Mountain Nyiragongo in Congo is a massif stratovolcano standing at an altitude 3470m in the Virunga mountains closely linked with the Albertine Rift valley. Nyiragongo Volcano is located in Virunga national park, 20km north of Goma town and lake Kivu in Democratic Republic of Congo, adjacent to the west of Congo-Rwanda border. Mount Nyiragongo`s main crater is approximately 2km wide containing a lava lake. The Lava lake at Mountain Nyiragongo is endowed with two airy lava benches the upper one at 3175m and the other at 2975m within its crater walls. Congo`s volcanic mountains-mount Nyiragongo and mount Nyamuragira, take approximately 40% of the volcanic eruptions in the history of Africa. Mount Nyiragongo in Congo houses the world’s largest lava lake.

Historical Eruptions of Mount Nyiragongo Volcano Virunga Park DR. Congo

The world`s largest active lava lake has become eminent since 1960`s and 70`s depending on various studies about Nyiragongo volcanic mountain from volcanologists like Kraffts and Tazieff. Mount Nyiragongo has proved being lively for a half a century when it erupted and drained the lave lake   in 1977. What makes this stratovolcano the most dangerous is that, it killed over 1000 people during the 1977 eruptions. Similarly, in 1994, refugees from Rwanda who fled Congo caused a lot of destructions during the eruptions. In January 2002, the lava flows drained lake Kivu to a depth of 150km through Goma town. From 2002 up to date, there are still some seismic tremors and smaller eruptions which shows that mount Nyiragongo is still an active volcano.

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Attractions at Mount Nyiragongo Volcano in DR. Congo Virunga Park

Mount Nyiragongo Volcano

The summit rim of mount Nyiragongo is mostly bear with no vegetation and usually covered with snow. While on the rim, guests can take steps down into the churning lava lake, glance and experience the hot gasses as they explode up through a mosaic of Molten Lava.

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The largest active lava lake

A trek to mount Nyiragongo is a hooray journey to the world`s largest active lava lake. The whole hiking experience of Nyiragongo mountain contains most of the theoretical geography that you have studied. The Nyiragongo trek begins from the bottom of the volcano in Goma

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The bubbling cauldron

Watch the bubbling cauldron from a safe distance and get a sense of the Earth’s fiery heart as the lava heaves, breathes and pops with hot gases. If stayed overnight you will watch the spectacle in the dark, and rise early morning to appreciate the wide view from above..

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The summit shelters at the top

Housing at the peak of Mount Nyiragongo is the smaller basic tents provided with a decent mattress and pillows. Each tent is meant for two people but since they are small, you will be in close qarters with your tent mate! There are eight cabins, each for two people.

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How to Get to Mount Nyiragongo Volcano DR. Congo Virunga National Park

Hiking to the summit of Mount Nyiragongo an active volcano commences at the Kibati patrol post, approximately a half an hour by car driving from Goma town and not more than an hour from Mikeno lodge. The hiking activity is led by the professionally experienced Virunga national park rangers. Should you require to carry luggage to the top like cameras, binoculars, and other hiking gear, native porters are frequently available for hire at a simple amount. Hiking to the summit of Nyiragongo is a simple experience for passionate travelers. Depending on how fit a group or an individual is, the hiking to mount Nyiragongo summit in Congo costs between 4-6 hours. Simply the Brave`s cake!. If the group is fit enough, Hiking mountain Nyiragongo and descending on the same day is possible though exhausting. Alternatively, hikers are advised to spend an overnight in the basic accommodation present at the top of mountain Nyiragongo. Hiking to the top of Mount Nyiragongo is surprising and a funny experience. Yes, its a mountain and you expect people to be sweating while hiking, but hey! your advised to carry a raincoat and cold weather gear along with you. Frequently, you will experience rain showers during hiking to the top of Mount Nyiragongo in Congo and in rainy seasons, the temperatures here can decrease to even below 00C/320F.

