Nyiragongo Volcano Hike
Mount Nyiragongo is an active stratovolcano with an elevation of 3,470 metres (11,380 ft) in the Virunga Mountains associated with the Albertine Rift. It is located inside Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 20 km (12 mi) north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and just west of the border with Rwanda. The main crater is about two kilometres wide and usually contains a lava lake. Nyiragongo's lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. The depth of the lava lake varies considerably. A maximum elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 3,250 m (10,660 ft) prior to the January 1977 eruption - a lake depth of about 600 m (2,000 ft).
During the 2002 eruption, some of Nyiragongo’s lava flows were clocked at 100 km/hr (62 mph) and reached all the way to Lake Kivu.
Park rangers lead all treks and porters (unaffiliated with the park) are available for hire at Kibati ranger station. The time required to reach the summit depends on the average fitness of each group, but typically takes 5 – 6 hours. It is possible for fitter people to climb up and descend in one day, but the vast majority chooses to overnight in the basic accommodations available at the top (included in the permit fee) because the best time to view the lava lake is at night. Enjoy watching, in the night, the world’s largest lava lake. Dinner and overnight at the summit of Nyiragongo Volcano in the shelter.
Trekkers are strongly advised to bring full rain and cold weather gear (moisture-wicking base layer, sweater or fleece, jacket, rain resistant pants, long underwear, warm socks, hat, and a 0°C/32° – rated sleeping bag), good walking shoes, sun cream, etc.