Mount Nyiragongo


Nyiragongo, an active stratovolcano located within the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, stands as one of Africa’s most prominent and dangerous volcanoes. Its large, persistent lava lake is a unique characteristic, posing a significant hazard due to its potential for sudden drainage and the emission of toxic gases. Nyiragongo has a history of destructive eruptions, including the devastating events in 1977 and 2002, which displaced populations and dramatically reshaped the surrounding landscape.

Location: Virunga, DRC
Coordinates: -1.521338, 29.247704
Volcano Type: Stratovolcano


Mount Nyiragongo’s Location


Mount Nyiragongo’s Latest Status

2024: Active. Mount Nyiragongo’s thermal readings have been increasing suggesting the lava lake continues to grow in size.


Mount Nyiragongo’s Eruptive History

1970’s Lava lake active, effusive eruptions from within the crater. In 1977 a flank eruption occurred (on the SE flank). Post this, the lava lake drained completely.
1982 Fire fountaining created a new lava lake.
1994 After draining again, the lava lake became active again.
2002 January – At 5am, Nyiragongo erupted. Three separate lava flows moved down the E, W and S flanks. These flows reached Goma and into Lake Kivu. A substantial ash plume was generated also. 245 people died.
2020 The lava lake persists. A small eruptive cone within the crater remains active.
2021 May – Flank eruption and lava flows. A highway to Beni has been cut off by lava. The summit lava lake has drained, similar to events that happened on Ambrym.
2023 The lava lake remains active. Seismicity is low.
2024 Thermal anomalies increase + satellite images show an ever increasing lava lake.


Mount Nyiragongo Monitoring

For monitoring of this volcano, please refer to the Goma Volcano Observatory.


Mount Nyiragongo Images