Mount Nyamuragira and the second active volcanic mountain in Africa. This is an active shield volcano found in the Virunga mountains in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), about 25 kilometers North of Lake Kivu in Nord-Kivu Province. It is one Africa’s active volcanoes which is believed to have erupted almost 40times since 1885. It is 13 kilometers North West of Nyiragongo and this volcano is believed to have caused extensive damage to Goma city during the 2002 eruption. Nyamuragira is 500 cubic kilometers and covers 1,500 square kilometers. Recent eruptions are believed to have happened in 2010, 2011 and 23 May 2021. Large portions of sulfur dioxide released in the atmosphere by volcanoes are as a result of the Nyiragongo volcano. The broad shield volcano is 3058meters high and about 2 kilometers wide and during volcanic eruptions, a lava lake is contained within the calderas.
It is believed that on 6th November 2011, an eruption started from a series of aligned fissures about 10 kilometers East of the summit caldera and this started with intense ground fracturing and tall lava fountains from several vents that started to build the Western cone complex Kimanura. Mount Nyamuragira or Nyamulagira derives its name from the Rwandan verb ‘Kuragika inka’ meaning herd of cows and Inka meaning cows. Mount Nyamuragira is visited by most tourists because of its strategic location with the volcanic craters on the top. Also due to the presence of tree species that grow on the fertile soils in the sorroundings. This is also a true birding destination for different bird species that nest in the neighboring trees.
Things to do in and around Mount Nyamuragira
There are different activities which can be done in and around this volcano and these include the following
Mount Nyamuragira has a spectacular beautiful scenery with vegetational zones that are a home to different bird species like hornbills, kingfishers, black kite, speckled mouse bird, paradise fly catcher, owls and herons. Tourists who are interested in birds especially the bird lovers should carry their birding equipment so as to enjoy the Nyamuragira adventure.
Hiking Mount Nyiragongo
Mount Nyiragongo is an active strato volcano located in Eastern Congo overlooking the Virunga national park. It is also one of Congo’s tourist attraction and one of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga conservation region. Other volcanoes include Mount Bisoke, Mt. Mikeno, Mt. Muhabura, Mt. Karisoke, Mt. Gahinga, Mt Karisimbi and Mt Sabyinyo. Mount Nyiragongo is located in the Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo about 12kilometers from Goma town and Lake Kivu, West of the border with Rwanda. The Nyiragongo volcano rises up to 3470 meters and a medium hike to the top of the volcano takes approximately 5-6hours. Mount Nyiragongo was open to tourists for hiking in 2014 and most visitors usually combine this adventure with mountain gorilla trekking which is also rewarding at the end of the day. The Nyiragongo volcano has been erupting since 1882 and has continuously erupted over the years.
Tourists to Mount Nyamuragira can definitely choose to take part in hiking Mount Nyiragongo and this usually takes between 5-6hours depending on the speed of the hikers. As you do the hiking to Mount Nyiragongo, you can look out for animals especially primates like olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkey and grey cheeked mangabeys. Birds are also spotted for example the crowned eagle, black capped apalis, purple breasted sunbird and African pitta among
This can be done in the Virunga national park before starting the hike to Nyamuragira mountain. Tourists should also be informed that Chimpanzee habituation was introduced in this park in 2014 so those who are interested can also add this amazing experience on their bucket list.
Visit Maiko National Park
Maiko national park is located in one of the most remote forest areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) covering an area of 10,885 square kilometers and is divided into three parts that is the Maniema, Nord Kivu and Province Orientale. Tourists to Mount Nyamuragira can also make it a point to visit this national park where they can be expected to see animals like the Okapi, Grauer’s gorilla and the Congo peafowl among others.
Visit the local community on the slopes of the mountain and get to explore and know more about the African culture. This gives you the opportunity to know more about the people of Africa as well as dating back to the old traditions. Interact, share with them more about the African culture as you get to know how they carry out their daily activities and how they have survived over the years.
There are different accommodation options for tourists visiting the Mount Nyiragongo.
These include Mikeno lodge, Bukima Tented camp, Tchegera island and Kibumba Tented camp. Remember these accommodation facilities range from luxury, midrange and budget. Tourists can choose any that will fit their budget. This is all made possible with the help of your tour operator who will help you to book directly.
When to visit
Mount Nyamuragira can be well visited during the dry season. This is the best time when the trails are less tampered with mud and also considered as a perfect time to view the craters.