Congo is the 2nd biggest and one of the most beautiful countries in Africa, and Virunga is its jewel, the oldest national park on the continent. Established in 1925 by King Albert I of Belgium, it has the greatest biological diversity of any national park in the world – its 3,000 square miles contain all manner of landscapes and wildlife, including savannah, lakes, mountains, rainforest, 703 recorded bird species and two seriously active volcanoes.
Mount Nyiragongo is a beautiful active start volcano with an elevation of 3,470 m in the Virunga Mountains associated with the Albertine Rift. The hiking starts from around 1,900 m elevation. It is located inside Virunga National Park, in the DRC, about 20 km north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and just west of the border with Rwanda. The main crater is about 2 km wide and contains a lava lake. The volcano’s forested lower slopes are home to a variety of animals, including chimpanzees, monkeys, and bushbuck. Nyiragongo’s summit rim is largely devoid of vegetation and is frequently dusted with snow.
Kigali - Gisenyi
In the evening, pickup from Kigali Airport and drive to Gisenyi border town of Rwanda. Drive through the swinging roads along the thousand hills of Rwanda. About 150 kms in 3.5 hours. Dinner and night stay at Hotel Discover Rwanda Hotel, facing the beautiful Lake Kivu beach.
(The tourists coming from Kigali should spend the night at a hotel in Gisenyi – border town of Rwanda)
Cost: $70 + $50 + $30 = $150
Goma – Nyiragongo
07:45am - In the morning, pickup from your hotel or residence in Gisenyi border and drive to border post for immigration. After Immigration formalities, cross over to Congo border post. Obtain your visa stamped on the passport and move to ‘Virunga Park office’ at the same border post. Then drive to Virunga National Park, precisely in the southern sector at Kibati with our van (about 35 minutes). On a clear day, you can take excellent pictures of the volcano from the ‘Road Tax post’.
On arrival at Kibati, guests will receive a briefing and will have the opportunity to hire porters ($25 each for max 15 kgs). (5 – 6 hours trekking from the base to the top) with snacks en-route. There are 4 stops after around each 1 hour for 5 to 10 minutes. There are toilets at most of the stops too, though very basic.
Arrive up the summit in freezing cold temperature. Visit the impressive Lava Lake in the largest crater.
Your cook will prepare dinner for you.
Dinner and overnight up the summit in ICCN shelters. (Total 12 cabins, 2 persons in a cabin).
Nyiragongo Volcano – Goma
After an early visit to the Lava Lake again, take your breakfast and then descend the mountain up to the starting point (3 hours from the summit to the base). Arrive at the ranger post patrol, write some comments then drive back to Goma and drop to your hotel or residence or Gisenyi border.