DR Congo Provides Nighttime Trip to Erupting Volcano

Posted November 18th, 2011 at 7:10 am (UTC-5)
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A national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo has become an attraction for tourists willing to spend a night for a chance to see an active volcano.

For $300, tourists can take an hour-long drive from Goma to Virunga National Park, and take a long hike to a tented camp set up about 1.5 kilometers south of Mount Nyamulagira. The volcano erupted on November 6, and is gushing volumes of lava as much as 300 meters high into the air.

The 7,800 square kilometer Virunga National Park is a World Heritage Site that is home to hundreds of critically endangered mountain gorillas, as well as chimpanzees, forest elephants and buffalo.

The park also contains seven of the eight volcanoes in a mountain range that sprawls across the borders of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. An eruption on Mount Nyamulagira in 2002 destroyed most of Goma, including 14,000 homes, and forced 350,000 residents to flee.