Few Facts About Nyiragongo Volcano

With its 3470 meters, Mount Nyiragongo Volcano  may not be the highest volcano in congo, but it  is certainly the most active volcano within the Virunga mountains  in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one  with  the main Crater Lake about 2km wide  and contains a lava lake.

Mount Nyiragongo actually is an active stratovolcano inside Virunga National park, associated with the Albertine rift, located about 20 km North of the town of Goma  and Lake Kivu and borders Rwanda to the East.

The Crater presently has two different lava benches within the crater walls, one of which spans 3175m while the other one at about 2975m. Nyiragongo;s lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava in todays history.

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.   Although the depth of the lava lake varies, The maximum elevation of the lava lakewas recorded at abou 3,250 m  prior to the eruption that occurred in January 1977,, whereas the recent records was very low to an elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 2700m. However both Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira  volcanic mountains contribute upto 40% of Africa’s historical volcanic eruptions.

Mount nyiragongo Volcano is the the most active volcano in the world, and the volcano partly overlaps with other two ancient volcanoes including, Baratu and Shaheru, hence  Nyiragongo is  surrounded by hundreds of small volcanic cinder cones from flank eruptions.

Nyiragongo has always emitted Unusual fluid during it’s eruptions, whereas the lavas comprises of melilit nephelinite, an alkali-rich type of volcanic rock whose unusual chemical composition maybe a factor in the unusual fluidity  of the lavas there. The rest of the lave flows slowly and seldom pose a danger to human life, nyiragongo;s lava flows may race downhill at up to 100km/h.

According to history, less history has been known about how long Nyiragongo Volcano has been erupting.  The V0lcano Has erupted  at least 34 times since 1882, including many periods where continuous eruptions occurred for years, often in the form of the churning lava lake in the crater. The Existance of the lava lake was not scientifically confirmed, although it had been suspected for along time.  It was then measured at nearly 120000 square meters at that time.  Different expeditions showed that the lake fluctuated in size, depth and temperature in different time intervals.

The lava lake activity continued through 2010. As of June 2010, the lake is mostly confined within a broad, steep-sided cinder cone (roughly 18 m (60 ft) high by 180 m (600 ft) wide) on the crater floor.

If you do plan on hiking Mount Etna, here are some guided tours I’d recommend:

  • 3 Days Mount Nyiragongo Hike
  • 9 days Uganda ,Rwanda trek and Nyirargongo hike
  • 9 days Rwanda & Congo safari

Mount Nyiragongo: Volcano or Mirage?

Mount Nyiragongo Volcano  is the very last stop of every hiker’s volcano  remarkable tour of   Virunga National Park (a region that should always be included to any trip to Democratic Republic Of Congo). 2  days volcano hike to the top and back to the base with an overnight at the peak of then . it can’t get better than that.  You just  can’t wait to be there.

Practical Facts about Nyiragongo Volcano

The best access point to Mount  Nyiragongo is on own its peak especially it’s crater , where the boiling lava in the lava lake is is situated. That’s also where most of the cabins are situated.

There’s various ways to visit Mount Nyiragongo Volcano, reflecting the difference in one’s budget. Keep in mind that due to the high activity of the Volcano, it is necessary to be guided  all the way to the peak  and the crater. It is also common for guides to have to rescue persons that venture  and eventually get stuck because unable to breathe or suffering from acclimatization.

Getting To Nyiragongo

Getting to Nyiragongo volcano-Interesting Facts about Nyiragongo VolcanoNyiragongo Volcano Hike always takes 2 days and takes place within Virunga National park. The trek  takes approximately 8km, taking you through  an elevation of 1000m  and takes 5-6 hours to complete with 4 breaking points to refuel up catch your breath along the way to the top of the peak.

Guided treks to the peak crater start from Goma, Congo. You can either hire a car or pay around $20 for your transit to the base Volcano.  Nyiragongo Volcano is situated 9 miles a way from Goma town. The meeting time is normally  before 9:00 am. The excursion starts so early that you need to spend a night  in Goma so as to easily catch up with the excursion in time.

The trail passes through the spectacular green forest at the base of the Volcano, throught the blacken trees and other lava formed landscapes.  Most Parts of the trail is comprises of lava rumble leftover from the  past eruptions, whereas the least 30 minutes to the peak is made up of the scramble to the top.

The Peak has a beautiful view, and the most impressive sightings happens at the peak with the hot lava bubbling at the bottom of the caldera, hence becomes more visible when the sunsets.

The second day descent to the bottom of Nyiragongo Base,  takes approximately 3-4 hours depending on the  strength of the group

What to Eat

Nyiragongo Usually does not provide meal packages, except for those who would opt for Mikeno Package while others hire local cooks to carry  food along the way and prepare  food for them  at the top of the volcano. During evening hours, specjtacular views of the glowing red volcano caldera.

How To Book Nyiragongo Permit

Nyiragongo Volcano Hiking Permit is a must have to every hiker. Like any other volcano trekking  adventure, Mount Nyiragongo Vocano trek require an identity issued to every hiker that authorizes him or her to hike. The Permit goes for $300 USD only, $100 less than Gorilla Permit, which is quite fair, although Bookings are required to be done early through a trusted tour operator or from Virunga National Park before the arrival date. However the cost of the permit excludes Camping equipment, Food among others

Where to Sleep

There are 12 cabins at Nyiragongo  Volcano Summit, each of which contains two single beds where visitors can lay their sleeping bags. A maximum of 24 members are accommodated per hike. Whereas the guides and the porters have always carried sleeping tents where they  can spend a night and then descend with them back.  However, All travelers are advised to carry along enough warm gear, as well as extra money so that they can be able purchase extra food and drinks, which may not be included in the prepaid fee.

Gearing up for the visit 

hiking Gear-interesting facts about Nyiragongo VolcanoWhichever month one plans to visit Mount Nyiragongo Volcano, it is important to keep in mind that there’s at least a difference between the temperature at the base of the volcano and the top. The Peak  really  gets cold at night ans so early in the mornings.

The following list is applicable to those visiting Mount Nyiragongo Volcano

Hiking boots: the terrain is rocky and that extra ankle support will be needed. Hiking pants, a thermal t-shirt, a sweater, and a warmer wind proof jacket because it does get cold at really cold! I also recommend taking a scarf and a hat, and gloves to be on the safe side.

Sunglasses: the sun can be fierce on the eyes in the summer months, and there’s a lot of dust flying around. A daypack to carry the extra clothes, plenty of water (especially if planning to hike) and food and snacks.

A camera to catch the amazing views.

Safety At nyiragongo

Never will you feel that you are in danger or that any conflict is going to happen, because you will be a 100% Safe. All Guides and Rangers put the safety of all hikers as their first and top priority. The rich Knowledge they have about the park  and the activity at Nyiragongo  Volcano, gives full assurance of being in good hands.

Seeing Nyiragongo Up close is definitely  the best choice of any travelers bucket list adventure in Africa and something you can never forget.

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