Virunga National Park Congo Virunga National Park Congo


A trek to mount Nyiragongo is a hooray journey to the world`s largest active lava lake. The whole hiking experience of Nyiragongo mountain contains most of the theoretical geography that you have studied.  The Nyiragongo trek begins from the bottom of the volcano in Goma. You will have a stopover at the Virunga National Park office to sign-in along with your guide. The trek to the top of Mt Nyiragongo is often done in groups ranging from a couple of people to 12 but it usually depends on the day.  The hike begins at 1,994 meters above, then you will embark on more 1,524 meters of elevation up to the summit which is approximately 3,502meters. The hike is approximately 8km, not so long but you will experience a sharp altitude in such a short distance. Hiking is like a game of footballers, they run for 90minutes with just a break of 15minute! Then you too do not have to worry whether you will manage this steep trek.

The first section is just a walkover
Virunga National Park Congo

welcoming you to the trek. The hike begins about 2000meters from the starting point. But it’s just a gradual trek, not a very serious hike except that there are some climbing spots that you will have to gain.

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At the start of the second section
Virunga National Park Congo

still the altitude gains seem to be gradual and steeps will officially open up at the end of the second trail. You will definitely observe at this section that the woody trails will vividly change into the slippery loose lava rock

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the fourth segment is exhausting

The steep altitude you gain with firm steps on the lava rock as you approach the summit and the weather at this level continues to tremendously become colder the more you hike.

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Best Time For Hiking Mount Nyiragongo Volcano DR.Congo Virunga Park

If your one of those who wonder when it is safe to go to Nyiragongo for the climbing adventure in Congo, you certainly don’t want to miss watching the active volcano in Congo on any holiday. If you are planning a holiday in Virunga national park, take time and research about when to go for the experience that you want in Congo. Generally, D.R. Congo is also warm and sunny all year round, but the different regions in this country may experience different types of climates. All you should know in case you are planning a safari to Congo is the difference between the dry and wet seasons.
Nyiragongo volcanoes can possibly be visited throughout the year, all you need is to just keep in mind about the changes in weather like frequent rains during certain months of the year like from March to May and November, it tends to be a rainy season. Since Nyiragongo is in the middle of the equatorial rain forests. During
The dry months are June to October and in December. During the dry season, the rainforests are usually clear and this is a chance for you to enjoy taking the photos of the stunning landscape views of the greater Virunga mountains national park.
Nyiragongo hikes in Congo an annual activity, but it will be so much appreciated during the dry and cool months of January and February and also from June to September.

What to Carry For Mount Nyiragongo Volcano Trekking

Good and Comfortable Hiking Shoe

A good pair of hiking shoes, not necessarily the hiking boots are a must! You will need clear and good shoes that will help you to overcome the slippery rock stone while on this trek. Whether your hiking or descending..

Good Photographic Cameras To Take Pictures
Virunga National Park Congo

I know you can’t leave this behind! Come along with a clear camera and you will go back with memorable pictures, An iPhone with a good camera can as well help to record movies and pictures especially at night

Comfortable Rain Jackets For Emergency

There are very many chances of facing heavy downpours along the way or at the top. It is recommendable to carry a lighter hooded rain jacket to protect you from the probable heavy rains and not too heavy …

Warmer And Comfortable Clothes
Virunga National Park Congo

Summit Rim is too cold, its ideal you were warm clothes, and carry extra warm clothes for laying to sleep when you reach the top. Watching the bubbling lava lake at night is also more suitable when your comfortably

Accommodation for Mount Nyiragongo Volcano Hikers DR. Congo Virunga Park

Mount Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelters

Virunga National Park Congo

Housing at the peak of Mount Nyiragongo is the smaller basic tents provided with a decent mattress and pillows. Each tent is meant for two people but since they are small, you will be in close quarters with your tent mate!. There are eight cabins, each for two people. Some are up closer to the crater’s rim, while others are down below. Housing in the upper cabins allows you to pop out of your tent for a look in the crater at a moment’s notice however even those sleeping in the lower cabins will also access the lava lake. The higher cabins are colder because of wind as compared to the upper cabins.


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