What You can Find in Virunga National Park Congo

Virunga National Park Congo

Mountain Gorillas in Virunga National Park Congo

The parks two other great ape species, the mountain gorillas and chimpanzees make Virunga the only park in the world that hosts the three taxa of Great Apes. Another prominent inhabitant of Virunga is the okapi and large colonies of lions, forest and savanna elephants and numerous bird species such as the yellow-billed barbet, narrow-tailed starling.

Virunga National Park counted six mountain gorilla families open for the trekking before it was closed in 2012 for insecurity in the area. Unfortunately, in 2013 the national park is facing great challenges, including encroachment of the gorilla habitat by armed groups (the M23 rebels occupied the Mikeno area of the park and the Congolese army the Rwindi sector).

Mountain Nyiragongo Volcano Congo

Nyiragongo is one of the world’s most beautiful and active volcanoes and a large stratovolcano near Lake Kivu at the eastern border of DRCongo with Rwanda in the Virunga National Park. It has a 1.2 km diameter summit caldera containing the world’s most active and largest lava lake.

Nyiragongo is notorious for its extremely fluid lava that runs as water when the lava lake drains. On January 17, 2002, Nyiragongo erupted and the lava lake drained from fissures on its western flanks.

The city centre of the Goma town, the capital of the East Virunga province, had been destroyed by voluninous lava flows. 200,000 people were left homeless, adding to the human disaster caused by frequent civil wars.

The large lava lake contained in its deep summit crater, now active again, became famous in the 1960’s and 70’s when volcanologists such as the Kraffts and Tazieff studied it. It had been active for half a century before it drained in one of the volcano’s recent most catastrophic eruptions in 1977.