Rangers Working Hard to Get Nyiragongo Volcano Open

Nyiragongo Volcano Lava Lake at Virunga National Park.

Nyiragongo volcano is one of Virunga’s premier attractions, but the insecurity created by the M23 conflict has kept it closed for two years. Although the M23 conflict officially ended in January 2014, restoring law and order in this sector of the park has been a challenge. Armed groups took full advantage of chaos created by the conflict and ramped up illegal charcoal making operations in the Nyiragongo area. Rangers have had a difficult and dangerous time of rooting out these elements, but significant progress has been made.

Another challenge is restoring the summit shelters located at the rim of the volcano. For two years now, Nyiragongo has rained her corrosive ash on the shelters. Many of the metal roofs have disintegrated and some shelter doors have literally corroded off their hinges. When one considers that every metal roof panel, door, mattress — everything — has to come up on someone’s back, it becomes clear why getting the shelters refurbished is not an easy task.

Here are some images taken by Southern Sector Warden, Innocent Mburanumwe during a reconnaissance mission this week:

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Ranger hut before the final climb to the summit of Nyiragongo.

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Rangers climb into the summit fog.

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Roofs completely destroyed by corrosive ash from Nyiragongo.

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The doors of this hut corroded off their hinges. Without the doors, the bed frames didn’t fare well either.

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Rangers preparing food back at camp.

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Dinner time!

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Looking back at Mt. Mikeno (left) from Nyiragongo.

Nyiragongo treks will resume just as soon as rangers can provide sufficient security and finish refurbishing the summit shelters. Given the huge demand for this attraction, there may be a waiting list for permits. Guests staying at the park’s Mikeno Lodge will be given first preference. Please continue to follow this blog for the re-opening date.

 

13 Comments

  1. Sheryl June 13, 2014 Reply

    Innocent! I admire every ranger and he’s one that I admire very much. It’s been a long time. Glad to see y’all are getting back into the area.

  2. vic bonett June 13, 2014 Reply

    Congratulations on getting so far with the rehabilitation of Virunga National Park and let us hope the troubles are on their way out (and the oil companies dont come in) so you can continue your fantastic work preserving surely, one of the most important ecological areas in the world.Good luck and best wishes to all working for this goal.

  3. michael June 13, 2014 Reply

    i climbed the volcano in 1988–i don’t recall any shelters being there at all then…

  4. Virginie LABAT June 13, 2014 Reply

    Every step you climb will give the Park, the area and its inhabitants, a better chance to leave decently and continue to be able to admire this magnificent place which is Virunga.
    Congratulations

  5. How I would love to see a live volcano! I saw Nyiragongo – from a distance – while trekking in Nkruringo, Bwindi. Mount Gahinga Lodge, Mgahinga, Uganda has a lodge named in its honour. Really hope I can travel there from my home in Kampala one day and write about it for you?
    Keep up the great work. You Rangers are the key to everything – and so delighted to hear that SOCO are halting their oil explorations in Virunga.

  6. kayembe June 14, 2014 Reply

    Sans votre courage (rangers) on ait parlerai plus du parc Virunga, la RDC, L’Afrique et toute la planète devrai vous remercier et vous aider financièrement pour ce que vous faite. Moi et tous mes amis espérons que ce parc ne disparaisse jamais et reste éternel.
    Je proposerai qu’on développe le tourisme dans le parc et faire la publicité du parc à la télévision national(RTNC) , la majorité de la population congolaise ne connait pas sont existence c’est pour cette raison
    quelle ne s’oppose a sa disparition.
    J’utilise mon bloc pour dénonce le projet d’ extraction du pétrole.
    MERCIE.

    • kayembe June 14, 2014 Reply

      Sans Votre courage (rangers) sur on ait parlerai en plus du parc des Virunga, la RDC, L’Afrique et la planète Toute devrai Vous Remercier Et Vous secouriste financièrement versez CE Que Vous faité. Moi et mes amis Tous esperons Qué CE parc ne disparaisse Jamais et Reste éternel.
      Djé proposerai Qu’on Développé Le Tourisme Dans Le Parc et Faire la Publicité du Parc choix à la télévision (RTNC), La Majorité De La population congolaise Pas nationaux ne connait d’ SONT existence C’est Pour this raison
      Quelle ne s’oppose une sa disparition.
      J’utilise mon bloc verser dénonce le Projet d ‘extraction du Pétrole.
      MERCIE.

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  10. ainara June 19, 2014 Reply

    Hola! voy en julio alli, se podra subir al nyaragongo en este mes, con agencia de barcelona españa, terres llunyares? Gracias, gracias

  11. Elizabeth Beeston June 20, 2014 Reply

    Any ideas on when the volcano will open? I’m visiting the park in July.

  12. Instinct Safaris July 16, 2014 Reply

    We appreciate your progress – Let us know if we can provide any logistical help from Uganda!

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