In April of 2018, I and my friend organized a visit to Congo of which our major thing we wanted to do in Congo was to hike the Nyiragongo Mountain since we were great hikers and we like hiking very much. But after searching and found out that Congo is one of the few countries which inhabit the Mountain gorillas and its gorilla permits are too cheap compared to the other two countries (Uganda and Rwanda) which also keep the Mountain gorillas too, we decided to first have Congo gorilla tours in Virunga National Park.
The Congo gorilla permit costs US$ 400 relying on what we found out but since we moved in a low season where Congo receives few gorilla trekkers, we were given a discount of US$ 200 thus we paid only US$ 200 for a gorilla permit and we enjoyed many things from the Park. However, we booked our tour safari with the Nature Adventure Africa Safari Limited in November 2016 because we wanted our tour company to be aware of our tour and also plan it accordingly.
Why we decided to use the Nature Adventure Africa Safari Limited? We first searched for the tour companies which could help us in our tour safari and we found out that it was the best tour company we had to pick evidenced by the many tourists who deal with it thus we also had to choose it of which we also evidenced its immediate and good services. We first witnessed it from our friends who had visited Congo using the same tour company. Since we wanted such a friendly and good tour company, we chose it too and its services were immediate and absolutely the best.
We dealt with Moses who is a tour consultant of that tour company and he is really a good guy to deal with because he was too friendly to us and he took us as his first priority and his services were immediate too. The Nature Adventure Africa Safari Limited provided us with a good Prado vehicle and also purchased a gorilla permit on our behalf which we paid US$ 200 per person since it was a low season.
In accessing Virunga National Park, we enjoyed many activities in the Park but what amazed us is giving a sight to the Mountain gorillas which we had never had a face to face view of them since we were born because they don’t exist in our country and we had never traveled to any park consisting of them. We searched for the Mountain gorillas in a group of 8 individuals per group and we spent with the gorillas for only one hour as it is recommended. We kept a distance of almost 9 meters away from the primates which we found on the ground and we were able to take photos of them using the cameras without flashlights as they told us that there are the only cameras ideal to take photos of these primates.
Since the Park has other creatures, we also waited for another day to enjoy them too as we stayed in Mikeno lodge. At the lodge is where we had our supper, lunch and breakfast too. The following day we went for other wildlife in the Park and we were able to see the Okapis, Giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, low-land gorillas and many others. We stayed at Mikeno lodge for the overnight and in the following morning, we had to drive to our most desired destination which was Nyiragongo volcano.
Driving from Mikeno Lodge to Nyiragongo volcano took us one hour and 40 minutes of which a visit to Nyiragongo we needn’t had to get the services of any tour company except from the vehicle we had got already. Therefore, we just drove towards the head offices of Nyiragongo and paid US$ 300 which was the required fee for hiking of Nyiragongo Mountain. At the starting point of the hike we found local citizens who sell hiking woody sticks and we had to also pay for them in order to give us some support while hiking.
We bought each woody stick at US$ 5 of which the stick helped our bodies to be fully involved in the hiking and they helped us too in giving us balance while hiking. The hike started with the briefing and then started real hiking at 10:00am. Our hiking had gone on a little bit smoothly but as we exceeded with the hike, we found some parts of the mountain which required real stiffness because they were somehow difficult to hike but still on the Mountain we reached a step where the hiking was like giving us food to eat!!
On the Mountain, we reached a stage where Nyiragongo is composed of segments which create easy hiking thus helping us to hike quickly. The hike took us 5 hours and 30 minutes to reach the summit where we enjoyed a pond-like creature burning with fire (magma) and this surprised us a lot because we did not believe what we were looking at till when we came close to this amazing thing and really confirmed that what we were seeing was real and true. This is the most interesting and impressive thing we found at the summit of Nyiragongo Mountain though we also viewed various things from there.
After observing the beauty at the summit of the Mountain, we had to take photos and then return to Nyiragongo volcano summit shelters where we exchanged stories concerning on our full trip including what we had seen at the summit of Nyiragongo Mountain. Since we had carried enough packed-food, we had to take supper and then slept till morning.
In the morning we first had breakfast plus viewing some other things at the Nyiragongo volcano and then descended back to the bottom which took us only 1 hour and 15 minutes. Some of the problems we faced while at the summit of Nyiragongo were; toilet issues. Though there is a toilet at the summit, it condition was totally bad but we didn’t care much about that instead we enjoyed the beauty and brilliance of Mountain Nyiragongo.
On reaching the bottom of Nyiragongo, we had to look into the highlights of our hike since we had captured some short videos and also took some photos. It wasn’t really simple as such to hike the volcano but finally we were brave enough to make it a success. Since we had finished our tour to our desired destinations in Democratic Republic of Congo, we had to pop back to the airport for a flight back home.