Mountain Nyiragongo Hight Elevetion: 3470 metres, (11,382 ft)
Congo: 1.31°S / 29.15°E
Current Status: Active strata Volcano. Last eruption on January 17, 2002
Starting Point: Congo – Kibati village patro post
The Nyiragongo volcano is situated in the Virunga national park – Democratic Republic of Congo with in the Virunga volcanic region with in the Eastern branch of the East African rift valley. Nyiragongo is a stratovolcano comprising of a central cone of about 1.3 km wide at 3470 meters high, with two other cones located at the northern side Shaheru (2800m) and Baruta (3200m) in the south
Nyiragongo volcano is situated about 20 km north at the extreme end of Lake Kivu, and 15 km north of Goma town in Kibatsi village. The Kibatsi village is the starting point for briefing for a hike to the Nyiragongo volcano – with a population of more than 500,000 people. One can access Goma town
Mount Nyiragongo caught the public eye in 2002 when it flowed effusive and passive emission of low viscosity lava at high temperature related to the Hawaiian type of Hawaii in United Stated of America. The low viscosity flow of the Nyiragongo volcano is caused by the high content of silicate in the basaltic composition which makes the lava flow at high speed. The Nyiragongo lava flow speed can be as fast as 50 to 60 km/hr
The Lave lake at the summit cone of the Nyiragongo is said to have been formed with in 1928 to 1977. The summit cone is encircled with 3 layers known as terraces, with the first layer at 180m below the crater perimeter, the second at 180m lower than the first and the last sited at 60m down the second. These margins are very fundamental for the lava lake enabling an edge fissure eruption. The Nyiragongo lava keeps varying up and down
Nyiragongo volcano together with Nyamulagira all in the (wester group) are situated within the rift valley floor and are at their most active stage.
Nyiragongo has had series of eruption and the most eye caching have been eruption of 1977 where the flow run southwards towards Goma town killing people and destroying property leaving the summit crater empty temporarily. A similar event happened again in January 2002, when lava flows from flank vents drained the lake flowing through Goma, reaching Lake Kivu leaving a black rock making the environment look somewhat dull locales used to stay
A hiking tour to Nyiragongo starts from Rwanda driving through Gesenyi crossing to Goma town via the Rubavu-Goma border. Its approximately 30 minutes from Goma to the mount Nyiragongo trail head at Kibati village patro post. Briefing at the trail head starts by 9:00 AM. The hike up Nyiragongo takes about five – six hours though very dependent on the fitness of the entire group, its exhausting since your climbing at high altitudes and gets hotter an you climb up with a path that isn’t so steep and rough. The climb up the Nyiragongo offers you views of quite a number of bird species, small mammals and vegetation.
Hikes to the Nyiragongo are led by park rangers escorted by armed – with AK-47s tourism police to ensure safety of hikers
NB: It possible for a fit persons to hike up the Nyiragongo and descent down in one day, though its most advisable to spend a night as the night lava views are extatic
The night will be spent in tents on the rim of the giant crater, high above the active lava lake.
Hiking Price and overnight summit shelter
Adult (international): $250
Adult (Congolese): $90
Child (international): $125
Child (Congolese): $25
single entry tourist visas to Virunga National Park – USD $105
Note: Single entry visa is valid for 14 days from day of entry
– First buy a mountain gorilla pass / permit, Nyiragongo hiking permitnon refundable
– Book and pay for accommodation at the Mikeno Lodge.