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Virunga National Park reviews

3 reviews

“Nyiragongo lava lake is one of the world's top sights” - Rafael

Don't be put off by DR Congo’s bad press

Views: 486 Visited: Jan 2015 Reviewed: Mar 30, 2015

Although you certainly need to keep an eye on the volatile security situation in the days leading to your visit, the Goma and Kibati area is a fantastic destination to visit and experience the Heart of Africa. Locals are friendly and the stunning bold and bright Congolese fabrics will make a lasting impression on you.

However, the Parc National des Virunga will be the highlight of any visit. Beyond the obvious wildlife jewels like gorillas, the show is stolen by the Nyiragongo Volcano. Nyiragongo’s spectacular lava lake offers one of the world’s top night shows. There are only five persistent lava lakes in the world and Nyiragongo’s 700-metre diameter lake is the largest. It is indeed a very rare and unique sight. The lake’s lava solidifies into a thin back crust that continuously cracks and breaks in flat chunks reminiscent ice floes, which in turn tip over and melt as they sink into the liquid fire. The slowly rising smoke reflects the lava glow and changes hues continuously, adding drama to the whole thing. One can stare for hours the ever-changing spectacle without getting bored.

I will always remember my night there. The Park is very well run despite endless wars, lack of resources and neglect from Kinshasa. The staff is motivated purely by their love of nature and country. Without their selfless labour most of the Park’s natural treasures will be long gone by now. They truly deserve praise!

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