Nyiragongo Volcano Trek

About this Trek

Nyiragongo is a beautiful stratovolcano containing the world’s largest lava lake. The volcano’s lower forested slopes are home to a variety of animals, including chimpanzees, several species of monkey, the three-horned chameleon, bushbuck and a myriad of bird species, making the walk to the top of this mighty mountain all the more gratifying.

Trek Details

The Nyiragongo volcano trek is divided into five sections, with a 15-minute break at each stop. Hikers commence the ascent at the Kibati Ranger Post at an altitude of 1870m and reach the summit at 3,470m, with a 6.5km hike each way. Average climbing time is between 4 and 6 hours, with descent off the volcano taking around 4 hours. Times are dependent on group speed and agility as the slowest person on the trek sets the pace.

The first section of the trek will take guests through dense forest at the base of Nyiragongo. It is in this area that hikers are encouraged to keep a look out for wildlife, including monkeys and bushbuck. The forest ascends up into the second section whose open skied trails offer beautiful views of the valley below. The third section takes you across old lava flows and past steaming volcanic fissures. After entering high montane forest to traverse the fourth section, the fifth and final ascent is a steep 300m to the summit.

Once at the top, exhaustion melts away as Nyiragongo offers an exhilarating gift to those who have conquered its slopes: the world’s largest lava lake churning away in a mosaic of molten red fire. The most breathtaking spectacle is saved for last however, when the sun goes down and Nyiragongo begins its nightly glow against a backdrop of stars.

Practical Information

The temperature at the volcano summit frequently drops below freezing, with occasional high winds and rain. Please ensure that you bring adequate rain and cold weather gear. We recommend packing a couple of extra pairs of dry, clean socks. Gloves and headwear come in handy as well. Trekkers are responsible for their own equipment, food and water.

Trekkers are encouraged to take at least 3 liters of water. Please note that all water, charcoal for heating and cooking, as well as food and cooking equipment have to be carried by hand to the top of the volcano. If clients would like to rent hiking equipment and/or hire a cook from the Park, it is at an extra cost. Local porters are available for hire at the start of the trek at Kibati Ranger Post.

Amenities and Extras
  • Number of shelters: 12 (2 people per shelter).
  • Sanitation: Communal latrine toilet, no running water.
  • Nyiragongo backpacks from the Park: USD 100. Includes sleeping bag, warm clothes, snacks, water, lunch, dinner and breakfast. This cost includes a cook to prepare meals.
  • Hire of porters: USD 25 for 15kg bag.
  • Locally made walking sticks are available for purchase at the start of the trek for USD 10.

Please note that by hiring a porter, you are helping to create employment for the local community.

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