The Nyiragongo volcano trek is divided into five sections, with a 15-minute break at each stop. Hikers commence the ascent at the Kibati Ranger Post at an altitude of 1870m and reach the summit at 3,470m, with a 6.5km hike each way. Average climbing time is between 4 and 6 hours, with descent off the volcano taking around 4 hours. Times are dependent on group speed and agility as the slowest person on the trek sets the pace.
The first section of the trek will take guests through dense forest at the base of Nyiragongo. It is in this area that hikers are encouraged to keep a look out for wildlife, including monkeys and bushbuck. The forest ascends up into the second section whose open skied trails offer beautiful views of the valley below. The third section takes you across old lava flows and past steaming volcanic fissures. After entering high montane forest to traverse the fourth section, the fifth and final ascent is a steep 300m to the summit.
Once at the top, exhaustion melts away as Nyiragongo offers an exhilarating gift to those who have conquered its slopes: the world’s largest lava lake churning away in a mosaic of molten red fire. The most breathtaking spectacle is saved for last however, when the sun goes down and Nyiragongo begins its nightly glow against a backdrop of stars.