Mount Nyiragongo in Congo’s Virunga national park within the Virunga massif is one of Africa’s recently active stratovolcano. Mount Nyiragongo lava lake has ever been known as the most voluminous lava lake. The mountain is about 3,470m high with two distinct lava benches one about 3,175m (10,417ft) and the other at 2,975m (9,760ft). Mount Nyiragongo is within the Virunga massif close to the Albertine rift a region that is very rich in Africa. The most common activity on mount Nyiragongo is hiking especially done alongside a Congo gorilla safari in Virunga national park.
The Volcano is 20km north of Goma town adjacent to the Congo-Rwanda border. Congo`s volcanic mountains-mount Nyiragongo and mount Nyamuragira, take approximately 40% of the volcanic eruptions in the history of Africa. Mount Nyiragongo in Congo houses the world’s largest lava lake.
Mount Nyiragongo eruptions
Since 1882, mount Nyiragongo has erupted at least 34 times. There was an active volcanic activity in 1977 when the walls fractured and the lava lake drained in one hour creating the fastest lava flow recorded (40mi/h). This kind of fast flowing lava is unique to Nyiragongo stratovolcano.
Another active eruption occurred in 2002 when a 13 km fissure opened in the south flank of the volcano. The lava flowed till the outskirts of Goma city (capital of the northern shore of lake Kivu). Mount Nyiragongo is one of the recent active volcanoes and a hike here is for the daring.
The last eruption in 2002, that created a new lava lake led to loss of lives and destruction of many buildings.
Attractions in Mount Nyiragongo
A gorilla safari Congo could be the main thing that would take you to Virunga. Nyiragongo is an adrenalin fueled traveler’s dream. If hiking the slopes of an active volcano and sleeping in a hut perched on the rim of one of the world’s largest lava lakes sets your heart thumping, then this is the adventure for you. Watch the bubbling cauldron from a safe distance and get a sense of the Earth’s fiery heart as the lava heaves, breathes and pops with hot gases. If stayed overnight you will watch the spectacle in the dark, and rise early morning to appreciate the wide view from above the clouds before descending. Truly unforgettable, we guarantee it!
Nyiragongo is just the second reason after a gorilla trekking safari in Congo that Virunga National Park is an active travelers dream. Just visualize a hike to the top and then an overnight next to the world’s largest and most astonishing lava lake. The Nyiragongo Volcano inhabits a wide of animal species in its lower forested slopes like human relatives- chimpanzees, monkeys, and bushbucks.
The summit rim of mount Nyiragongo is mostly bear with no vegetation and usually covered with snow. While on the rim, guests can take steps down into the churning lava lake, glance and experience the hot gasses as they explode up through a mosaic of molten Lava.
If you love to see this red cake, then Mount Nyiragongo is the best destination for you worldwide, travel there and if you don’t leave with lifetime memories then it won’t be Nyiragongo’s summit.