Kwafrika Travel brings you through a 13 Days Nyiragongo Volcano and Rwenzori Mountain Hiking. In this trek up the mountains, trekkers combine fire with ice. Nyiragongo is a beautiful stratovolcano that features the world’s largest lava lake. Rwenzori mountains are the Africa’s third highest peak, the Margherita Peak.
Nyiragongo summit is located at 3470 m of altitude while Margherita Peak is located at 5109 m of altitude, the conditions at that altitude are mostly chilly, with the peaks covered in glaciers on many occasions. As you do the Nyiragongo volcano and Rwenzori Mountain hiking, you will realize that the flora is diverse with trees and valleys of ferns. The trees are alive with many species of birds and animals (Rwenzori Turaco, Guerrezzas monkey, Cercopithecus (Red tailed monkeyguenon) and primates) in the forest. As you walk up the trail you will see chimp nests high up in the tall trees, if you are lucky you may catch a glimpse of the resident chimpanzee as they scamper away. The Nyiragongo volcano and Rwenzori Mountain hiking adventure will bring you to experience both the world’s largest lava lake and the third highest mountain range in Africa, with its loftiest peaks, Margherita (5,109m) and Alexandra (5083m) on Mount Stanley, both of them are exceeded in altitude elsewhere in Africa only by Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya. You will climb through narrow ridges. The climb will be a steep one on land of ice. In between the two hikes, you will spend some rests in Tchegera Islands, to take some energy before going for the Rwenzori.
We provide some equipment necessary for the climb of the Congo’s Rwenzori Mountains like crampons, ropes, harnesses, carabinas, you need to bring good hiking boots, warm clothing warm sleeping bag, and rain gear. We do hire sleeping bags for those who need.
Flexibility to customize your itinerary to your own preferences
Excellent value for money
Close encounter with wildlife
Small group ensures personal service
All entrance fees included
Climbing to Margherita peak is now technical and knowledge of ropes and use of crampons, ascenders and knowledge of how to use an ice axe is advisable with ice sections of 60% steepness and changing rapidly due to climate change and melting of the glacier. All our guides are trained in ice climbing and rescue and can guide you up with little experience however you must be prepared to learn on the way up and to be able to fit your own crampons and at least tie basic knots and use of ascenders.
After breakfast at your hotel, our representative guide will pick and transfer you to Democratic Republic of Congo/Goma town. You will have lunch, Dinner and overnight at the Hotel in Goma. In the afternoon you may go for city tour depending on your arrival time.
This is a day for hiking to the summit of Mt Nyiragongo an active volcano in the heart of Virunga national park. You will have a morning breakfast and go for briefing at the hiking starting point. Hiking starts at 10:00am taking you roughly 6 hours to reach the summit of the volcano. Dinner and overnight at the tented camp.
At the peak of Nyiragongo, the lava lake is incredible, you can spend hours watching the waves of lava and listening to its roars. You will sleep in basic huts (make sure to bring warm clothes as it’s quite cold up there) and you will probably wake up above the clouds.
• Dinner: We will arrange food for you
Accommodation included: Overnight in shelters at the summit of the volcano
After the challenging Nyiragongo Volcano hike and before the rough Rwenzori mountains hiking, place to a relax time in Eastern Congo’s iconic island. Tchegera Island is the greatest place to be and escape the hustles of the city more so after hiking Nyiragongo and tracking the gorillas. A picnic will be organized in the island, and for those who wants to do more than put their feet up you can swim in the (croc-free) bay and there are kayaks available for use – the area immediately in front of camp is well protected from the elements and is typically mill-pond calm, while the open lake beyond can get quite sporty. On clear nights, Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes add to the drama by turning the night sky red with their glowing lava. Overnight in Tchegera Island Camps
You will take a boat very early in the morning to be brought in Goma City. Upon your arrival in Goma, you will be brought to Goma International Airport. It will take you 45’ to reach Mavivi Airport from Goma. Upon you arrival in Mavivi, our team will whisk away to Mutsora. You will be accompanied by armed rangers and it will take you 1 hour to reach the foothills of Rwenzori Mountains from the airport. , Depending on the time you reach Mutsora, you might enter the bush (40’ walk) to go experience thermal water which is a natural hot water flowing in the rocks at the foothills of Rwenzoris Massifs.
Dinner and overnight at Centre d’Accueil Touristique Mutsora which is equipped with mid-range tented camp and guarded with Armed Park Rangers.
After breakfast, you will depart to Kalevia which is located 4 km away from Mutsora. There you will be briefed after paying porters fees and complying with all hiking formalities. From Mutsora you will head to Kyandolirwe which is the hiking starting point (1700 m of altitude).
