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Nyiragongo Volcano

At 3468 meters, Nyiragongo, one of the world’s most beautiful and active volcanoes, towers above the thick jungles of Virunga National Park. A five-hour hike to the rim of the 1.2 km wide crater reveals the fiery lava lake deep inside. Sitting on the edge of the crater at night, the red boiling lava and smoking caldera will mesmerize the visitor.The trek includes a walk throughlush forest and lava fields with a steep incline near the top, and includesan overnight stay in the Nyiragongo Crater Cabanas on the volcano rim. The stunning views both day and night make this an unforgettable experience.

Ruwenzori Mountains

Congo’s spectacular Rwenzori Mountains in the north of Virunga National Park include glaciers, lakes, and unusual flora, making it one of Africa’s most beautiful alpine areas.Expeditions begin at the park’s northern headquarters of Mutsora and reach the base of the glaciers in four days at 4400 meters. Those prepared for a challenge can continue to the summit of Mount Margherita at 5109 meters. Along the way on this four to six-day trek, visitors can stay at three well-equipped refuges. Experienced guides lead the way through some of the most beautiful and rugged mountainous landscape in Africa.

Tongo chimps - Congo

Tongo’s four unique forested hills lie on one of the lava flows from Nyamulagira volcano and is estimated to be 300 years old. This wild forest is home to a small population of chimpanzees who, for generations, have spent their days playing in the trees and hunting for food.Recently habituated to human presence, the chimpanzees can now be observedby visitors in their ancient habitat. Treks begin from a visitor’s center overlooking the Tongo hills with the dramatic Virunga volcanoes lining the horizon. It is a perfect setting to begin a trip into the home of the Tongo chimps.Don’t miss this unique opportunity to witness a different species of fascinating apes in their natural environment.

Mikeno Lodge - Congo

Tucked into a forested hillside at Virunga National Park headquarters, Mikeno Lodge offers guestsa peaceful refuge after a day visiting mountain gorillas or climbing a volcano. The air is cool, the views impressive, and the lodging comfortable.Each of the 12 private bungalows, made from lava stone with a natural thatch roof, includes a roomy interior with cozy seating around a stone fireplace. On cool nights, the fireplace warms the bungalow, while on warm afternoons the private mahogany terrace provides a prime position for spotting the Blue and Colobus monkeys that use the surrounding trees as their playground.Mikeno Lodge is perfectly situated between three major attractions in Virunga National Park, and only one hour from Goma. Whether your stay is the starting point for gorilla, volcano, and chimp adventures, or purely for a relaxing time-out ina peaceful location, Mikeno Lodge provides an exceptional experience among the wildlife and beauty of Virunga National Park.

Bukima Patrol Post Tented Camp

BukimaPatrolPostTentedCampLocated at the starting point for gorilla treks, this basic but comfortable tented camp can sleep up to 16 people at a time. It provides all necessary requirements for a comfortable night in the wilderness, with a magnificent view of Mount Mikeno. Prices for the camp are based on two people sharing a tent (twin beds). The price also includes a basic evening meal and breakfast (drinks can be purchased on site). For budget travelers, it is possible to bring your own camping equipment and food and stay for a reduced price.

Mountain Gorillas in Congo

Virunga National Park, a World Heritage site,is home to more than a quarter of the world’s remaining 790 critically endangered mountain gorillas. Virunga’s mountain gorillas live onthe verdant jungle slopes of the park’s towering volcanoes. In this spectacular setting, one of man’s closest relatives lives as they have donefor thousands of years. Mothers care for their infants, juveniles play without a care in the world, adolescent males wrestle in preparation for future tests of dominance, and the family patriarch, the dominant male silverback, keeps a watchful eye on all. Of the few remaining places to witness the mountain gorilla, Virunga National Park stands alone as the most exotic.If you are fortunate enough to visit the park’s mountain gorillas, you will be awestruck and forever changed. In tracking Congo’s mountain gorillas you will also be helping to ensure the survival of this magnificent creature.

