Nyiragongo Has Finally Erupted

Today’s spectacular volcanic eruption near Goma, DR Congo, profoundly changes one of our region’s biggest attractions, Mt Nyiragongo … Nyiragongo was famous for being a hiking destination with an overnight near the lava lake (our members can watch it in In-Sights: The Region), but it has been closed since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, and now the lava is coming down to Goma yet again… The previous eruption, in 2002, displaced 120,000 people, and scientists had long warned more was coming.

UPDATE, 15/6/21: see Anything Still There in the Nyiragongo Crater?

UPDATE, 30/5/21: Large parts of Goma have been evacuated due to fears that the volcano might strike again, and that there is a danger of a rare phenomenon called limnic eruption — lava could rise the temperature of Lake Kivu and push the dissolved gas in the depths of the lake to the surface, killing thousands of people on its shores. There have been numerous earthquakes.

UPDATE, 25/5/2021: A member from America has written in concerned about everybody here, and we really should have added a bit on that… We live in the volcano zone but most of the eight volcanoes are dormant or extinct. The two that have been alive, Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira, are located a little bit away. In fact, let us show you an illustration from our archives:

This was an interactive map, sorry for the lack of labels, but you can probably notice the two red topped mountains on the left. They are not part of the gorilla habitat — still other wildlife has suffered together with the city folks of Goma living beneath Nyiragongo. There were dozens of people perishing and thousands feeling into Rwanda (the volcano has since gone quieter). Let us share a video sent by our man in Goma, of lava hitting the houses:

CORRECTION, 23/5/2021: The previous version of this blog wrongly asserted it was the sister volcano, Nyamuragira (3,058 m/10,033 ft) that is 13 km/8 mi away from Nyiragongo.


  1. I just read about the eruption in the Washington Post and wondered how it affected your region.

    1. We’ve been through this before … For years, people of Goma would direct each other saying things like “turn left at the lava” … Life under the volcanoes.

  2. Zelo spektakularno a za okoliške prebivalce izredno neugodno. Vse se spreminja, tako tudi narava deluje po svojih zakonih.

  3. Spectacular! I hope everyone from the region is ok and safe and their livelihoods are not too much disrupted by this life-time event.

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