Mount Nyiragongo

Mount Nyiragongo is an active strato-volcano with an elevation of 3,470 metres (11,380 ft) in the Virunga Mountains associated with the Albertine Rift. It is located inside Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 20 km (12 mi) north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and just west of the border with Rwanda. The main crater is about two kilometers wide and usually contains a lava lake. The crater presently has two distinct cooled lava benches within the crater walls – one at about 3,175 m (10,417 ft) and a lower one at about 2,975 m (9,760 ft). Nyiragongo’s lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. The depth of the lava lake varies considerably. A maximum elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 3,250 m (10,660 ft) prior to the January 1977 eruption – a lake depth of about 600 m (2,000 ft). A recent very low elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 2,700 m (8,900 ft). Nyiragongo and nearby Nyamulagira are together responsible for 40% of Africa’s historical volcanic eruptions. You can experience this adventure together with the visit to gorillas in DRC Congo.

This volcano is part of the Virunga Mountains and is one of the remaining active volcanoes in the world, it’s found in DR Congo in Virunga National Park. Nyiragongo stands at a height of 3470m and hike to this volcano is the most amazing as you get to see the lake cake as it boils

 Location of mount Nyiragongo

 

Nyiragongo, located in the Western branch of the Rift Valley near Lake Kivu and the Congolese-Rwandese border, is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It is notorious for its lava lake and producing lateral eruptions with extremely fluid, fast-moving lava flows that repeatedly devastated areas around the volcano, such as the Goma disaster on January 2002, when a lava flow destroyed much of the city’s commercial center and prompted 200,000 people to flee.

1977 Eruption

 

Between 1894 and 1977 the crater contained an active lava lake. On 10 January 1977, the crater walls fractured, and the lava lake drained in less than an hour. The lava flowed down the flanks of the volcano at speeds of up to 100 km/h (60 mph) on the upper slopes, overwhelming villages and killing at least 70 people. The hazards posed by eruptions like this are unique to Nyiragongo. Nowhere else in the world does such a steep-sided strato-volcano contain a lake of such fluid lava. Nyiragongo’s proximity to heavily populated areas increases its potential for causing a natural disaster. The 1977 eruption raised awareness of the unique dangers posed by Nyiragongo, and because of this it was designated a Decade Volcano, worthy of particular study, in 1991. The 1977 eruption was preceded by the creation of a new small volcano, Murara, a short distance away on the slopes of Nyamulagira.

2002 Eruption 

 

Lava lakes reformed in the crater in eruptions in 1982–1983 and 1994. Another major eruption of the volcano began on January 17, 2002, after several months of increased seismic and fumaroles activity. A 13 km fissure opened in the south flank of the volcano, spreading in a few hours from 2800 m to 1550 m elevation and reaching the outskirts of the city of Goma, the provincial capital on the northern shore of Lake Kivu. Lava streamed from three spatter cones at the end of the fissure and flowed in a stream 200 to 1000 m wide and up to 2 m deep through Goma. Warnings had been given and 400,000 people were evacuated from the city across the Rwandan border into neighboring Gisenyi during the eruption. Lava covered the northern end of the runway at Goma International Airport, leaving the southern two-thirds usable, and reached Lake Kivu. This raised fears that the lava might cause gas-saturated waters deep in the lake to suddenly rise to the surface, releasing lethally large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane – similar to the disaster at Lake Nyos in Cameroon in 1986. This did not happen, but volcanologists continue to monitor the area closely.

About 147 people died in the eruption from asphyxiation by carbon dioxide and buildings collapsing due to the lava and earthquakes. At least 15% of Goma comprising 4,500 buildings were destroyed, leaving about 120,000 people homeless.

Immediately after the eruption stopped, a large number of earthquakes were felt around Goma and Gisenyi. This swarm activity continued for about three months and caused the collapse of more buildings.

Six months after the start of the 2002 eruption, Nyiragongo volcano erupted again. Activity at Nyiragongo is ongoing, but currently confined to the crater, where another lava lake has formed about 250 metres below the level of the 1994 lava lake.

Treks to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano

 

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 the vast majorities choose to overnight in the basic accommodations available at the top (included in the permit fee) because the best time to view the lava lake is at night.

Guests staying at the Mikeno Lodge, Bukima Tented Camp or Tchegera Island Camp can arrange meal service for the trip, while those coming with tour groups must plan 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 15 kg.

Other Popular Mountains

Africa is much known to be the gateway for your safari, and visiting primates, wildlife, birds, people and culture is much popular. Today Visit Nyiragongo is here to show you the other expeditions you can experience in Africa, first you will know what is and where is Nyiragongo Volcano? what to know before you visit the mountain. Therefore, as you plan to hike Nyiragongo there is other mountains like Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Rwenzori, Elgon in Uganda and Mount Meru in Kenya and if you are interest to visit them too our Africa Travel Experts are here to help you customize these expeditions. More so Nyiragongo is situated in Virunga National Park, which also offers other mountains like Mikeno, Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo and you can hike all of these mountains while on your African Expeditions.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, "Kibo", "Mawenzi", and "Shira", is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa, and rises approximately 4,900 m from its base to 5,895 metres above sea level.

Rwenzori Mountains

The Rwenzori Mountains, previously called the Ruwenzori Range, and sometimes the Mountains of the Moon, is a mountain range of eastern equatorial Africa, located on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mount Elgon

Mount Elgon is an extinct shield volcano on the border of Uganda and Kenya, north of Kisumu and west of Kitale. The mountain's highest point, named "Wagagai", is located entirely within the country of Uganda.

Mount Meru

The City of Meru is linked to Nairobi by a paved road, whether from the south around the east side of Mount Kenya, via Embu, or from the northwest around the west and north side of Mount Kenya, via Nanyuki and Timau.

Nyiragongo Updates

Another major eruption of the volcano began on January 17, 2002, after several months of increased seismic and fumarolic activity. A 13 km fissure opened in the south flank of the volcano, spreading in a few hours from 2800 m to 1550 m elevation and reaching the outskirts of the city of Goma, the provincial capital on the northern shore of Lake Kivu.

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