Nyamulagira Eruption

Africa's most active volcano, Nyamuragira is a massive high-potassium basaltic shield volcano that rises about 25 km north of Lake Kivu, NW of Nyiragongo volcano. Nyamuragira, also known as Nyamulagira, has a volume of 500 cu km, and extensive lava flows from the volcano blanket 1500 sq km of the western branch of the East African Rift. The broad low-angle shield volcano contrasts dramatically with its steep-sided neighbor Nyiragongo. The 3058-m-high summit of Nyamuragira is truncated by a small 2 x 2.3 km caldera that has walls up to about 100 m high. Historical eruptions have occurred within the summit caldera, frequently modifying the morphology of the caldera floor, as well as from the numerous fissures and cinder cones on the volcano's flanks. A lava lake in the summit crater, active since at least 1921, drained in 1938, at the time of a major flank eruption. Historical lava flows extend down the flanks more than 30 km from the summit, reaching as far as Lake Kivu.Copyright CAI Tjeenk Willink - Virunga National Park

Safari with our clients

These are the pictures taken by our clients during one of our hikes to Nyiragongo and a visit to the sanctuary.

Tchegera Island Tented Camp

Tchegera Island Camp is the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of Goma or to relax after climbing Nyiragongo volcano. Situated off the northern shore of L. Kivu, Tchegera camp offers spectacular views of the lake and four volcanoes. On clear nights, Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes add to the drama by turning the night sky red with their glowing lava. There is also an abundance of birdlife on the island, including African eagles, cormorants, herons and gulls. Whether one chooses to relax on the beach or explore other parts of the island in a sea kayak or by paddle board, Tchegera is the perfect place for rest and relaxation.

Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelters

Nyiragongo is a beautiful stratovolcano that features the world’s largest lava lake. The volcano’s forested lower slopes are home to a variety of animals, including chimpanzees, monkeys, and bushbuck. Nyiragongo’s summit rim is largely devoid of vegetation and is frequently dusted with snow. From the rim, visitors can peer down into a churning lava lake and see and hear hot gases exploding up though a mosaic of molten lava. Although predictable and therefore safe for tourists, Nyiragongo is greatly feared during eruptions. Because of the high silica content of its lava, Nyiragongo’s lava flows are extremely fluid. During the 2002 eruption, some of Nyiragongo’s lava flows were clocked at 100 km/hr (62 mph) and reached all the way to Lake Kivu. Treks to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano begin at the Kibati patrol post, which is approximately 30 minutes by car from Goma. The patrol post is less than a one hour drive from the Mikeno Lodge in Rumangabo. Park rangers lead all treks and porters (unaffiliated with the park) are available for hire. The time required to reach the summit depends on the average fitness of each group, but typically takes 4 – 6 hours. Altitude sickness can be an issue for some because the climb begins at 1989m (6,525 ft) and ascends to 3470m (11,382ft) in a short time. Proper hydration is the best way to adapt to the change in altitude. People prone to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) should speak to their physicians about taking preventative measures before making the climb. It is possible for fitter people to climb up and descend in one day, but most groups choose to overnight in basic accommodation available at the top (included in the permit fee). Trekkers are advised to bring raincoats and cold weather gear. Rain showers are a common occurrence on the climb up during the rainy season and temperatures at the summit can dip below 0°C/32°F. Guests staying at the Mikeno lodge can arrange packed meal service for the trip, while those coming with tour groups must supply their own. There is no food service on Nyiragongo. Porters can be hired at the base of the climb to carry loads for $12/day ($24 for the overnight trip). The maximum weight that porters are authorized to carry is 15kg.

Chimpanzee Habituation Walks

In February 2014, a Congolese team trained by Frankfurt Zoological Society began habituating a group of chimpanzees living in the forests around park headquarters in Rumangabo. Guests staying at Mikeno Lodge can join this team on their daily visits to the chimpanzees. The day begins when a group of local trackers leave their camp at 4:30 am to locate where the chimpanzees spent the previous night. Lodge guests set out at 6:00 am to find the chimpanzees. Groups are limited to 4 people and time with the chimpanzees is restricted to one hour.