga National Park which is most famous for protecting the rare endangered mountain gorillas. Therefore you can first visit Virunga National Park for gorilla tours in the Park of which a Congo gorilla permit costs US$ 400 a cheaper price than any other gorilla protecting Park in the whole world. In the whole world, mountain gorillas are only found in Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda of which Congo’s gorilla tours are the cheapest and it is advisable if you go to Congo for Nyiragongo volcano hike to first have a gorilla tour in Virunga National Park where you will also e able to spot the Eastern Low-land gorillas and it is the only Park in the whole world to inhabit all these two types of gorillas.
After your visit to Virunga National Park for the gorilla tours, you can go for the hike of Nyiragongo volcano which is a one hour and thirty minutes drive from the Park especially when you camped at Mikeno lodge while in the Park. During your hike to the Volcano, you will really experience because the Volcano has the most violet and largest Lava Lake which attracts many hikers to hike the volcano to give a sight to this Lava Lake.
A hike to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano is really an out-standing experience which appears once in a lifetime. It is a great and memorable experience having this life time opportunity; of standing right at the edge of the huge crater looking at the red-hot bubbling lava lake roughly hundred feet below you. Nyiragongo Volcano is nestled within the heart of Virunga National Park and a hike of this active Volcano is absolutely a must for every tourist who visits the Democratic Republic of Congo if the experience is to be memorable and historical.
Besides panting, altitude sickness and sweating which may result from the hike of Nyiragongo Volcano, the hike to the summit of this active Volcano is definitely a stunning and rewarding thing that you can never get anywhere else. The most violet and gigantic lava lake which is seen at the summit of Nyiragongo Volcano can clearly be seen at night as the sky turns red from the bubbling lava Lake thus making it more spectacular, brilliant and beautiful. The hike to the summit of this active Volcano will take 4 to 7 hours because the Volcano is somehow high thus it needs hikers who are physically fit and highly committed. The following are some of the tips which you have to put more emphasis on if you are to hike the Nyiragongo Volcano and experience it thoroughly well:
Since the hiking of Nyiragongo Volcano is not like some other activities which are done in the Parks like nature walks where you will move on the flat landscape, the hiking requires hikers who are committed and those who are serious. Therefore hikers have to prepare earlier for the hiking activity where they will have to do some physical exercises in order to ensure their physical fitness. Advance booking with any your desired tour agency such as Nature Adventure Africa Safari Limited is very essential and you are at least advised to get and consult your Tour agency which you will use for the gorilla tours and Nyiragongo hike three or four months before your exact day for the tour such that your tour is planned and prepared thoroughly well and avoid inconveniences in your tour.
Check your Packing list:
Due to the fact that the Volcano consists of hot volcanic rocks of which some are loose and slippery, hikers are reminded to pack light hiking boots for easing the hike and protect the legs from the hot volcanic rocks plus hand gloves to protect the hands from shot surfaces and sharp things at the Volcano in case a hiker touches down on the steep slopes. Heavy clothes and Waterproofs like Rain coats and Jackets plus Sweaters are also greatly recommended of which they will help you in the abrupt weather conditions plus the very cold weather in the night. Hikers are also emphasized to pack enough drinking water and energy giving snacks in order to keep them strong during the hike. However, hiking wooden sticks are provided at the Volcano’s head offices and are sold at only US$ 5 of which these sticks will help your body to balance and fully involve in the hiking activity thus easing the activity. Still hikers are also advised to employ porters to help them to carry the hikers’ gadgets during hiking and the porters are paid according on agreed prices between you and the Porter. Porters are found in Congo already.
Know the exact time for the hike:
The hike starts with some briefings about the safety precautions and what is needed to make your hike easy and joyous of which the briefings take place at the starting point of the hike. After the briefings which usually take place at 09:00am, you will then start to hike at exactly 10:00am and you will be escorted by armed guides to protect you while at the summit of the Volcano and during your entire hike. The hiking of this Volcano will take you two days and the hiking speed depends on the slowest person in the group which means that all hikers hike at a relative pace/speed. There are many resting points on the slopes of the Volcano thus hikers do not need to hike at a high and uncomfortable speed. Therefore hikers are advised to access the hiking starting point earlier such that you don’t miss out the hike because if you arrive there exceeding the hiking time, you will not be allowed to hike hence you need to know when to access the hiking starting point and you need to wake up earlier to catch up with the hiking group.
Know what is needed to hike the Nyiragongo Volcano:
All hikers are required to have the Nyiragongo hiking permits of which a Nyiragongo hike costs US$ 300 per permit. Hikers are also advised to book earlier and pay a certain deposit which provides them a chance to get the permit on the actual day of hiking. Hiking permits are always purchased by your desired tour company such as Nature Adventure Africa Safari Limited but you are also emphasized to deal with the best tour companies like the above mentioned tour company for immediate and best services in order for you not to get disappointments and inconveniences in your tour/safari. You will also need to have a Congo tourist Visa which is also reserved by your tour company if you book earlier like four months before the actual dates for your tour and the Congo tourist Visa costs US$ 100.
Find out the easiest way to hike to the summit of Nyiragongo Volcano:
A successful hike to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano will require a hiker to have a porter to help him or her because it is difficult for you to make it to the summit without porters. Porters are hired on agreed price of which the maximum price of the Porters might be US$ 24 for both ascending and descending which is quite a fair and affordable price. These Porters will also help travelers in giving support to them thus being much needed especially during carrying the heavy luggage for the hikers since you will spend an overnight at the summit of the Volcano and you will be carrying many things such as food, water, heavy clothes, hiking boots and many more which you can’t carry on your own and finish up the hike successful. However some strong hikers might be able to finish up the hike together with their luggage on the back hence the hiring of the porters is not compulsory that hikers should have them and the prices should be agreed between the two of you (you and the porter) because there are no actual and clear prices for the Porters.
You should first ensure your health status:
Only individuals above 11 years of age are allowed to go for the hiking of this active Volcano since the hike is not all that easy and it requires physical fitness and commitment which young individuals may not have. Therefore individuals below 12 years are not advised and allowed to hike the volcano however also hikers above that age are still advised to carry their visa cards and other travel documents for clarification. Hikers are too emphasized to first ensure that they are not ill and sick because the hiking does not favor such individuals since it is very challenging, therefore first ensure that you are totally free form any disease which may limit you from hiking the Volcano. Hikers must also be hydrated thoroughly well in order to adapt to altitude changes in the process of hiking to the summit.
Know where to sleep during your hiking:
At the summit of the volcano there is a Nyiragongo Volcano summit shelters consisting of 12 summit shelters of which they provide quality accommodation services to the hikers. Each shelter has 2 single beds where hikers can lay their sleeping bags. For the porters and guides, they will have to carry their sleeping tents where they spend a night. Hikers are also advised to carry some exchanged money with them because they may need to buy some essentials such as extra food and drinks.
You should protect your belongings:
Hikers are advised to mind much about their property such as money, cameras, clothes and food especially during the night they have to be very keen. This is because the cabins at the summit are not secure because different groups of hikers together with porters have different characters thus requiring hikers to guard their property because their fellows might steal them since people are made up of different behaviors. You will also enjoy your hike and experience it when you are still alive hence you are also advised to be very careful while at the edge of the dazzling volcano and the bubbling Lava Lake of which you have to keep a favorable distance while viewing the Lava Lake because you might get an accident. Therefore if you consider all the above, you will experience your Nyiragongo hiking and you will really acquire a great experience which you will never get at any active Volcano elsewhere.