Primate Holidays

Mount Nyiragongo

Mount Nyiragongo is a high sided active stratovolcano at an elevation of 3,470m in the Virunga range, in Albertine region found Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 1882, there have been around 34 eruptions, with the most recent occurring in 2002. The biggest lava lake on earth is this one. The Nyamuragira shield volcano is only 40 km away and is located at 1°31′S and 29°15′E.

Making the decision to climb Mount Nyiragongo is a nice one because it is unique on a Congo safari. This mountain is well-known for its 1.2 km in circumference and 200 m deep lava lake as well as for being an active volcano with recent eruptions as recent as 2002. Mount Nyiragongo is a wonderful safari destination despite being the active volcano, it is still accessible to hikers to discover the hidden gem on a safari. However, keep in mind that you will need to spend the night at Nyiragongo’s summit, so plan accordingly. Despite the fiery red lava of the mountain, the peak is shockingly cold, so make sure to pack warm clothing in addition to your climbing boots, walking stick, and sleeping bag. Only while on a Congo safari is Mount Nyiragongo fully accessible and explorable.

The most recent Nyiragongo eruption began on January 17, 2002, and expanded out from an elevation of 2800 metres to 1550 metres before reaching the outskirts of Goma town at a speed of roughly 60 kilometres per hour. On a Congo safari I advise that you stay the night in Goma before hiking the volcano because there is still evidence of previous eruptions along the roadside of the town of Goma. Thousands of people were alerted and evacuated from the area to travel to the neighboring town of Gisenyi as the lava even reached and buried the north side of Goma International Airport up to Lake Kivu, leaving just the southern side viable or accessible.

The majority of those who perished as a result of this eruption did so from suffocation brought on by the carbon dioxide that was released into the air, but there were also deaths from structures in the region collapsing as lava flowed and earthquakes accompanying the eruption. For a time, these tremors persisted, making the residents of Goma and Gisenyi town fearful of another eruption. This 2002 Nyiragongo eruption, the greatest recorded eruption in Congo to date, left many people homeless and investors in losses, according to studies. At least 15% of Goma town was devastated. The lava lake fissures on the volcano’s south flank began to open up during the 2002 eruption, and three streams of lava began to flow out.

Just six months after this event, this mountain erupted once more. There are still certain dangers, such as the localized carbon dioxide that recently permeated the ground at rather high levels without sufficient wind to dissipate it, killing a number of youngsters. But every day, the volcano is observed, with a temperature report issued every ten minutes.

What you need to know before hiking Nyiragongo. 

The top is quite chilly, so bring as much clothing as you think you’ll need. It’s common knowledge that the higher you go, the cooler it is, so even at 3,000 feet above sea level, you should be prepared for the chill.

Ensure to have a valid yellow card and visa upon your arrival at the border of Congo.

It is advisable to have a ground handle/tour operator like Primate Holidays to make your bookings to avoid last minute disappointments.

Ensure to know your fitness physically even though you are slow, you are given provision to reach the summit as well.

Ensure to carry with you all the medication you may need so as to avoid scenarios of sickness especially colds, altitude sickness, or even fevers.

You are suggested to trek light so as not to have to carry a lot of weight, but it is also advisable to pack two pairs of shoes and extra clothing as they may get wet on the day of ascent and leave you stranded on the day of descent.

Carry extra money on you even if you booked a fully paid hike especially if you booked direct with the Virunga Park not a tour operator.

Finally, Do not get overwhelmed by the site of the lava lake upon reaching the summit and ignore your belongings.

How to get there.

By Road: The quickest and most suggested option, if you’re driving, is to cross the Goma border from Kigali.

By air, the best airport to land at is still Kigali International Airport. Then, take a 4-wheel-drive safari vehicle because the road is rough for the first four hours as you travel to Kibati, where the hike begins.

What to bring with you on the Nyiragongo hike safari.

 Sleeping Bag.


Rain Jacket.

Hiking Stick.

Hiking Shoes.



Where can we stay?

 According to your budget, Congo offers a variety of accommodation options. In order to arrive in time for the hike, it is advised to stay the night before in Goma or Gisenyi. For your accommodation in Goma, consider Ihusi Hotel, Hotel Linda, Hotel Belvedere, La Joie Plaza, Hotel de Bakanja, and Lac Kivu Lodge.

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