This one is not for the faint hearted. Would you dare to hike up the most active volcano in Africa? It has not erupted since 2002 but the lava levels are on rise. This volcano`s lava flows faster than most volcanoes which just shows the heat and intensity kept within it.
Firstly note that we may be speaking of extremely hot things, but this hike can get cold. Super cold. Below freezing level cold. Come prepared. Hypothermia is warned against. This means everything from thermal underwear to a super warm sleeping bad.
The walk starts very early. You spend one night at the top and then return. Climbers typically descend the volcano at between 6:30 – 7:00 am the next morning and arrive back at Kibati station by 11:30 am.
At the top you spend the night in a summit shelter. It may not be a luxury lodge but is a very welcome escape from the elements which you will be in dire need of. Inside are two single beds where upon climbers can place their sleeping bags.
There are a couple of options the park offers:
Meal Plan ($75) – includes snacks, lunch, and dinner on Day 1 and breakfast and snacks on Day 2. Water is also included for both days.
Meal and gear package ($100) – includes meal plan plus a sleeping bag, jacket, fleece top, hat and rain poncho.
You can also make use of a Porter to carry additional things you are not able to carry.
Porters ($24) – The maximum weight that porters are authorized to carry is 15 kg. Porters can be arranged by speaking with a Virunga National Park ranger at the Kibati station.
This is a once in a lifetime experience and if you are up to the challenge, take it!