Nyiragongo volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in Africa. It is noted for long active lava lakes which appear in the summit crater. Nyiragongo is one of eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains. The volcano is located near the town of Goma in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The summit of the volcano contains a 1 km wide caldera. The summit is 2000 m above the level of Lake Kivu. Two other peaks in the complex are Baruta (3100 m) and Shaheru (2800 m). From 1928 to 1977 there was a long active lava lake in the summit crater. In 1982 there was a lava pond which rapidly cooled. The fissure eruption at the volcano in 1977 was related to regional tectonic activity.
A major eruption began at Nyiragongo Volcano on Thursday 17th January 2002 with lava flows reaching the city of Goma. The 2002 eruption of Nyiragongo displaced 500,000 people. Not much is known about how long the volcano has been erupting, but since 1882, it has erupted at least 34 times, including many periods where activity was continuous for years at a time, often in the form of a churning lava lake in the crater. The volcano partly overlaps with two older volcanoes, Baratu and Shaheru, and is also surrounded by hundreds of small volcanic cinder cones from flank eruptions.
A view of on top of this lava lake is a spectacle and it is a lifetime experience. You should be here!
Day 1 Kigali City Tour and Transfer to Goma in DRC: you will be picked up from your hotel in Kigali by a safari guide/representative from East Africa Expeditions and can first have a short Kigali city tour before transferring to Congo. After your short city tour you will drive to Rwanda/Congo border and this will approximately take 3-4hrs. Upon visa clearance you will enter into the D.R.C and drive to one of the accommodation facilities in Goma which are about 2hrs’ drive.
Day 2 hike to Nyiragongo Lava Lake: This morning depart to Kibati 30 minutes from Goma and up towards Rutshuru, through the lava fields. You will climb, during 3-5 hours, the Nyiragongo volcano (3,470m high). You will reach the smoldering summit and gaze into Mordor itself! When you reach the top of the volcano, you will be welcomed by your trekking team and set up tented camp. All night, you will observe breathtaking and unforgettable views of the live volcano! It glows red at night and is the single largest volcanic live lava lake on earth. Nyiragongo Volcano is located in the east of DRC, around 19 km from Goma, and is the most active volcano in the world. In 1997 and 2002, flows of very liquid lava broke out from cracks in the volcanic slopes as lava flowed at a terrific speed killing scores of people and displacing hundreds of thousands in the town of Goma. The 4-5 hour hike through lush rainforest will climax with a fascinating view of this lava lake as you chill out for a night at the crater rim. Overnight in tents at the top of the volcano.
Day 3 descend the nyiragongo: After admiring the once-in-a-lifetime sunrise (which takes place around 6 o’clock) and the masses of swirling clouds glazing the valleys below you, gaze out between the sister volcanoes of Karisimbi and Visoke, and after taking a hearty breakfast in the frigid air, you will walk down the volcano amidst beautiful and highly diversified volcanic flora, and some positively alien and bizarre plants.
Picnic and make your way back to Kibati to rest your legs and relax tonight in Goma where you are dropped off at a hotel of your choice (we can book hotels in Goma on request in all budget ranges.)
Day 4 gorilla tracking experience & Transfer back to Rwanda: Wake up early morning and have breakfast, hike to Bukima patrol post for guided gorilla trekking tour. Normally the hike to gorillas ranges between 1 to 2 hours. You are permitted to keep in the presence of gorillas for a solid 1 hour. To keep the gorillas safe, you are provided with surgical masks. In case of a cold or diarrhea, you are advised to desist from participating in the gorilla trek. In Bukima, you’ll get a full panoramic view of the volcanoes where the mountain gorillas reside. After your gorilla trekking hike. You will return Kibati patrol unit and your safari guide will transfer you to your hotel in Kigali or Kigali international Airport for your late flight back home.
End of Safari