The oldest national park in the heart of the African continent, at the eastern border of Zaire, teetering on the thin edge of attraction, excitement and danger. Fireworks of lava oozing from the most active volcanoes in Africa, the time bomb at the bottom of the Lake, but also shooting machine guns of the rebel groups belong to his daily reality.  Its foot, but they also have a favorable face: fertile fields feeding the poor villagers, old forests swarming with life, refuge of rare mountain gorillas.

  1. trekking on the active volcano of Nyiragongo, with the largest permanent lava Lake in the world

In the caldera of a volcano of Nyiragongo’s lava Lake, which, when full, is the largest of its kind in the world. Caldera has a diameter of about 1, 2 km, and the Red Lake is located about 800 meters below the rim. It is in constant motion, red cracks, cumshot lava and chimney smoke rises high into the sky.  Nyiragongo is dangerous volcano. Its lava is unusual composition with a low content of silicon, which is extremely thin and can flow at speeds up to 100 km/h. Last erupted in 2002 and then engulfed the one-third of its magma Goma, which lies at its base. Residents were evacuated, but there are over 100 120 000 have died by suffocation and other deprived of their homes. Nyiragongo volcano Nyamuragira are together (erupted during the last 150 years after 43) are the most active volcanoes in Africa, responsible for 40% of all historical eruptions on the continent.

In the evening, from looking at the glowing Maw I can’t break away, but the most beautiful sight for us at dawn. The overnight chill wind had blown away the last clouds and rain yesterday cleared the dust particles from the gray air. Wrapped into everything we brought up, we follow the Red spectacles in the depth first, and then the orange sunset on the horizon. To the West are the forests of the Congo basin beneath us, in the South Kivu and in the East, compared to the rising sun, the tops of the other Virung. Throughout the mountain range there are eight and those closest together Karisimbi, Mikeno, and are also the two highest, both over 4 000 metres high. Stop time here would be wonderful, but our guides are implacable, you need to start again. The descent by the thousands of lava stones is perhaps even worse than the output, and the sounds of the nearby shooting us permanently returned to the Congolese reality. “Don’t be afraid! These are my friends! “at us fast French screaming our guards armed to the teeth. “Shooting in the air, on the poachers.” Trying to dispel concerns about a new wave of civil unrest, that under the leadership of the rebel group’s eastern region suffers from M23, Congo since 2012.

The price of the year 2017:300USD, the output of 1989m to 4-6 hours 3470m

2. trekking mountain gorillas

The biggest star of the region is undoubtedly the mountain gorilla, the largest living ape. For her we owe the famous American conservation bioložce Dian Fossey, which although mostly operated in the Rwandan Virungách, his research began right here. In addition to numerous articles in National Geographic and its work it definitely made famous by the film gorillas in the mist, Sigourny Weaver, who was filmed from her autobiographical book in 1988, three years after her death, which to this day has not been clarified. When Dian began in 1967, it took her a few weeks before she met with the first group of gorillas. Today the situation is different, the apes are habituovaní, i.e.. accustomed to the presence of man and tourists perceive as a natural part of their environment. In neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda’s gorillas trekování great business here in the Congo will simply become the gorillas the day you go by yourself, and it’s at the lowest price (400USD in 2017). Meeting with the mountain gorillas is a very powerful experience that some heralded as “life”. As a bonus, well see my guide, who are literally hrdinami. For the protection of gorillas in the conditions of the civil war, today and every day fit your life (for the past 20 years to protect more than 130 died in the NP Rangers).

3. Rest near the banks of Lake Kivu

After a long trek with beautiful Lake Kivu relaxes. Private beaches are quiet and those public vice versa full of life with young boys nacvičujícími juggling performances and children skákajícími in the water. Although the Lake appears to be serenely, in the destructiveness of the neighbouring volcanoes too.  Kivu lies, as well as Virungy, in the Central African Rift Valley, has an area of 2700 km2, but interesting is its depth of 496 metres, making it one of the deepest lakes in the world. On the bottom is called. cosmic microwave background water which is completely dead and will not move at all. In addition, but the bottom of the Lake seeps from the Earth, carbon dioxide, methane, and changing that is a huge mass of water above him, maintained at the bottom. As soon as the right conditions occur, explode like a time bomb and kills everything in the Lake and its surroundings. Scientists estimate that the Kivu follows exploding every circa 10 thousand years and spouštědlem is just the volcanic activity in the region. Such “explosive” the lakes are only three in the world, the other two Nyos and Monoun–are found in Cameroon. Proof of this is that the threat is real, it is Lake Nyos, which last exploded in 1986 and in adjacent villages choked 1700 people and 6000 head of cattle.

You can stay for example. in Goma, in the hotel Lac Kivu Lodge, or on a private island in the National Park Tchegera (216USD/double)

4. explore deeper into NP

NP Virunga is huge and you can discover something of its less-visited corners. For example, you can go with game Rangers on a day’s tracking of chimpanzees, or climb to the “monthly mountain Rwenzori from the less common of the Congolese parties (usually with a visit from Uganda).

PRACTICAL INFORMATION:

! The Park is located in the province of North Kivu, DR Congo which is already 20 years’s civil war. It has its variations, sometimes ferocious, sometimes enables or moves to the outside of the park. In any case, but it is essential first to check the current security situation. Page of the MFA may be useful. Even better, consult someone who is on the spot or Park Office. !

NP Virunga has headquarters in Goma. There is best reached by air to Kigali (Rwanda), he simply public minibus to Gyisenyi (Rubavu). From your hotel in Gyisenyi take a moto-taxi to the border, which are on the Western side of the town (you can walk). On the Congolese side of the border you vyzvedle car NP Virunga.

For visiting the Virunga NP does not need any service CK! With a knowledge of ENGLISH or FRENCH you can arrange things directly on the site of the Park http://visitvirunga.org

Book here:

  • Congo-very simple visa on arrival visa issued only with proof of purchased services in NP
  • all transfers-4WD are safe together with smoke lenses and excluding Gomu escorted
  • the selected activity-volcano/gorillas
  • accommodation for trekování gorillas or longer stay in the Park

For the trek to the volcano you have to carry your own food. It is possible to hire a carrier on the spot.

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