This 5-Day Congo Gorilla Safari & Nyiragongo Mountain Hike is a fun filled adventure safari. The tours combines two of the most unique experiences in Congo’s Virunga National Park. Mountain gorilla trekking and Nyiragongo Volcano hike are magical and historical encounters that are a dream of every adventurous world traveler. Come explore Africa with us!
Mountain Nyiragongo in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is an active volcano which last erupted in 2002. Its lava lake is most known for its volcanic activity in the recent times. 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). Here are some of the other facts you may need to know about this mountain.
It Has Erupted 34 Times
It is not fully know how many times this mountain has erupted but since the year 1882, this volcano has erupted about 34 times. This includes the times when the eruptions were continuous for a long time in a year, often in the form of a churning lava lake in the crater.
Hard for Trekkers to Reach
It’s hidden in the depths of Mount Nyiragongo and hikers must trek up to an altitude of about 11,400ft (3.47km) to catch a glimpse of the lava lake.
Mount Nyiragongo is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, erupting on average every 30 years.
Lava Shot Down the Mountain at 60mph in 1977
In 1977, the walls of the lava lake were cracked and the lava was drained in less than an hour. Its fell down the slopes of the volcano at about 60 miles per hour and went into the nearby villages killing over 70 people. The hazards posed by eruptions like this are unique to Nyiragongo.
Carbon Dioxide Toxicity
Localized carbon dioxide toxicity, known locally as ‘mazuku’, has killed children even more recently. In locations where the gas seeps from the ground in relatively high levels, without the dispersing effects of wind, its effects can be deadly.
Just after six months of the 2002 eruption, this volcano erupted again. The volcanic activity at this mountain is still going on but still only in the crater. Another crater lake has been formed a few meters the one formed in 1994.
After breakfast in Kigali Rwanda, you will go with our driver/guide to embark on a journey to Gisenyi; the largest of all Lake Kivu towns. The place offers a beautiful beach environment, suitable for relaxation. The boat cruise offers breathtaking sights of endless water habitats and a series of islands that overlook Nyiragongo Volcano. You will enjoy lunch and then take off on another trip crossing the Congo border to Goma in the province of North Kivu; arriving at Hotel Ihusi in the late evening where you will have dinner and then turn in for the night.
After breakfast your morning is set to embark on a day long adventure hike to one of the few remaining active volcanoes on the African continent; featuring the most fluid and expansive lava lake on a global scale. Standing to the east of Democratic Republic of Congo, in the town of Goma, Nyiragongo Volcano is noted as the world’s most active volcano. On two subsequent times in 1997 and t2002, it released a high speed lava flow from the volcanic cracks destroying half of the town killing people and destroying property. Your dinner and overnight stay is spent at a mountain shelter, near the crater rim. Here you will get the best views of the lava lake.
In the early morning, after breakfast, you will descend back down the steep slopes of Nyiragongo Mountain, enjoying the panoramic views of the dense Congo jungle and the expanse of the waters of Lake Kivu. You will then travel to the Mikeno Lodge for an afternoon of relaxation and a delicious lunch. This is where you will have dinner and then settle in for the night.
The Virunga National Park is not only a mountain gorilla haven but also features two great ape species namely; chimpanzee and low land gorilla. The Park is also home other wild game including the okapi, and elephants to name a few. Your gorilla trek commences in the morning, after breakfast, at the Bukima Ranger Post where you will traverse the forested jungle of the park in the company of one of our ranger/guides. The time spent with the Mountain Gorillas is limited to one hour, and provides opportunities for amazing photo shoots and extensive learning about these critically endangered species. At the end of this once in a lifetime experience, you will head back to the lodge for lunch and some rest and relaxation and later dinner.
After breakfast you will check-out and drive back to Kigali. Upon arrival you will catch your flight back home. This is where your safari will end.