View the active burning flame of the lava of the Nyiragongo Volcano, is one of every travelers dream, place to visit and see and as one of the things that make it worth visiting as part of his safari to Africa. The mere thinking of a hike and in the end you are rewarded with scenery of the world’s largest Lava Lake. This is a lifetime moment to share. Virunga is an Oasis of hope, not only for the region, but also for Africa and for whole nature of our planet. In the middle of this a churning pit of lava. You can’t help but gawp at the sight of it. A place not of this Earth, right here on Earth.
Many travelers are worried of where to sleep, where to lay their tired legs and head for a nap after a long trek to the summit, but you need not to worry, all is well arranged for you, as you will surprised how clean the place is. The huts are very basic. Just a wooden structure and some roll mats on the floor, the huts you sleep in keep you very warm, and there are foam mattresses in them too so they are pretty comfy!
The shelters are placed just at the summit, surrounding the rim; you can walk anytime and see the molten lava. The way to this summit is crowded with lots of wildlife including the chimpanzees and lots of monkey species. The Nyiragongo summit has less vegetation and has more of snow. Visitors can peer down into a churning lava lake and see and hear hot roaring gases exploding up though a mosaic of molten lava
Trekking to the summit of Nyiragongo begins at Kibati which is less than an hour from Goma by road and almost the same distance from Mikeno Lodge. The treks are led by the park rangers and there are always porters to hire that can help you carry your luggage. It can take about 4 to 6 hours to reach the summit depending on the fitness of the group.
Towards the very end of the climb the plant life disappears entirely and you’re exposed to the elements. The only things on the ground are rocks. It suddenly gets very cold. There’s a hut here where you can use change into cold weather gear.
There are basic toilet facilities there too. For this last bit there is no path – you clamber over the rocks using whatever path suits you best, Lord of the Rings style. At the top are several wooden huts, situated meters from the lip of the volcano. Those would be your homes for the night and you clambered towards them.
For people that are very fit physically it is very possible to climb and descend in one day but it’s not so common and therefore most groups spend a night in the shelters at the top. There is nothing quite like a steaming hot shower and turn down service. You’re in the wilderness, and this is part of the experience!
The shelters are essentially two-person tents inside small wooden structures; this is not a luxury overnight!, for those who are hikers, you understand what it means by a hut. It is important that you carry rain gear as the weather can tend to be cold and there are high chances of rain. Temperatures are usually below 0 degrees. If you are staying at Mikeno lodge, the lodge can arrange to have your lunch packed for the trek and they have warm rain gear and other necessary equipment for hire.
The other lodges around the mountain include: Bukima Tented camp, Kibumba Tented Camp Tchegera Island tented Camp and may be Lake Kivu hotel in Goma.