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Nyiragongo molten lava, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Virunga Volcano Climb in the D.R.C

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

3 Days

Prices Start from

£1,100 ex. flights

Climb Mount Nyiragongo, a volcano in Virunga National Park in eastern DRC. Spending a night on its peak, ascend to the rim of the crater and look down at the world’s largest lava lake – found within a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Nyiragongo at night, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo 1

Lava Lake

Look down at the world’s largest lava lake from the crater rim.

Looking from Tchegera towards Nyiragongo, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo 2

Volcano Climb

Climb the almost perfectly conical Nyiragongo volcano – often topped with cloud.

Looking out from Nyiragongo towards Rwanda, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo 3

Sunrise on the Summit

Watch the sunrise over the magnificent volcanic landscape of Virunga National Park.

Tchegera Island Lodge, Tchegera Island 4

Tchegera Island

Spend a night on a beautiful sunken caldera, surrounded by Lake Kivu

Why we like it

This journey offers the chance to get close to a phenomenal natural wonder – the vast lava lake atop Nyiragongo. Accommodation on the volcano is basic and the climb challenging, but the views are incomparable. Every step up to the 3,470-metre-high peak is justified by the sight that greets you at the top.

Don't forget, we will customise this journey to suit you.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1
    Kigali - Gisenyi - Tchegera Island
  • Day 2
    Tchegera Island - Nyiragongo
  • Day 3
    Nyiragongo - Gisenyi - Kigali
Tchegera Island Lodge, Tchegera Island
Tchegera Island Lodge, Tchegera Island, Democratic Republic of Congo

Sunken Caldera

Begin with a night at Tchegera Island, which sits in the vast Lake Kivu. This idyllic camp is spread along the ridge of a collapsed volcanic caldera – the perfect starting point for the trip. Isolated and tranquil, this camp looks out over the calm waters of the lake. As night sets, the sky begins to glow with an orange hue from the nearby volcanoes.

Looking down from Nyiragongo towards Goma and Lake Kivu, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Volcano Ascent

Leave the watery landscape of Tchegera Island behind for the forested slopes of Nyiragongo. Begin in the morning, climbing slowly upwards towards the summit camp. Pass the through the lush vegetation that coats the lower levels, before continuing on to the sparser, higher slopes. These – devoid of trees and bushes – offer a beautifully harsh landscape that culminates with the magnificent volcanic peak.

Nyiragongo lava lake, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Lava Lake

The views over the Virunga National Park are stunning and the forested savannah below spreads far into the distance. However, the greatest views are down into the volcano itself. As night sets, head to the crater rim and look down at the vast lava lake – alive with swirling molten rock. Watch as smoke pours forth from the heart of the volcano and as the lava glows, splutters and hisses. In the dark, the views are particularly spectacular – thoroughly justifying the tiring climb.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Nyiragongo Summit Shelter £££££

  • Democratic Republic of Congo

They are very much shelter and not much else. These fibre-glass huts keep out the wind and stay surprisingly warm but are very spartan. Inside each hut are small foam mattresses, which lie directly on the floor. However, after the hike to the top, they will feel like a king-size bed. There is a small window at one end. Basic sleeping bags are provided and whilst the shelters keep out the elements and can be quite warm, we recommend you bring either your own sleeping bag or at least a good sleeping bag liner. All food is brought by the porters and food is cooked on a small stove – surprisingly filling – along with some fresh fruit. Water is also provided, although you or your porter will need to carry this. There is no running water (bring travel hand wipes) and the loo is a long drop affair, reached by a short, steep walk on a rocky path (there is a safety rope to help you back up). Please be aware, this is a VERY basic affair, being nothing more than a tiny, bare hut.

View Property

Tchegera Island Lodge £££££

  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Tented Camps
  • Unusual

Definitely one of a kind, this excellent tented camp sits on the exposed ridge of a collapsed volcanic caldera in the middle of Lake Kivu. The handful of safari-style Meru tents lie directly on the black sandy shores, with small verandas under canvas. From here you can sit back and admire the view or watch birds and butterflies amongst the trees, which help provide shade and privacy. Inside the tents are simple, spacious and clean, with flushing loos, bucket showers and power from a generator.

View Property

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From £1,100 Per person

When to travel

Democratic Republic of Congo in January

January and February is the short dry season, so it is a good time to visit. It is hot, so if you are planning to climb Nyiragongo it will be slightly less cold on the top. However be prepared for rain at any time of year though, as the DRC has a tropical climate.

Democratic Republic of Congo in February

January and February is the short dry season, so it is a good time to visit. It is hot, so if you are planning to climb Nyiragongo it will be slightly less cold on the top. However be prepared for rain at any time of year though, as the DRC has a tropical climate.

Democratic Republic of Congo in March

March to May is the short rainy season, so you’ll definitely need to bring a raincoat if you plan to travel at this time. It is the quietest time of year though, so you can have your pick of the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in April

March to May is the short rainy season, so you’ll definitely need to bring a raincoat if you plan to travel at this time. It is the quietest time of year though, so you can have your pick of the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in May

March to May is the short rainy season, so you’ll definitely need to bring a raincoat if you plan to travel at this time. It is the quietest time of year though, so you can have your pick of the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in June

June to September is definitely the driest time of year to explore Virunga and Nyiragongo. It will be cooler and less humid, so easier for trekking. However, you will need all your layers on the top of Nyiragongo. The most popular time to travel so is prepared to book in advance to secure the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in July

June to September is definitely the driest time of year to explore Virunga and Nyiragongo. It will be cooler and less humid, so easier for trekking. However, you will need all your layers on the top of Nyiragongo. The most popular time to travel, so be prepared to book in advance to secure the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in August

June to September is definitely the driest time of year to explore Virunga and Nyiragongo. It will be cooler and less humid, so easier for trekking. However, you will need all your layers on the top of Nyiragongo. The most popular time to travel, so be prepared to book in advance to secure the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in September

June to September is definitely the driest time of year to explore Virunga and Nyiragongo. It will be cooler and less humid, so easier for trekking. However, you will need all your layers on the top of Nyiragongo. The most popular time to travel, so be prepared to book in advance to secure the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in October

October to December is the long rainy season. November is the wettest month, so if you do plan to travel at this time you’ll need to be well prepared with all-weather gear. However, accommodation is easier to come by and you may be able to save money on gorilla permits and hotels.

Democratic Republic of Congo in November

October to December is the long rainy season. November is the wettest month, so if you do plan to travel at this time you’ll need to be well prepared with all-weather gear. However, accommodation is easier to come by and you may be able to save money on gorilla permits and hotels.

Democratic Republic of Congo in December

October to December is the long rainy season. November is the wettest month, so if you do plan to travel at this time you’ll need to be well prepared with all-weather gear. However, accommodation is easier to come by and you may be able to save money on gorilla permits and hotels.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


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