Mount Nyiragongo is Congo’s beauty and one of the top tourist attractions that attract thousands of travelers to come and hike the amazing active volcano and one of the best tourist destinations in Congo.
Despite the striking beauty of Mount Nyiragongo and the breathtaking crater, the catastrophic history of an eruption that has occurred over 14 years ago is still phenomenal among the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mount Nyiragongo is one of the very active volcanoes found in the vast Virunga National Park in the democratic republic of congo. The lava crater on mount Nyiragongo is over 2km wide filled with viscous lava that boils beneath the volcano’s vent. You can see the lava from the two rims of lava that form coiled benches of the lava within the crater walls of the Nyiragongo volcano. One realm is raised about 3175 meters and the second one elevates about 2975 meters above the sea level.
Mountain Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo elevates over 3470 meters above sea level. It boasts about the boiling lava lake found on top of its summit west of the Rwanda- Congo border. Mount Nyiragongo is located about 20km north of the Goma town which is found on the shoreline of Lake Kivu. Mount Nyiragongo has a very traumatizing history when it last erupted in 2016 and the lava lake fle w over a wide area destroying a lot of infrastructure, farmlands, and humans as well. The lava in mountain Nyiragongo is very voluminous and this made it run very fast covering a large area.
History about the previous eruption of Mountain Nyiragongo
Mount Nyiragongo is an active volcano found in the democratic republic of congo which is also part of the Virunga national park. Mount Nyiragongo is found in the rift valley floor of the western rift valley within the Albertine rift region. Possibly it is the reason for the eruptions that first occurred many million years ago which led to the formation of mountain Nyiragongo.
From 1882, mount Nyiragongo has erupted many series, over 34 times; they include the continuous eruption series that happened over a number of years which flew over a very wide area with churning Lava Lake from the crater. The eruption also repeated in 2010 and destroys a lot of properties; the last very serious eruptions of mount Nyiragongo occurred in 2002 which killed over 147 people and also forced many to flee to the nearby town called Goma.
Geology of Nyiragongo
Mount Nyiragongo stands over two volcanoes called Baratu and Shaheru volcanoes; however, it is also surrounded by many other volcanic cones from the numerous eruptions over a very long time. Mount Nyiragongo emits heavy fumes which cover up the atmosphere above its summit; the smoke consists of fluid lava, which is made up of chemicals such as melilite and nephelinite which forms an alkaline-rich rock type. The lava from mountain Nyiragongo, for that reason, moves terribly fast down the hill at up to 100km/h (60mph), unlike other volcanic lava which flows slowly and causing limited damage.
Despite the pause mode that mount Nyiragongo has tricked congo about, there is still a lot of threat associated with the deadly volcano. The constant fear of the people living near mount Nyiragongo in Congo is the consistent lava river that flows at a fast speed from the cracks on one side of the mountain. It really horrific but is a warning for the local people of a sudden eruption any time presently or in the nearby future.
Hiking on Mount Nyiragongo
If you are such a lover of adventure and you are there looking for a good hiking adventure, mountain climbing to the top of a volcano and also experiencing a little glance of hellfire in form of bubbling lava, then Mount Nyiragongo stratovolcano hiking safaris are the thing for your taste. The hiking trail is led by two armed game rangers of guides; one goes before the team and the other follows at the back to ensure safety. The guides set the time for you to rest during the hike to the summit, about 20-minute rest, but you do not need to rest so much in order not to delay in the way.
The actual hike to Nyiragongo can last for about three days; the three days involve hiking up to Nyiragongo, trekking up on the mountain and then come bake down from the mountain on the last day. The hike to the top of the mountain takes about 9-10 hours over a distance of about 10 miles to the top of Mount Nyiragongo; it starts in the morning at around 8:00 am EAT and by the drop of the dusk you can be at the top of Mount Nyiragongo. It starts at 6510 ft and ends when the summit is reached. At the top of Mount Nyiragongo, you can get a chance to experience the night view of the bubbling crater full of hot red lava.
At the top or summit of Mount Nyiragongo, there are a few camping cottages where you can rest over the night. The night is much scary up at the mountain, as the smoke from the bubbling crater can get you thinking about hell. The hot red flash from the lava crater, however, it is magnificent when seen during the night, supplemented with the night starry sky, a night at the top of the mountain is an epic time and a moment you will never forget.
The next morning is a time to climb down from the summit of the Mountain, and it is still about 20 miles down from the summit, and however, it is not tiresome as climbing up. The hike down Nyiragongo is an opportunity for you to see a lot of animals that you might have dodged on your way up, for example, warthogs, snakes, a few monkeys and a lot of birds and butterflies among others.
How to get to Mount Nyiragongo
Reaching the Mountain is not challenging from Rwanda-Kigali international airport, you can board an airport taxi to Gisenyi port on Lake Kivu. From Gisenyi, it will take you about 30 minutes to cross to Goma town in Congo, still on Lake Kivu. Mount Nyiragongo is located at a distance of about 9 miles, so you can hire a taxi to take you to the bottom of the mountain from Goma town. There are also public buses that can provide cheaper transport to Mount Nyiragongo. The public means of transport are cheap but may delay you.