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. Lava lake rises at dangerous Nyiragongo volcano. Tedesco’s assessment is blunt. A crater at the summit of Nyiragongo contained a lava lake from 1894 to 1977. Most of the mountain is covered with tropical forest but closer to its summit instead of a forest come shrubs and then – alpine meadows. Discover (and save!) Yes it really was incredible, properly the trip of a lifetime! There are only six permanent lava lakes in the world, and Nyiragongo’s is the biggest of them all. A thick fog rolls over the crater, leaving only a … Nyiragongo's lava lake as observed during our pilot tour in January 2006. And it was everything I could possibly have dreamed it would be and more. Incandescence from the lake continued to be visible at night. So I screwed my courage to the sticking place, and off we went. 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I’m pretty sure halfway up the side of the mountain is not the best place to be if molten lava starts spewing out of it! Nyiragongo, a volcano on the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, is seeing its lava lake filling at an alarming rate. How lovely of you to stop by and thank you so much for your lovely message. 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. If you’re desperate to see the lava lake, but really can’t do the climb, then there is actually a helipad at the top which is used by scientists for easy access to study the volcano, but you’ll need extra deep pockets to be able to use it! But I still had faith. “Nothing like that is detected for the moment,” he wrote in an email. In a 2002 eruption, a lava lake within the crater of Nyiragongo volcano drained in hours. Climbing Mount Nyiragongo: the first stage of the trek. Armed militia operate in parts of Virunga National Park, and as I mentioned above, only a few days after my visit there, 6 park rangers were ambushed and killed by rebels. He’s 37, has been a guide for 10 years, and has done the Nyiragongo volcano trek well over 150 times! Mount Nyiragongo Lava Lake is the largest lava lake in the world on with a maximum diameter of 700 meters. About 250 people died, 20% of the city was destroyed, and hundreds of thousands fled. Nyiragongo is a beautiful stratovolcano containing the world’s largest lava lake. AAAS is a partner of HINARI, AGORA, OARE, CHORUS, CLOCKSS, CrossRef and COUNTER. Mount Nyiragongo is a magnificent active volcano that features the world’s largest lava lake making it one of the few volcanoes in Africa that offers some of the top hiking and climbing possibilities. Within the last four decades, Mount Nyiragongo’s lava lake has twice (1977 and 2002) drained catastrophically through its southern flank [Demant et al., 1994; … However Linn and decided to travel with Green Hills Ecotours, who were recommended by a friend. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Looks easy when you put it like this, right? How exciting for you! “This is the most dangerous volcano in the world!”. This later led him to move the 400 km to Goma to study tourism management, and from there it was a natural hop, skip and a jump to being a volcano guide. 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. The threat of violence is only one of GVO’s problems. Nyiragongo's lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. A maximum elevation of the Lava Lake was recorded at about 3,250 m (10,660 ft) prior to the January 1977 eruption – a Lake depth of about 600 m (2,000 ft). Nyiragongo is a beautiful stratovolcano containing the world’s largest lava lake. The lava from Mount Nyiragongo in the past eruptions has flowed all the way to the lake Kivu, Goma city up to the Goma international airport. The depth of the lava lake varies considerably depending on the activity of the volcano. You can trek to see the incredible lava lake at the top of Nyiragongo Volcano. I took photo after photo, and every time I thought I’d taken enough I looked out and saw something else was even more interesting and more beautiful than the last. No continuous and reliable terrestrial observations of the lava lake are available from the rim of the Nyiragongo main crater; however, satellite radar data may be used to recover the lava lake level. But the civil unrest in the area makes repairs dangerous. And finally, as darkness fell, it did clear. So back I went to the crater rim, to soak up that view one last time. Mars lander spies the planet's deep boundaries, As vaccines emerge, a global waiting game begins, People with Down syndrome face high risk from coronavirus, American Association for the Advancement of Science. I’ve recently seen posts from 2 other people that have done this and it seems absolutely incredible and is definitely something I hope to be able to do in my lifetime! The fissure where the lava came out at 2,700 m. It took us a little under an hour to complete Stage 1. Twice in recent years Nyiragongo's eruptions have sent molten rock flowing toward the city. For a long time, the hot Nyiragongo lava lake was the largest in the world. Activity accelerated in 2016 when a second vent began to fountain within the crater. It lies in the volcano region of Virunga National Park, Congo (Kinshasa), near the border with Rwanda, 12 miles (19 km) north of Goma.It is 11,385 feet (3,470 metres) high, with a main crater 1.3 miles (2 km) wide and 820 feet (250 metres) deep containing a liquid lava pool. Even sitting perfectly securely on the solid rock at the edge of the crater, with no risk of falling, I suddenly became acutely aware that I was just inches away from certain death: lean a little bit too far, slip and lose your balance, and that’d be IT. Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo): lava lake level drops. By Roland Pease Oct. 13, 2020 , 3:45 PM. Of course there’s another very real danger when climbing an active volcano: what if it decides today is a good day to erupt? They will organise your visa, the climb itself, and there are options to add on meals, water, and extra gear like sleeping bags and warm jackets (all highly recommended). When it finally blew, one hole burst open in the side of the volcano and another close to Goma’s airport, and lava oozed out. Everywhere we looked we saw weird plants including all sorts of succulents and flowers that I’d never encountered before, as well as some giant groundsels similar to those I saw on Kilimanjaro. But eating could not have been further from my mind. Most of the mountain is covered with tropical forest but closer to its summit instead of a forest come shrubs and then – alpine meadows. Not a drop. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Nyiragongo's lava lake as observed during our pilot tour in January 2006 An adventurous trip to The Virunga National Park, DR Congo with a special deal to spend 2 NIGHTS on the crater rim of Nyiragongo volcano (normally, only one is allowed! Bronze Abdoul Oct 14, 2020 TOP NEWS 0. I checked out today’s danger levels: happily the flag was yellow, which translates to ‘The volcano is active. The Nyiragongo volcano trek itself takes about 6 hours. So I spent the time getting set up: unpacking my bag, rolling out my sleeping bag in the hut, getting my camera gear together, and scouting out the best spots to shoot from. I still can’t get over how lucky we were. And once you’re in western Uganda, it’s only a few more hours’ drive to cross into Rwanda, and from there into DRC and Virunga National Park. Since 2015, the World Bank has given the observatory $2.3 million, as part of an aid package primarily intended to rebuild and protect the city airport, which was seriously damaged in the 2002 eruption. About 250 people died, 20% of the city was destroyed, and hundreds of thousands fled. On January 10, 1977, the lava lake drained in less than one hour. The lava lake of Nyiragongo (above) is one of only five permanent lava lakes currently in existence in the world. Mount Nyiragongo’s incredible lava lake There are only six permanent lava lakes in the world, and Nyiragongo’s is the biggest of them all. – but the power of that shifting pool of red-hot rock was so mesmerising I was at once drawn to it, and terrified of it. Departure Point. The best way to get there is to travel via Rwanda: either fly to Kigali and then drive, or cross the border from Uganda at Cyanika. The Nyiragongo crater is about 2 kilometers wide with the lava lake in the middle. Nyiragongo's lava lake is found at a maximum elevation of 3250m (pre-disaster), inside a 3465m tall stratovolcano; the lava lake has an estimated depth of 600m and contains one of the most fluid lavas on Earth. The path became steeper, and mud gave way to a carpet of small stones: little tiny pieces of broken lava. But because it was slow moving lava this time, people were able to outrun it, and most escaped. Just as we were leaving, we saw yesterday’s group returning. These cookies do not store any personal information. A thick fog rolls over the crater, leaving only a … 4: Nyiragongo lava lake in 1958 (Haroun Tazieff). Actually I didn’t even know Ashley had posted her blog so you alerted me to it which was a lovely surprise. As we got higher we were finally able to see the summit – with the little cabins that were to be our shelter for the night perched high on the cliff in front of us. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. And then it was time to leave. Mount Nyiragongo: Lava Lake and Volcano. ), and together we headed west on a two-week trip around Uganda. A maximum elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 3,250 m (10,660 ft) prior to the January 1977 eruption – a lake depth of about 600 m (2,000 ft). Ecuador? The Nyiragongo volcano trek has officially ended. It’s also active, and I found both the ascent and the descent extremely challenging to put it mildly. Very occasionally, just for a split second, the mist would thin and I’d get a tiny glimpse of something red, very faintly… but then the gap would close again and all I’d see was whiteness. Mount Nyiragongo's lava lake is found at a maximum elevation of 3250m (pre-disaster), inside a 3465m tall