Mount Nyiragongo Facts

Nyiragongo is an active volcano that last erupted in 2002.  Every 30 years, it erupts, making it one of the more active volcanoes in the world. 

It’s a large stratovolcano with an elevation of 3,470 meters. It is situated in the Virunga National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, near Lake Kivu.

Nyiragongo’s cone consists of pyroclastics and lava flows and is surrounded by hundreds of small volcanic cinder cones from flank eruptions. Its lavas are low-silica, alkali-rich, ultramafic extrusive rocks essentially free of feldspars.

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Mount Nyiragongo Facts for Kids

  • Mount Nyiragongo is 3,470m high
  • It’s an active stratovolcano
  • It last erupted on May 22, 2021
  • Nyiragongo is the world’s largest lava lake
  • You can hike up this mountain in 4-5 hours and reach the top.
  • The city’s commercial center was destroyed by lava flows from this volcano in 2002.


Nyiragongo’s cone is composed mainly of pyroclastic and lava flows. Its lava flows are low-silica, alkali-rich, ultramafic extrusive rocks essentially free of feldspars and may race downhill at up to 100 km/h (60 mph).

Active history

It is not known how long the volcano has erupted, but it has been active since 1882 with several periods of continuous activity. The lava lake fluctuates in size, depth, and temperature.

The eruption years were 1884, 1894, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1911, 1918, 1920-1921, 1927-1977, 1977, 1982, 1994-1996, 2002.

The Ongoing threat

Goma Volcano Observatory discovered a new vent on the northeast edge of the crater in 2016, and a rise in the lava lake and other signs of an impending eruption are also being observed.

It’s Monitored all the Time

The Goma Volcano Observatory (GVO) monitors and records Nyiragongo’s lava lake every four minutes for seismic activity.