11 Things to Know Before Hiking Mount Nyiragongo
11 Things to Know Before Hiking Mount Nyiragongo are the facts and key points a traveler should be aware of before they embark on hiking the mountain. Mount Nyiragongo is one of the mountains of the Virunga mountains chain that has gained popularity over the years in Africa. The Virunga Mountains are shared by three countries that are Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo (Congo).
The mountain is found within the Virunga national park a park famous for its rich attractions all designated in one area which includes dormant and active volcanoes like mountain Nyamuragira, mount Nyiragongo, mountain Emin, mount Mikeno, mount sabyinyo and so on, wildlife including the mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, the beautiful climate among other attractions which makes the park a one-stop tourist destination in Africa.
Before carrying out Mountain Nyiragongo hike, it is advisable for you to know a few details of the Nyiragongo mountain hike before you embark on your activity of hiking the mountain which includes the following;
- Time Frame of Hike: Hiking mountain Nyiragongo is one of the hardest activities that can be carried out and usually it takes 2 days for one to hike up the mountain and also descend down this because of the difficulties that might be found along the way like the rocks the volcanic rocks that can slow you down as they wobble under your feet. Other factors that can cause the hike to take a long time include resting periods in order for you to catch your breath, a heavy backpack where you carry your belongings for your overnight stay at the top of the mountain and a number of other reasons.
- Safety: This is one of the 11 Things to Know Before Hiking Mount Nyiragongo. Virunga national park is one of the safest parks in Congo due to the fact that security measures at the park were improved with the military being on guard to safeguard the people and their property during their tour at virunga national park. During the mount Nyiragongo hike, it should be noted the activity is very safe because you are in the company of a ranger and a military officer to make you feel safe while carrying out your activity. However, it should be noted that however much the park is secure, it is difficult to know whether the people you’ve traveled with are too, therefore it is advisable to keep your belongings safely in order to avoid incidents of theft among one another.
- Follow Rules & Regulations: In order to make your activity in the memorable and safe, you should follow the rules and regulations of the ranger/ guide that is in charge of you while participating in the activity this will avoid accidents during the hike up and the descent. For instance during situations when you stand near the volcanic crater to see the bubbling hot lava, you should not get too close to it as instructed by the guide because of accidents that can occur like falling into it. There is a viewpoint for tourists where they shouldn’t exceed while they view lava and hear the sound of earthquakes within the earth’s crust in order to feel safe and have an accident free hike. Therefore before you go on a mountain Nyiragongo hike, you should always follow the rules and regulations of the ground staff.
- Carry the Right equipment: It is important to carry the right equipment while hiking mountain Nyiragongo, it is important to have the right hiking equipment, for instance, good hiking shoes that will enable you to hike without any difficulties during the hike. Hiking/ walking sticks are provided at the reception too.
- Carry extra money with you: During the difficult packages of Nyiragongo hike, it should be noted that the park offers full board packages which is not practically the case because with full board package there is no porter that is to help you with your luggage and overnight stay sleeping bag on top of the mountain therefore it is advisable for you to carry some extra money with you in order to hire a porter and the beauty of Virunga National Park is the fact that it is porters are readily available at the bottom of the mountain before you embark on your mountain Nyiragongo hike. Hiring a cook from the base of the mountain to the cabins at the top of the mountain is also necessary if you have no packed lunch and the hired cook will provide a nicely made meal for you at a relatively cheap cost.
- Medical requirements conditions: For anyone interested in carrying out a Mount Nyiragongo hike, they should be fit health-wise in order to make the hike up to the top of the mountain. The hiker should be free from health conditions like heart problems, high blood pressure should not participate in the activity because it takes a lot of physical strength to make it happen. Therefore it is important not to cheat yourself and participate in the activity when you have health issues that will affect you during the activity.
- Right hiking gear: Before you carry out the activity you should consider the right hiking gear that is the right outfit, during the hike, during the hike, it is advisable to pack heavy clothes in your luggage because at the top of the mountain, the temperatures are cooler than that at the bottom, therefore, you should consider packing clothes that will give you warmth during your overnight stay at the top of the mountain. Some necessities like toiletries of your choice might not be received in your overnight backpack provided at the reception, therefore, it is advised that you carry your own.
- Hydration is necessary: This happens to be a very important factor among the 11 Things to Know Before Hiking Mount Nyiragongo. It is important to note that the mountain stands at an elevation of 11000 ft which makes it a high mountain to climb therefore the more you climb the mountain the more exhaustion also the altitude will also interfere with your immunity and for that reason there should be consideration of one’s health and also the fact that you should be well-fed and hydrated so that you don’t end up dizzy which is common at high altitudes.
- Accommodation: If you are interested in carrying out the Mount Nyiragongo hike, you should put in mind that at the top there a few accommodation facilities and because of that it is advisable to book in advance in order to make the necessary arrangements for your stay in the park and also important to note about the virunga activities, they are scheduled and well-organised packages that aim at meeting the needs of the client.
- Best time to go for the hike: It is necessary to know the best time to go for a Nyiragongo hike before you plan for your trip because you will be disappointed if you make your trips in the not so good months because of a number of reasons. Visiting virunga national park to go for a mount Nyiragongo hike in the months of march-may and November will be tricky for you because it is usually the period when there is much rainfall that can sabotage your hiking experience and cause accidents when you are hiking to the top. You can visit the park from June – October, and December because there are dry months and you can also take a chance with other months because they are a mix of rains and sunshine.
- Proper documentation: If you are a foreigner, you are advised that you carry your yellow fever certificate in order to pass through the border because, without it, you will not enter the country. Alternatively, if you have no yellow fever card you can take a shot or pay a fine in order to be allowed to access the country. And a valid passport with a visa is necessary for one to enter the Democratic republic of Congo. Without the necessary documents, it will be hard for you to access the country to participate in the activity.