stratovolcano; the lake is about 600m deep and has one of the most fluid lava in the world. Nyiragongo, a volcanoon the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, is seeing its lava lake filling at an alarming rate. The lava from an erupting volcano is not usually so dangerous as it travel at a slow sped of about 1 to 10km/hr. Established in 1986, the observatory is set to lose the funding it has relied on for the past 5 years. Nyiragongo is situated just inside DRC close to the borders with both Rwanda and Uganda. Recommended number of days for Nyiragongo Hiking Tour Due to the amount of attractions to be seen in the great virunga national park while on a Congo safari tour? Swarms of small earthquakes or ground deformation are clearer warning signs of restless magma, he says. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. It also plans for Goma’s evacuation, and will issue the alarm if an eruption occurs. By clicking 'Accept' you consent to our collection of this non-sensitive data. As we continued to ascend the volcano, the path got steeper still, but was still firm underfoot and entirely doable (especially since I wasn’t carrying a heavy bag), as well as being much greener than I’d been expecting. He and his colleagues found the lava lake there filling at an alarming rate, raising the risk that the molten rock could burst through the crater walls once again. For a long time, the hot Nyiragongo lava lake was the largest in the world. What they’re doing, protecting the parks, is so important! Read more about my gorilla trekking experience Nyiragongo's lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. If you liked this post please support my blog and Pin It! What did you think? Was I still fit enough? He is alarmed by parallels to today. You can see old lava flows as you hike up Nyiragongo. Of course the downside of being so close to the crater meant we were just about the furthest from the long-drop toilet hut which was further back down the volcano and bit of steep slog to get to in the cold and dark! 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. They believe the system may be reaching a critical point, as it did before the 2002 eruption and an earlier one in 1977. “If things remain like this, there is little to be optimistic about,” he says. The name Nyiragongo means ‘smoking mountain’, and as soon as you look at it, you can see why. It has a 1.2 km diameter summit caldera containing the world's most active and largest lava lake. I can’t imagine I will ever get to experience anything even close to that powerful ever again. I came across Virunga National Park where you can do things like gorilla trekking, chimpanzee walks, and climb Mount Nyiragongo to see the world’s largest lava lake. Armed guards will accompany you on the Nyiragongo volcano trek. In a 2002 eruption, a lava lake within the crater of Nyiragongo volcano drained in hours. As soon as the fissures healed, however, fresh lava began to bubble up and refill the crater lake. We spent the night there (at the stunning Inzu Lodge) and next morning, our guide, Roger, collected us, guided us through the DRC border formalities, and then drove us to the start of the Nyiragongo trail. Descending Mount Nyiragongo is pretty steep at first. 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. Post your comments and questions below. “The danger is of a tremor opening up a new fissure.”. You will need separate visas for both Rwanda and DRC. Nyiragongo’s Lava Lake has at times been the most voluminous known Lava Lake in recent history. After the hike, the guide thanked each of us for trusting the park and not canceling after the news broke out about the rangers. 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. Nyiragongo is a stratovolcano. The power of the earth, the raw heat and energy rising up from that gateway to the underworld, was indescribable. The lake drained catastrophically: lava streamed out of the volcano at up to 100 km per hour and engulfed the villages on the lower slopes. Due to the varying depth of the larva lake, a maximum elevation of approximately 3,250m(10,660 ft) was recorded prior to the eruption occurrence in January, 1977 with a lake depth of 2700m(8900 ft). This place looks absolutely amazing. Imagine a place straight out of fantasy and mythology: a portal to the centre of the earth. The next morning, I sadly said goodbye to the lava lake and started the 4-hour hike downwards. It seems to cannibalize itself, as pockets of fire engulf new areas. Even allowing for slow walkers, it takes no more than about six hours to reach the summit, and could be much less if you are a small, fit group. Treks to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano begin at the Kibati patrol post. Mount Nyiragongo is a magnificent active volcano that features the world’s largest lava lake making it one of the few volcanoes in Africa that offers some of the top hiking and climbing possibilities. 