The principal purpose of the journey was the inspection of
the at present largest and most active lava lake of the
earth. The crater of the Nyiragongo volcano is situated in
the eastern Congo for apprx. 20km north of the Lake Kivu
close of the city Goma. This dominant 3469m high
stratovolcan belongs to the Virunga volcanic chain. The
summit crater has a diameter of for instance of 1200m and
drops extremely steep interrupted by several terraces about
600m down to the
present lava sea. The Nyiragongo lava is particularly of
highly liquid, which causes a fast lava sea-movement. This
lava lake can exist over decades, but the niveau of the lava
lake can change abrupt. This extremely high liquid lava
causes every few decades flank eruptions with enormous
destructions, well known since the 17th
January 2002. During this outbreak the city of Goma was the
directly target because of the advanced very high
propagation speed of the exceeding lava coming down the
mountain base. Different to the slowly flowing lava of other
volcanos, the citizens of the volcano base situated city of
Goma could hardly escape
from this fast lava attack.
Today the traces of the outbreak are still determinable by
destroyed roads, houses and buried cars of the January 2002
at the volcano base.
Journeys by airplane and other
directly into the Congo
make the decision more easy to take
the meantime surprisingly sturdy Rwanda. The stay in Kigali,
the capital of Rwanda shows the enormous progress, which was
reached since the genocide 12 years ago. The border crossing
into the Congo has proved as
a surprising uncomplicated
the constant operational level of the foreign colonial
forces. Despite you meet also wealthy
here, the absolute majority of the population
living in very elementary conditions.
sunken bus wrecks in the lava of
serve already as multi-family hostel for example.
Young people build themselves from wood scooter-similar load
transporters carrying the harvest into the city.
The Nyiragongo ascent can be made by a quite clear path,
is partly integrated
the lava stream of the 2002 outbreak
the lower altitudes.
So you can study the various features of the vegetation in
every detail. The tree molds, holes in the cooled off lava,
from the lava destroyed
lava around the trunk
a deep hole as negative image of the trunk.
as well as
the cooled off
flow structures, which
around the roots and branches
terraces in the whole landscape.
Close to the former active fissure numerous ejection
material can be observed. The trail is passing huts, which
were already established as shelters
At that time, still before the time of war, this volcano was
already well opened and a favoured touristy target.
Earlier scientific expeditions operated with a high number
of members and
heavy expedition equipments. Staying for weeks in camps on a
plain area, a plateau was
the rim near the crater edge.
can be used
today as an camp areal,
and only here you can rest by the tents in a comfortably set
to stay close
the crater edge which allows at any time a view down to lava
For other views
made in a
four-hour action. Thus we visited only the west side, from
there a view
the complete lava lake without each covering is
possible . The calmly drifting sea-surface, which reminded
of the plate tectonics of the earth
with enormous, gas-driven lava blisters flashing in
over one hundred meters
with more than 25m large lava blisters.
The noise by foaming
with an oversize washing machine . Unfortunately the free view into
the lava lake
very damp climate zone.
in the dry time
and strong thunderstorms with enormous showers suggest the stay in
for a bigger Gif Animation
appreciated this dry pole after the extensive shower in
Reunion two weeks ago. After three nights again the descent
and the border to Rwanda was crossed.
Our group visited thereby the gorilla family at the foot of
the Visoke volcano. After the rearrival in Kigali the home
journey took place for me. In connection a
in the Virungas on
Rwanda side made the really impressive and very close
contact possible to this anthropoids
whether the expenditure for ' only ' a lava sea-observation
from the distance is really worthwhile itself
could be answered.
many deep impressions in such a manner during
direct experiencing of the recent history of Rwanda, the
life of the natives
in and around Goma and not least the direct contact among
the gorillas except
Truck surfing on