Mount Nyiragongo is a stratovolcano that is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A stratovolcano is a type of Volcano that has been built up by layers of hardened lave, pumice, and ash, they tend to be steep and have periodic intervals of eruptions and tend to have calderas at their summits. It is one of the world’s most beautiful and active volcano with the largest lava lake. The Democratic Republic of Congo is located in Central Africa and is considered one of the most blessed countries in Africa, in relation to tourism and minerals. The Democratic republic of Congo may be publicly branded an insecure destination but that mindset can only be changed after one chooses to visit this country. The Democratic Republic of Congo is sited on about 2,345,409 square kilometers making it the second-largest country in Africa with a population of about 91,931,000 people as of the census carried out in 2019. It was previously known as Zaire from 19971 to 1997.
Mount Nyiragongo is raised to an elevation of about 3,470m that is 11,380 feet 20 kilometers from the town of Goma in the east of Congo and Lake Kivu that is shared by Rwanda and Congo. This volcanic mountain has a large crater lake of about 2 kilometers wide which is the widest recorded lava lake in the world. This lava lake is active that on every daily visit, you are able to see the red hot boiling lava at the top of the crater. This crater is estimated at an elevation of 10,417 feet and another one at about 9,760 feet. This volcano is responsible for about half of the volcanic eruptions of Africa along with its neighboring volcano Nyamuragira. Nyamuragira is also an active volcano found in Eastern Congo. The last recorded eruption of Mount Nyamuragira was 2014 while that of Mount Nyiragongo was recorded in 2002 up to date today it has been clear of eruption or signs of eruption.
The recorded eruptions of Mount Nyiragongo were about 34 and this is as of 1882. There is no clear record of the eruptions before then. Some of the eruptions took more than a year and were continuous at a time. The lava as seen flowing from Mount Nyiragongo is more liquid than most volcanoes which let it flow at a faster rate. Eruptions can be deadly to the living things around the volcanic mountain as dangerous fumes cloud the clean air and pollute it which is harmful to their health. The last recorded 2002 Nyiragongo eruption lasted a short time about 2 months but shortly after that eruption another eruption was seen at the volcano. This, however, has not stopped the activity at the volcano however with precaution and as of now, the volcano is safe to visit. The years with recorded eruptions from Nyiragongo are 1975, 1977 which created the most awareness for the danger this mountain posed for the people settled around the mountain,1982-1983, 1994 to mention but a few. A number of people and animals have died from the past eruptions in Goma town as the lava flows all the way up to Lake Kivu also destroying buildings, homes, and businesses leaving people homeless. After the eruptions, earthquakes are usually felt all the way from Gisenyi Rwanda for almost 3 months and usually lead to the collapse of more buildings. The localized carbon dioxide (mazuku) that was released from the volcano killed children and until date today there have been a few cases of children being affected by this gas as it seeps into the air from the ground in relatively high amounts and its effects can be deadly.
Mount Nyiragongo can be visited any time of the year and is a two-day activity where you set off for your 6-hour hike with two stopovers along the way until you reach the summit. At the top of the summit, you are able to enjoy the views of Goma town at night and also see the beautiful glowing lava lake with the red boiling lava from the top. This might be a physically demanding hike but once at the top, it is worth the effort.
Arranging your trip to hike Nyiragongo wouldn’t be a tough one as we are there to help you with this and an even better book for you your visa to the access the country for your visit. Mount Nyiragongo is located in the Virunga national park and all tours are handed by the park with a great security team so you can be assured of your safety while on this tour. You may choose to fly directly into Goma or fly in from Kigali International airport and we can pick you from the airport for your 3 days Nyiragongo hike from Kigali.