Welcome to the Authentic guide to Nyamuragira Volcano Guide that presents to you the most updates travel information about Nyamuragira volcano( Virunga National Park) in congo, best time to visit, Congo Safari guide, eruption times , location, inaccessibility, congo tour operators, Geology of the Volcano,hiking gear.
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.
It 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 . Recent eruptions occurred on 2 January 2010 and 8 November 2011.
Nyamuragira volcano is responsible for a large portion of the sulfur dioxide released into the atmosphere by volcanoes.
Eruptions of Nyamuragira volcano
Between 1865 and 2011 there have been 43 confirmed eruptions of Nyamuragira volcano, with an average of 3.5 years between eruptions. Since 1980 there has been an average of one eruption every two years.
Satellite images showed hotspots at Nyamuragira volcano in early 2017, indicating ongoing eruptions.
2014-16 Lava lake
An active lava lake was present at Nyamuragira volcano during 2014-16. This is the first time in more than 50 years that a lava lake appeared at the volcano.
A flank eruption began at Nyamuragira volcano on the evening of 6th November 2011. A 1 km long fissure opened with lava fountains. Park rangers were the first to report the eruption. A sky glow was seen by observers in Goma during the night. Lava fountains reached a height of 400 m and a new cone was formed. The eruption occurred from a 500m-1000m long fissure which runs perpendicular to the Albertine rift. A lava flow extended north from the fissure along relatively flat land. Satellite images showed a large sulphur dioxide plume extending west of the eruption site. lava flows which extend over a distance of 11.5 km. Lava flows advanced northwards and reached within 5 km of Kalengera-Tongo road.
An eruption began at Nyamuragira volcano on 2nd January 2010 at 4:58 am local time. Lava flowed 500 m in a direction south and southwest of the volcano. After 4 days lava has traveled 21 kilometers, and is only 7 kilometers from the Goma-Sake road. Four craters were active at the beginning of the eruption. The lava flows are still within the boundaries of Virunga National Park.
15th January 2010 update.
Eruptions continue at Nyamuragira volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lava could cover the Goma and Sake road within weeks. Ash and gas emissions from the volcano have caused health problems for residents. Drinking water from open springs and rainwater catchments in Sake, Kingi and Rusayo have been contaminated by ash. Health centres at Sake and Rusayo have reported increasing cases of diarrhoea, and eye diseases. People around the volcano have reported death of domestic animals and damage to crops. It is estimated that 52,096 people are affected, including: 7,901 from Mugunga (Mumbabiro), 13, 000 from Rusayo and 31,195 from Sake & Kingi localities.
Seismic activity has increased near Nyamuragira volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo in April 2009. According to scientists at Goma Volcano Observatory, Nyamuragira volcano will be in eruption in the next two or three months.
In 1989 an eruption at Nyamuragira volcano began at the summit and later changed to a flank eruption.
Between 1976 and 1989, seven Hawaiian-type eruptions occurred. The eruptions produced fluid lava flows wich sometimes extended 20 km. Small scoria or spatter cones were formed around the vent. Most of the eruptions occurred on the flank of the volcano.
Kitazungurwa eruption started on 16th July 1986, on the southern flank of Nyamuragira volcano and lasted 36 days. A 1 km wide, 2 m high lava flow traveled south. The total volume of erupted products is estimated to be 50 million cubic m. During the 1986 eruption, the chemical composition of the erupted products became more mafic.
An eruption of Nyamuragira volcano began on 24th March 1971 from Rugarama cone. Rumblimg was heard from a distance of 10 km and a glow visible from 50 km.
On 28 January 1938 a large collapse occurred at the volcano and the crater floor sank by several hundred metres. This was accompanied by the opening of fissures, lava flows and strombolian eruptions.
The region surrounding Nyamuragira remains politically volatile with some areas to the north remaining under control of government. Reliable up-to-date information should be obtained before traveling. Most visitors reach Goma via the Goma / Gisenyi border crossing after flying to Kigali in Rwanda. Whilst Nyamuragira is rarely visited, nearby Nyiragongo continually draws small numbers of tourists and guides and porters can be arranged for the approximately 1600 meter ascent from the National Park Headquarters. Nyamuragira shield volcano has been problematic to visit in the past, however due to the location of the eruptive vents in the Nov. 2011-Feb. 2012 eruption, sporadic visits are starting to be allowed.
In Goma, photography may be hindered by corrupt police claiming that a permit is necessary and demanding that one pay a fine (without receipt of course). However, obtaining a permit is essentially impossible since there is no obviously responsible authority. Goma does have modern Supermarkets (serving largely the UN troops) and a couple of modern hotels located by the lakeside, yet much of the town remains in a desolate state. Visitors may visit the Gorillas in Virunga National Park. Permits (as for Nyiragongo) must be arranged in town. The roads leading to the Rumangabo Ranger station where Gorilla treks start necessitate the use of a 4WD vehicle.
The park authorities are very helpful and due to the recently improved security situation, further parts of the park are gradually opening. This means that in principle 2 volcanoes are accessible, and in addition tracking to both Gorilla and Chimpanzee groups is possible. Money from visitors is used for developing and protecting the park.
Democratic republic of congo is known for being the home for the mountain & Lowland Gorillas, Planning a Gorilla Trek in Congo, Find all the guide and advisory information concerning Gorilla trekking in Congo.
Frequently Asked Questions for Nyamuragira Volcano
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