A satellite view of lava lakes and gas plumes from Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo volcanoes. Now, I’d seen the photos and done my research, and I was determined to get the best photos I possibly could, so I was not travelling light! Imagine a place straight out of fantasy and mythology: a portal to the centre of the earth. If there is any risk to tourists, they simply won’t let you go. Bernard has been a ranger for 22 years, and in all that time he has never once fired his gun in anger. Mount Nyiragongo is a giant stratovolcano. The 2002 eruption began after an earthquake opened up fissures in the southern flank of the volcano. Climbing Mount Nyiragongo: the first stage of the trek. Mount Nyiragongo Facts Mount Nyiragongo Facts. Click 'Accept' to continue or 'Cookie Settings' to change your preferences. As we packed our bags after breakfast and spoke about what lay in wait for us, I struggled to calm the butterflies in my stomach. About 250 people died, 20% of the city was destroyed, and hundreds of thousands fled. I suggest you check again before booking your trip. I found myself hoping he wouldn’t get the chance to do so any time soon. We were also high enough now to see out over the valley, with the city of Goma in the distance and beyond it, the hills of Rwanda. I had my Canon 5D Mark IV, 24-70 and 70-200 L lenses, a 2x extender, a tripod, and my small Fuji X100T camera, plus the usual overnight stuff, extra layers, and water, so it made perfect sense to hire a strong young man to help me out. I’m so pleased you like it! The top of the volcano is hidden in the mists above. The lava lake is at the highest it has been for years and now is overflowing its cone with the fissure growing daily with an occasional spew of lava. And then stop imagining, because you really can. It is definitely worthy of the title. - See 256 traveler reviews, 314 candid photos, and great deals for Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, at Tripadvisor. Incandescence from the lake continued to be visible at night. With Linn at the top of our Nyiragongo volcano trek. Or are you thinking of going? A well-trodden and slightly muddy path took us gently uphill through Virunga’s thick green forest. The terrain changed again, and now we were walking over hard, smooth lava, firm and solid underfoot like a frozen river of rock. The depth of the Lava Lake varies considerably. “They are right to be concerned,” Bell says. Nyiragongo's lava lake as observed during our pilot tour in January 2006. And – I don’t know if you get this – but I felt this weird compulsion, wondering what it would be like to throw myself in. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. The eruptions lagged because magma takes time to force open existing fractures, explains Andrew Bell, an expert on rock mechanics at the University of Edinburgh who developed a model to explain the collapse of Mount St. Helens in 1982. We left the top at around 6.30 am and after a quick march downhill with just a few short breaks, we were back at the trailhead by 10.30 am, where the next day’s group – just six of them this time – were getting ready to leave. The view of Goma as seen from the summit of Mount Nyiragongo. The lava erupted from fissures on the flank of the volcano and moved at speeds up to 40 miles per hour (60 km/hr). It’s constantly changing, shifting and moving, new cracks appearing and old ones closing up, old lava cooling and sinking as fresh, molten rock rises to the surface. I really hope the situation settles down and they can reopen it again soon! Nyiragongo's lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. Persistent lava lakes are a rare phenomenon. Mount Nyiragongo is one of the world’s most active volcanoes with the last eruption being in 2002 but recent volcanic activity up to 2016/ 2017. Thank you Sarah! The trail starts at 1,994 m, and you have to walk about 8 km with a vertical ascent of just under 1.5 km to reach the top. © 2020 Passport & Pixels. In 2002, the last time Nyiragongo volcano erupted, lava raced down its flanks into the crowded city of Goma, on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. And then it was time to leave. Maybe it was the excitement, maybe it was the cold, but I slept appallingly. The evilish glow of the lava lake of Mount Nyiragongo / Cai Tjeenk Willink, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 Crater with world’s largest lava lake. Mount Nyiragongo is an active volcano in Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo. the volcano's lower forested slopes are home to chimpanzees, monkeys and severals bird species. The population can lead a normal life.’  Obviously green would have been preferable, but if yellow is good enough for the guards and porters, it’s good enough for me! You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. But the civil unrest in the area makes repairs dangerous. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. In a 2002 eruption, a lava lake within the crater of Nyiragongo volcano drained in hours. The lava is majorly composed of alkali rich type volcanic rock and this more liquid lava poses a greater threat to those living around the volcano in case of eruptions. As soon as the fissures healed, however, fresh lava began to bubble up and refill the crater lake. Park rangers lead all … The lava erupted from fissures on the flank of the volcano and moved at speeds up to 40 miles per hour (60 km/hr). Mount Nyiragongo’s lava lake bubbles a few hundred feet beneath me. But he says sustained, rumbling tremors were recorded months before the 2002 eruption. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. By Roland Pease Oct. 13, 2020 , 3:45 PM. Guate, I went back to Richmond Park yesterday for a socia, This lovely walk in the woods feels like a long ti. It was steep but not too terrifying, particularly with a walking pole to help with balance, and as long as I took my time and made sure to put my feet on the bits of ground that looked solid, it was fine. The next morning, I sadly said goodbye to the lava lake and started the 4-hour hike downwards. Wow! The lava lake has for a number of times been known for its voluminous lava lake in the present history. If you have a reasonable level of fitness you should be absolutely fine, though people who suffer from altitude sickness may struggle at 3,470 m. 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