Nyiragongo is a beautiful stratovolcano containing the world’s largest lava lake. The volcano’s lower forested slopes are home to a variety of animals, including chimpanzees, several species of monkey, the three-horned chameleon, bushbuck and a myriad of bird species, making the walk to the top of this mighty mountain all the more gratifying. The hike up of mount Nyiragongo is booked from Virunga National park as this mountain is located close to the park.
The Virunga national park is also the home for the two Virunga mountains and these are the mount Nyiragongo and mount Nyamulagira, the only active ones in the area. The other Virunga mountains are dormant and these are the mount Karisimbi, Mount Sabyinyo, Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, Mount Bisoke and Mount Mikeno but the Mount Nyiragongo still stands out and here are the few facts that make it one of a kind. On your Congo Safari, you should not miss hiking the Nyiragongo Mountains;
Mount Nyiragongo is a stratovolcano and this kind of Volcano is that one that is built up by layers of hardened lave commonly known as strata. These types of Volcanoes are the most common types of Volcanoes as compared to the shield volcanoes. The sides are also comprised of volcanic ash and blocks all evidence of volcanic activity in the area.
- More liquid lava
The mount Nyiragongo is an active volcano however the magma that is ejected from this volcano is more liquid as it has a low silica level and this is one of the reasons as to why eruptions of this volcano are deadly. The lava travels much faster due to its liquidity compared to the other volcanic mountains whose lava is thick and moves slower and hardens faster.
- Very Active
The mount Nyiragongo along with the mount Nyamulagira are very active mountains and are said to be responsible for up to 40% of the volcanic activity on the entire African Continent. The mount Nyiragongo individually has erupted 35 times aver since the first recording in 1977. The most recent eruption of the mount Nyiragongo was in the year of 2021.
The eruptions of the mount Nyiragongo have claimed up to 70 people, destroying thousands of homes and leaving people homeless. The town of Goma still has some ruins and volcanic rock spotted in a number of places. The 2016 Nyiragongo eruption was the most deadly eruption as it claimed the biggest number of lives.
- Active but hike able
The mount Nyiragongo despite having active volcanic status, with even the last eruption being in May 2021, the volcano is hike able The hike up the mount Nyiragongo is a 5 hour demanding hike for a rewarding view of the lava crater lake at the top. On clear nights, the hikers are able to see the red boiling magma from the Nyiragongo summit shelters.
This is a thrilling yet very rewarding experience and a permit goes for 300 USD exclusive of camping equipment. The mount Nyiragongo hike is organized by the Virunga national park and available for booking any time of the year.
- Permanent eruption effect
The mount Nyiragongo is a blessing and doubles as an enemy to the area of Goma. The mount Nyiragongo previous volcanic activity left the area with toxic gas that is emitted on the eruptions and this gas suffocated and claimed lives especially those of the children and some people were left with permanent respiratory issues. The carbon dioxide fumes that were released into the air were from 2002 mount Nyiragongo eruption.
- Most Dangerous eruption
The most dangerous eruption that was experienced from the mount Nyiragongo was the 2002 eruption as it reached the Goma Town, destroyed businesses, homes and even destroyed a part of the Goma international airport. There were about 245 deaths recorded from this eruption, 400,000 plus people evacuated from the town and the carbon dioxide also continued to claim lives.
The mount Nyiragongo currently is being studied by the Goma volcano observatory and does not pose any threat so visits are possible to the summit of the mount Nyiragongo on your Congo safari. Get in touch and let us plan your hike to the mount Nyiragongo.