Hiking the breathtaking Mount Nyiragongo is one of the most outstanding tourist adventures that create memorable experiences. Who wouldn’t want to reach the peak of one of the active volcanoes during a safari?
Located within the heart of the famous Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo, hiking the Nyiragongo Volcano is therefore a must-do activity for every tourist to this Central African country. Participants have to be prepared and physically fit because it involves altitude sickness, panting and sweating but the experience of participating in the activity is totally worthwhile.
The sparkling Lava Lake is always viewed clearly at night as the sky glows red from Lava thus making the appearance more breathtaking thus worth exploring during Congo Safaris. As earlier mentioned, hiking this mountain requires tourists to be physically fit because of the high elevation to the summit. However, there are some important things you need to know about hiking this Volcano and these include;
This adventure is not for the faint-hearted and un-prepared persons but rather for the strong-hearted and physically fit people. Preparation therefore involves planning through doing some physical exercises to ensure you muscles are accustomed to what to expect ahead of you. Not only that, preparation involves timely booking (at least 3 months in advance) with a tour company or directly with Virunga National Park Headquarters and make sure you have booked for transport and accommodation as well when booking for the activity.
Advance booking and how to acquire hiking permits
It is always Important to book for the adventure in advance thus you have to make sure to acquire hiking permits earlier before travelling to the Democratic Republic of Congo. A hiking permit is one of the must-have things for this activity and costs only $300 per person which is more affordable that gorilla trekking that costs only $400 per person. Due to the demand for the activity, tourists are required to book in advance by paying a deposit to avoid disappointments and you can book through trusted/credible tour operators or directly through Virunga National Park Management.
You have to maintain several safety precautions when considering hiking the Nyiragongo Volcano and these include moving in groups when going around at night, always be careful and make sure to always keep your things-clothes, camera, phones and binoculars safely.
Just like most activities within Virunga National Park, tourists participating in hiking the Nyiragongo volcano have to arrive at Kabita Patrol Station by 7:00am for pre-hiking briefing about the different safety precautions you need during this activity then the actual activity starts by 8:00am in the company of experienced guides and armed rangers. The Hiking time depends on the speed you and your colleagues are moving. There are a number of resting places within this Volcano but you will need 5-7 hours to reach the summit of the Mountain.
Due to the fact that you will be climbing to areas of higher elevations, you will need to park long sleeved shirts, long trousers, lightweight rain jacket, lightweight hiking boots, and backpack for carrying drinking water and snacks as well as a walking stick among others.
Where to spend overnights
There are over 12 summit shelters at the Peak of the Volcano that offer exquisite accommodation to climbers, and each of them contains two single beds where guests can lay their sleeping bags. You will need to carry your own food and drinks or come with money since food and drinks are not always included in the cost of accommodation.
You will need to hire a porter to carry your backpack (with food, cameras, binoculars, drinking water and clothes) as well as support you during hiking to the summit of this volcano.
Accepted age and health status when hiking Mount Nyiragongo
The accepted age for this activity is 12 years and participants have to be physically fit. Climbers also have to be hydrated throughout so as to adapt to the altitude changes you are likely to experience when hiking to the summit.
Besides the above, important things you need to know before hiking include trusting people on the ground and also you need to be extra fit doe this adventure. If you put all these things in consideration, be ready to have the best of your time and a memorable experience.