Welcome to Mount Nyiragongo Volcano Guide

Nyamuragira Volcano

Nyamuragira has been described as Africa’s most active volcano and has erupted over 40 times since 1885.As well as eruptions from the summit, there have been numerous eruptions from the flanks of the volcano, creating new smaller volcanoes that have lasted only for a short time (e.g. Murara from late 1976 to 1977).

Nyamuragira is one of the still remaining active volcanic mountains on planet Africa, it’s found in the democratic republic of Congo, This active volcano is among these volcanoes that lie within the Mikeno sector in Virunga National Park, and it’s at the extreme end of the East African Lift valley.

Since 1850s up to date, this volcano has erupted numerous times up to 2012, but now days it’s believed that this Volcano is located 20Km away from Goma town  and 25Km away from the park Headquarters in Rugumangabo which about 2 hours’ drive from Rugumangabo.

This attractive Nyamuragira lies just few kilometres away from Nyiragongo but both still active with lava flowing to the lower vallies. Much as Nyamuragira is still active, it’s not open to tourist due to the fact that the road/hiking trails are still impassable and the security is still un predictable. Nyamuragira has become famous to researchers who do much of the information about the volcanoes. Its surrounded by bamboo forest.

It’s believed that in the next few years this volcano will erupt again though this happens in sequence with its counterpart Nyiragongo these two have limited the expansion of Goma Town due to numerous eruptions, few people have been able to reach the summit of Nyamuragira Temperatures at the summit are routinely below freezing. And the path to this is blocked by the 2011 lava.

At the base of the volcano sprawls the city of Goma, growing by the day as villagers from the countryside seek refuge from previous eruptions. An estimated million people are now crammed into Goma. Once in recent years Nyamuragira s eruptions have sent molten rock flowing toward the city and within Virunga national park.

Geography and geology

Nyamuragira volcano is an active volcano in the Virunga Mountains of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, situated about 25 km north of Lake Kivu. It is in the Province of Nord-Kivu. (It is 13 km north-north-west of Nyiragongo, the volcano which caused extensive damage to the city of Goma in its 2002 eruption.)

Nyamuragira has a volume of 500 cubic km, and covers an area of 1,500 km2. It has a low shield profile, and contrasts with adjacent steep-sided Nyiragongo volcano.

Eruption of the Volcano

Nyamuragira volcano is responsible for a large portion of the sulfur dioxide released into the atmosphere by volcanoes. Lava flows from Nyamuragira (upper left) extend to Lake Kivu.

2010 eruption

At dawn on 2 January 2010, Nyamuragira began spewing out lava flows. There are no settlements close to the volcano, but wildlife officials feared that the eruption may threaten the chimpanzees in the area. Another danger was that the lava could have flowed into the southern sector of Virunga National Park, where there are settlements and villages. Extensive lava flows from the 2010 eruption can be seen on satellite photographs reaching 25 km south-west to Lake Kivu, about 22 km north-west and 35 km north-north-east.

2011 eruption
The volcano erupted again on November 7, 2011. That eruption produced a 400-meter high column of lava, and it is said to have been its largest eruption in 100 years

2013 activity
Goma volcanologists warn for an imminent eruption, as more steam and fumes are released from the volcano.

29 November 2014
For the first time in 75 years, a new lava lake appeared at the volcano. That is one of the few volcanoes on Earth which have sustained lava lakes for several decades. The last formed lava lake at the volcano was emptied in the 1938 lava flow. The formation of the new lava lake occurred between June and August 2014. The lava lake has a depth of 500 metres. The lava lake is growing and can produce lava flows in the future. Goma vulcanologists are studying the possibilities of an evacuation in few months. The eruption wasn’t that bad, but left a lot of ash and air pollution.