Nyiragongo volcano trek-the new Congo safari package

Nyiragongo volcano trek-the new Congo safari package

On the 15th of February 2019, Virunga National park is opening again for Congo safaris to the park after about eight months of not operating. There has been a new face created for the park as it plans to re-open and this includes new packages that tourists can undertake at the moment. In total, 7 packages have been created however, only 2 are available for booking by the 15th of February 2019 as Virunga National Park re-opens.  The Nyiragongo volcano trek is one of the packages and here I explain to you the details of the package;

The Nyiragongo package is a stand-alone Nyiragongo trek (it’s a Congo tour wholly meant for a hike to Mount Nyiragongo). If you decide to take the Nyiragongo volcano trek, you will arrive in Goma (capital of the North Kivu province in the Eastern DRC), overnight on the volcano summit and return to Goma the following morning.  Mount Nyiragongo within Virunga National Park stands at an altitude ranging from 1,984 meters (6,510 feet) to 3,470 meters (11,385 feet). This is one of the active stratovolcanoes in Africa with its current eruption in May 2002.

Nyiragongo volcano trek

Taking the first leg of the trek

All trekkers should be at the Grande Barriere border crossing by 7:00am and check-in with Virunga tourism office by 8:00am on the morning of the scheduled trek. During check-in, guests will be provided with a volcano trek permit that must be presented before climbing, you can leave some of your luggage at the station especially if your drive after the descend is out of Congo. After check-in is complete, guests will be transported to Kitabi Ranger Post which is the starting point for the Nyiragongo volcano trek.

 

Nyiragongo volcano trek

Summit cabins at sunset

The ascent up the volcano starts at around 10:00am with most climbing groups reaching the summit by 5:00pm. The trek is split in to five legs, so you get four rest stops of about 20 minutes each as you regain your strength. Arriving at the summit, you will spend the night on the crater in small summit cabins just enough for your rest through the cold night. If you need help with your luggage, hiring a porter at a fee is the best option.

After having great views and taking memorable pictures of the lava at the summit, you have breakfast and then start the descend back to Kibati. You start the descend by around 6:00am getting through the steep rocky trail. On arrival at the bottom, you meet your Congo safari driver guide for a transfer to your next destination.

In this package, safari costs include a Volcano trek permit, transport to and from Kibati Ranger Post and one-night stay on Nyiragongo summit

Excluded in this package is the Nyiragongo backpack, porter fees, gratuities and anything of a personal nature.

Extra tips to know before you book a Nyiragongo Volcano trek

At the summit it’s 5,000 times colder than you may think so carry really warm clothes to take you through the night.

The trek is a bit tough since you keep going higher and higher but it is really doable.

Anything can happen, you may not see anything during the night especially when it gets cloudy in the night. Just don’t read anything before you go for the hike because your story could be different so just go have an experience of your own. If there is anything that would require cancellation of the trek, the park officials will communicate to your tour operator.

Plan for payment of some extras like a porter, a wooden walking stick, a meal and sleeping gear. You will definitely need them. You may also need to some money to tip your ranger guide for the extra-ordinary work they do to see you get through the trek.

Incase of altitude sickness, don’t forget to carry your medication.

Get a yellow fever immunization certificate and a Congo safari visa at least 2 weeks before traveling to the country for the trek, these are mandatory.

At the summit, never get too close to the edge, not even for the perfect shot because this is hot lava surrounded with sliding rocks, don’t be the victim.

Don’t bother attempting to fly a drone over the volcano because it will definitely get into waste because of the ash in the air.

If you really don’t need to be in a big crowd, a void making your booking for the weekends because they are the busiest times of the week.

Get travel insurance before you start your safari.

Virunga National Park is also home to the Mountain Gorillas of West Africa where many go for Congo gorilla trekking safaris an activity which is just as memorable as a hike to the summit of Mount Nyiragongo.

 

Take the extra ordinary path and hike for a once in a lifetime experience that may probably one of the bravest acts of your life.

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