Gorilla trekking and Nyiragongo Hikingnyiragongo
In October 2014, the authorities of Virunga National park announced that the route to climbing Mount Nyiragongo has been reopened for tourism purposes. This mountain is also a fantastic stratovolcano which hosts one of the world’s largest and rarest lave lakes, that makes it one of Africa’s most exciting and worthwhile hiking experiences.
The lava lakes are one of the most impressive and forms some volcanic activities that any outdoor lover could like to witness. When you reach the summit on your mount Nyiragongo climb, you will see the bubbling lava cauldron and you will be able to feel the volcano’s energy and this breathes and heavens. The overnight at this mountain crater edge will also help you enjoy the spectacle with in the dark and at dawn and dusk when it’s beautiful and enhanced. Mount Nyiragongo in eastern DRC rises to over 3470m altitude overlooking the virungas National park and the albertine Rift. This climb to mount Nyiragongo is not so difficult and reaching the top should not take more than 5 hours.
In order to ensure a marvelous adventure, this tour should include gorilla trekking in the near volcanoes National park in Rwanda. Also facing these gorillas eye on eye is a huge primal and humbling adventure.
Below is the itinerary that includes; hiking to Nyiragongo and gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park
Day 1: Arrival and transfer to Volcanoes National park
Upon your arrival at Kigali international Airport, you will be met by the company guide who will then welcome you and will take you to Kigali town to enjoy a Kigali city. This will depend on your time of arrival and the sites that you will visit include; the caplaki Hand crafts Market where you can buy some Rwanda cultural souvenirs., the Kimironko city market that has the best tasty foods, the genocide memorial centre and the education centre, this site has over 250000 victims of the 1994 Rwanda genocide and als0o stands as a real testimony to the courage as well as the reconciliatory efforts of the people of Rwanda.
Have lunch and after drive north towards Ruhengeri and reach at Volcanoes National park where you will settle at the hotel. You will have a chance to refreshen up and then adventure the surrounding and later have a delicious cooked meal before enjoying gorilla trekking the next day.
Dinner and overnight at Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel/ Mountain Gorilla view Lodge
Day 2: Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park
Enjoy breakfast and later have a short drive to Volcanoes National headquarters and meet with the rangers who will then lead you for your mountain gorilla adventure. You will also have a talk that is so informative on the required etiquette for gorilla trekking that proceed after the real walk. Once your gorilla trekking groups are formed, you will start your hike towards the many territories as well as areas in the mountains where your gorilla family lives. This trek takes 1 to 6 hours and you could also hike to an altitude of over 7500 feet.
Even though this climb can be so demanding physically, the beauty of the forest and the nearby scenery that makes the trek a worthwhile adventure. Once these mountain gorillas are located, all the fatigue is always forgotten.
Just glancing deep into their eyes, it’s the most exciting and emotional wildlife encounter that Africa has to offer and one of the most interesting natural history adventure in the whole world.
When the group comes back from the hills, there will be a transfer that will take you to the lake side town of Gisenyi where you will also check in to the Paradise Malahide hotel for your lunch, a shower and resting as well. There are no activities that have been planned in the afternoon and in order to allow all the participants to decide whether to rest the next morning or to hike mount Nyiragongo or also enjoy a swim in Lake Kivu.
Dinner and overnight at Gorillas Volcanoes Hotel/ Mountain Gorilla view Lodge
Day 3: Have a climbing to Mount Nyiragongo
Wake up early in the morning and have breakfast before transferring to Rwanda/ Congo border post, you will also cross to Democratic Republic of Congo and then drive to Kibati patrol at the base of mountain Nyiragongo which is 50km outside Goma town.
Immediately after the brief and the final check of each and everyone’s packs as well as equipment’s, you can begin the hike towards mount Nyiragongo‘s summit. The party will also be lead and accompanied by a set of guides/ rangers and some porters.
The first two hours, you will pass through the lush pristine forest, were the trees offer a welcome shelter from the sun till you arise from the forest onto a small plateau with the beautiful views that extend towards the endless horizon, with lake Kivu, Bukavu , Burundi and Rwanda at your own feet.you will be now standing on the lava flow remnants of Mount Nyiragongo’s 2002 eruption.
From here, the trail will become firmer and the forest will give way to many swathes of the recovering heath with the vegetation that is dominated by the ferns, sedges, and heather. In afternoon, you will arrive at mount nyiragongo crater and stay in the cabins.
The rest of the afternoon, you will spend it exploring the whole crater edge and sopping in the nearby views as well as mount Nyiragongo’s lava cauldron. Happily, your guides know how to reach the best photogenic and observation spots safely. And in case everyone has had enough, the party will then return to the camp in order to settle into the cabins, rest and then enjoy an early supper.
At Exactly 18:00 hrs, you will return to the chosen spots at the crater edge in order to view and appreciate mount Nyiragogo’s molten lava lake. Within the dark time, you are able to appreciate better the crusty dark surface of lava, joined and splitting into the ever changing plates.as these plates separate, the bright orange lava will fill the cracks as well as the spider web pattern will emerges. Now and then, the fountains of lava flash up the pretty patterns and adding a flow of dynamism and power to the spectacular sight. Most of the times, the fountains will show throughout the crust like the collection of the campfires, that create another beautiful show.
As you come back to the cabins on mount Nyiragongo, the lights of Goma glow below which will remind you about what’s in store for the following day.
Overnight at the Cabin high above mount Nyiragongo’s active lava lake.
Day 4: Proceed from Mount Nyiragongo , a visit of Goma and then cross to Gisenyi
Have breakfast and after you will get back to the crater’s rim at dawn for the last peek. Clothed in warm clothing, you will welcome the new day as the red and yellow of the lava below the mixes with a back drop of the blue and indigo skies.
After, you will descend from to Kibati and this descent will take you 2 to 3 hours and after , your transport means will be waiting to take you back to Goma for your lunch and have a short tour of the town before crossing before crossing back into Rwanda to check into Gisenyi hotel, for your shower. You will rest and also have dinner.
Overnight at Paradise Malahide Hotel
Day 5: Drive back to Kigali & transfer to airport and departure
Have breakfast and you will be taken back to Kigali airport to catch your flight back home.
You will also spend 1 night at Gorilla Volcanoes hotel, paradise Malahide in Gisenyi and 1 night at the high altitude cabins on mounta Nyiragongo’s summit. While staying in gorilla volcanoes Hotel, you will be living in the en suite room with hot water, Wi-Fi and the satellite TV.
The Paradise Malahide is a lodge that is located 7 km outside Gisenyi which is a beautiful location along the shores of Lake Kivu, with the lovely views just across the Islands. These bangalows as well as the main dining areas are bounded by well-manicured and the colorful gardens.
There is also a section of both private and public beaches that allow the visitors to enjoy Lake Kivu. All the cottages are so cool and comfortable with double beds, bamboo chairs, mosquito nets, and the small tables plus the wardrobe. This is perfectly combined, charmingly so rustic and it’s a simple lodge that offers great food.
The mount Nyiragongo cabins are new and were built on the edge of the volcano’s crater, en suite, wooden, and spacious and have two beds each. These are also rural, comfortable as well as practical. The temperatures also vary 15 c to 29 c are rarely below 14 degrees or below 31 degrees C.