Assigned porters and a guide begin the first day of the climb in the Rwenzori Mountains making final checks. All along the trek, your guide will allow for some stops for resting or photo opportunities.
It takes 6 hours to reach the first lodging in Kalonge. During the trek, if lucky you will see chimpanzees or hear their sound. You will spot Rwenzori Turaco, Guerrezzas monkey, Cercopithecus (Red tailed monkeyguenon),… You will see a rare tree called ‘’PIJOUM’’ which under threat from locals as its bark is key to curing prostate and many other diseases. You will spot a couple of rivers during this first day trek to Kalonge. Kalonge means Bamboo and comes from the Nande dialect.
Dinner and overnight in basic hut in Kalonge
On this third day the hike will take you between 6 and 7 hours; you will climb up the Rwenzoris from Kalonge to Mahangu, a total of 1172m of altitude. Mahangu is Nande dialect and means between two hills. As you go up, you will cross Nyamuamba River, your porter will supply water from the river to get you to the summit. During the trek, if lucky you will see chimpanzees or hear their sound. You will spot Rwenzori Turaco, Jackson’s Chameleon which is a three horns chameleon, Cephalof Rubidus (an rare antelopes found only in the Rwenzoris), Green peacock,… The vegetation is pervasively made of purple forest heather and podocarp forests.
Dinner and overnight in Hut in Mahangu
The trek up to Kyondo from Mahangu will take you up to 4h30’. Kiondo is Nande dialect and means the mud. You will spot Rwenzori Turaco, Guerrezzas monkey, Jackson’s Chameleon, sunlight birds, Pied Crow,… The vegetation is made of lobelia flowers, Carex Flowers, Immortelle (Ageless flower)
As you reach Kiondo, you might go to WASUWAMESO located 262 m up from Kiondo at 4462m of altitude to be precise. Wasuwameso means Pleasure of the eyes. WASUWAMESO is a panoramic area at Pic Maria. From Pic Maria you will see Pic Marguerite (5119m alt) actually called Pic Stanley, Pic Alexandra (5098m alt), Pic Albert (5088m alt), Pic Mobeus and also glacier Stanley. From there, you can spot a gallery of rivers ranging from Semuliki river to Lac Edouard. If the atmosphere is not cloudy, you could even see Nyiragongo Volcano (Boasting the world’s largest lava lake), Beni and Butembo city.
The fauna is made Cephalos, Pied Crow, Rwenzori Turaco, Sunlight birds, gallery of lakes (Black lake, Green Lake and Gray Lake). It takes 1h30’ to reach WASUWAMESO from KIONDO.
Dinner and overnight in Basic Hut in Kiondo.
This is the day for a trek up to Moraine; it takes 2 hours to reach the lodging in Moraine where you will spend the rest of day and night unwinding and getting ready for the tough trek up to the summit (Pic Marguerite, Pic Albert). The trek up to Moraine is dangerous as trekkers cross the fault with the risk of falling and dying or being injured. The vegetation here is the same as in Mahangu and Kiondo. Moraine means, a place where there were used to be glacier but it has disappeared.
Dinner and overnight in basic Hut.
On this day, you will go for a 6 hours trek up to reach the highest mountain range in Africa, with its loftiest peaks, Margherita (5,109m) and Alexandra (5083m) on Mount Stanley, both of them are exceeded in altitude elsewhere in Africa only by Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya. On this day, you will climb through narrow ridges. The climb will be a steep one on land of ice. The conditions at this altitude are mostly chilly, with the peaks covered in glaciers on some occasions.
After surfing and enjoying pic margherita, you will head down to Moraine in a 3 hours descent. The descent will go up to Kiondo (4200m alt) if the group does not bump into so many crevasses in glacier. Most of the time, trekkers will spend the night at Moraine (4350m alt).
On this day, you will start the descent to the foothills of Rwenzori Massifs. Descending will be easier compared to the challenging hike. You will spend the night at the first lodging all the way from the fourth lodging (Moraine).
You will leave Kalonge in the morning to reach Mutsora, the rwenzoris foothills in few hours.
On this day, you will have the opportunity to interact with the local communities around the park in Mutwanga village and its surroundings, Mutwanga is home to the Nande who live in the foothills of the mountain where you will learn about their daily activities like farming, animal rearing, taste their traditional dishes, visit traditional healers, craft shops and engage in entertainment such as traditional dances, music, dramas which make your visit rewarding.
Dinner and overnight at Centre d’Accueil Touristique Mutsora
In the morning, you will be brought to Kasindi Border Post, cross into Uganda. Our driver will be waiting for you in Uganda to drive you to Entebbe International Airport via Kampala for drop-off.
End of the trip