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. Since then, the at-risk … The fourth stage of the Nyiragongo volcano trek takes you up into the mists. Nyiragongo's lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. But as a photographer, I wasn’t going to let a bit of healthy fear cause me to miss out on possibly one of the most awesome photo opportunities of my life. As Science went to press, there was no news of a resolution. But then a weird thing happened to me. At its fullest it can be up to 700 m across, though when we were there the lava had receded to a more modest 200 m diameter. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. All Rights Reserved. In 1977 the lava descended the mountain at over 90 kilometers per hour, killing several hundred people, although the flow hardened before reaching the … 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. The top of the volcano is hidden in the mists above. Twitter; Facebook; Email; Whatsapp ; linkedin; A recent revelation by scientists showed that there is a high possibility that Nyiragongo volcano, situated in the Virunga Massif between the Democratic of Congo and Rwanda, could erupt in the near future. The lava lake … While above us we could now see where we were headed: the top of Mount Nyiragongo, enveloped in clouds. Mount Nyiragongo is 3,470 m tall. All thoughts and opinions are my own. A U.N. spokesperson says the peacekeepers are considering supporting GVO in the short term. With Linn at the top of our Nyiragongo volcano trek. ... read all. The guide had a handy Nyiragongo map so we could see where we’d be going. That’s not to say I wasn’t nervous. Only a few volcanoes have hosted persistent or near-persistent lava lakes during recent decades: 30L should be plenty. An old Virunga National Park sign, pockmarked with bullet holes. Tedesco planned to inspect Nyiragongo’s crater again, but bad weather forced the cancellation of a helicopter flight. Wow! They picked us up from the Uganda-Rwanda border and drove us to Gisenyi, a small town close to the border with DRC. Mount Nyiragongo’s lava lake bubbles a few hundred feet beneath me. We, meanwhile, took a quick loo and water break before pushing on for the top. Others go, but absolutely do not tell their family until they get back! That’s a hell of a lot of walking! I’m so pleased you like mine too, welcome, I do hope you decide to come back sometime. They must be incredible people! Food and water – I’d recommend getting the meal package. Mount Nyiragongo is a volcano in the Virunga Mountains associated with the Great Rift Valley.It is located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 19 km north of the town of Goma and the Lake Kivu and just west of the border with Rwanda.The main crater is 250 m deep, two km wide and sometimes contains a lava lake. No way was I going to spend that hour sitting inside a hut! © 2020 Passport & Pixels. The lava erupted from fissures on the flank of the volcano and moved at speeds up to 40 miles per hour (60 km/hr). Nyiragongo's Lava Lake Level Derived From High-Resolution Satellite Observations. This image shows how close Mount Nyiragongo lies to … At the risk of sounding too gushy, I honestly think this may be the most incredible thing I have ever seen or will ever see in my entire life. We stopped for a rest and a snack, and then it was onto the next leg – and now we began to see signs that we were actually climbing an active volcano. the volcano's lower forested slopes are home to chimpanzees, monkeys and severals bird species. Nyiragongo is the world’s largest lava lake with a diameter of 1.2 kilometers and a depth of 200m down. About 250 people died, 20% of the … Nyiragongo is giving a treat to every visitor that climbs her. And even though it was rainy season, it didn’t rain on us at all. Getting to Mount Nyiragongo Volcano, the largest Active lava lake in the World . Kervyn says the network requires constant maintenance, because of vandalism, theft, and lightning damage. Virunga National Park is Africa’s oldest National Park and home to the world’s largest lava lake found on top of Mount Nyiragongo one of the most active volcanoes in the world that has erupted over 32 times. You can do it in trainers, but it’ll be much harder. New reader, I found you on Ashley’s blog today! I’d heard horror stories of people who came all this way and then never got to see a thing: what if this happened to us? All rights Reserved. Lava lake rises at dangerous Nyiragongo volcano. 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. To fountain within the crater s group returning an hour to pack up and have breakfast of... Stage at a slow sped of about 1 to 10km/hr wrote in an email also plans for Goma s... Lake bubbles a few hundred feet beneath me, pockmarked with bullet holes: a portal to borders! A small town close to that powerful ever again opt-out of these cookies bad to! Reluctantly tore myself away and down nyiragongo lava lake went, taking care not to of wonderful plant and life! Reopened but caution is advised. * world, and great deals for Goma, Democratic Republic of the of... 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