Visit Nyiragongo Volcano
Nyiragongo (also spelled Niragongo), one of the world’s most beautiful and active volcanoes, is a large stratovolcano near Lake Kivu at the eastern border of DRCongo with Rwanda in the Virunga National Park.
It has a 1.2 km diameter summit caldera containing the world’s most active and largest lava lake.
Nyiragongo is infamous for its extremely fluid lava that runs as water when the lava lake drains. On January 17, 2002, Nyiragongo erupted and the lava lake drained from fissures on its western flanks. The city centre of the Goma town, the capital of the East Virunga province, had been destroyed by voluninous lava flows. 200,000 people were left homeless, adding to the human desaster caused by frequent civil wars.
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 desaster on January 2002, when a lava flow destroyed much of the city’s commercial center and promted 200,000 people to flee.
The large lava lake contained in its deep summit crater, now active again, became famous in the 1960’s and 70’s when volcanologists such as the Kraffts and Tazieff studied it. It had been active for half a century before it drained in one of the volcano’s recent most catastrophic eruptions in 1977: through openings in its outer flanks in 1977, a huge lava flow poured out and killed hundreds of people. A similar event happened again in January 2002, when lava flows from flank vents drained the lake and cut through Goma, reaching Lake Kivu.
In contrast to its neighbor volcano, Nyamuragira,- a typical, and very active shield volcano comparable with Mauna Loa,- the 3470-m-high Nyiragongo displays the steep slopes of a stratovolcano. Terraces inside the steep-walled, 1.2-km-wide summit crater mark levels of former lava lakes, which have been observed since the late-19th century.
Two older volcanoes, Baruta and Shaheru, are partially overlapped by Nyiragongo on the north and south and look like lateral cones. About 100 parasitic cones are located primarily along radial fissures south of Shaheru, east of the summit, and along a NE-SW zone extending as far as Lake Kivu. Many cones are buried by voluminous lava flows that extend long distances down the flanks of the volcano.
Climbing up the Nyiragongo volcano requires one to be physically fit and those that are more fit can hike up with too much flexibility in just one day and the trails to start at Kibati patrol post which takes one only 30 minutes from the town of Goma and an hour from Mikeno Lodge in Rumangabo. The time needed to reach the volcano depends on one’s physical fitness and the trails are led by park wardens with porters to help the guests carry their luggage/load up the volcano at fair prices.
The hiking usually takes about six hours to the top which sometimes makes some people sickish due to the fact that the whole hiking process starts at 1989m (6,525 ft) and rises to 3470m(11,382 ft) rapidly. When planning the hike, all visitors are advised to move with water for drinking for the entire activity is quite tiring and those with acute mountain sickness (AMS) must talk to their physicians about ways of prevention before the hike.
One’s physical fitness determines how long the hike will go/take and the most appropriate time to spot the vigorous lava lake on Mountain Nyiragongo is at night. The hiking permit costs;
Traveller’s Rest Hotel – Kisoro
Kisoro Traveller’s Rest Hotel is in the outskirts of Kisoro in a very interesting but unique environment. Kisoro Traveller’s Rest Hotel was built in a colonial style with a relaxing atmosphere. The hotel is easily accessible too and was frequently used by the famous Mountain gorilla researcher Dianne Fossey during her studies.
Kisoro Tourist hotel
Kisoro Tourist Hotel in Kisoro is an ideal solution for those visiting the South West of Uganda, and those on their way to Rwanda, the DR. Congo and Nkuringo sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for gorilla tracking activities.
The hotel enjoys a wonderful location in the shadow of the Virunga volcanoes enjoying an incredible panoramic views of these mountains which border Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo.