About Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo

About Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo : Mount Nyiragongo, or simply Nyiragongo in Lingala (a native language of the Congo), is the highest mountain in Democratic Republic of Congo and North Kivu province, located approximately 25 kilometers east of the city of Goma in the Virunga Mountains. The mountain is an active volcano and is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It is particularly famous for its explosive eruptions and the lava lake at the summit that emits steam and gases almost every day.

“Nyi” means three and “Ragongo” is a corruption of the word Ruwenzori meaning the ‘mountains of the Moon’. This is possibly a reference to the legend that the lava pouring down the mountain at night was so hot that it burned the night sky. Although the volcano is not safe to climb at present, it is beautiful to watch from the slopes, especially in the evening when the lava is visible and glowing red. In addition to the mountain gorillas, rich and vibrant wildlife; including elephants, bison, panthers, duikers, gazelles, three distinct types of primates (counting chimpanzees), mongooses, civets, genets and some more can be tracked down in the lavish green forest at the lower altitudes of these volcanoes, About Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo.

The national park was originally established in 1925 to protect various species of endemic flora and fauna. In 1960, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its outstanding natural beauty and unique biodiversity. The park is also an important conservation site for a number of endangered species including the giant forest hog, the golden monkey, the Okapi, the forest elephant, and the Congo peacock. The park covers an area of over 4,000 square kilometers and has approximately 500km of well-maintained walking trails.

About Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo
Mount Nyiragongo Hiking

There are also several guest houses and lodges in the area that allow visitors to stay and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the park. The most famous of these is the Gorilla’s Nest Lodge which was the location where Dian Fossey conducted her research for her book “Gorillas in the Mist”. Dian Fossey was a primatologist who studied the behavior of mountain gorillas from the 1960s until her death in 1985. She discovered a number of previously unknown facts about their behavior and had a profound influence on the conservation movement.

One of the goals of the trip was to hike the mountain to see the crater summit and possibly view some wildlife, including mountain gorillas. The other main goal of the trip was to trek with the rangers in the Virunga National Park and search for critically endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. The trip was a success on both counts. We enjoyed many beautiful views during the hike and the gorilla trekking was very exciting and memorable. There were also several other memorable moments such as visiting the local markets in Goma, spending time at the Peace Forest Institute, watching a local football match with local kids, and eating delicious local food. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in learning more about the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central Africa in general. I would also recommend it to anyone who loves adventure and exploring new places. I had a great time on my trip and I am very glad I had the opportunity to go.

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