Mount Nyiragongo

Mount Nyiragongo is an active volcano which last erupted in 2002. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world as it erupts on average every 30 years. This large stratovolcano with an elevation of 3,470 meters is located near Lake Kivu in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Since the year 1882, this volcano has erupted about 34 times. The volcano has a 1.2 kilometers diameter summit caldera. It contains the world’s most active and voluminous lava lake.


Quick Facts: –

  • Mount Nyiragongo has extremely fluid and fast moving lava which runs as water when the lava lake drains.
  • Two older volcanoes, Baruta and Shaheru, are partially overlapped by Nyiragongo on the north and south.
  • In 2002, a lava flow from this volcano destroyed much of the city’s commercial center.
  • Hiking up this mountain is not difficult and reaching the top requires approximately 4-5 hours.
  • In 1977, a deadly eruption occurred when scientists measured lava travelling at a speed of 60 miles per hour.
  • The lava from this eruption went into the nearby villages killing more than 70 people.
  • During this eruption, the lava lake was at its maximum depth ever recorded, 10,700 feet.
  • The volcanic activity at this mountain is still going on but it is happening only in the crater.
  • The maximum elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 3,250 meters prior to the January 1977 eruption.