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Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » East » Goma
August 8th 2006
Published: August 8th 2006
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2 meters2 meters2 meters

Camping just two meters from the volcano crater.
As promissed in many e-mails, we did what no one sane would ever recomend. During election time in the Democratic Republic of Congo (first after 30 years) we went to make a little visit to the country. Of course the east side where all the rebel armies are. And to add a little more to the visit we also climbed the active Nyiragongo volcano, the one that destroyed a whole city in 2002 with its water like fluid lava.

After passing the Congo border control (very pleasant staff as oposite that what we were expecting), we where told to search for the DGM office to make a little piece of paper that would allow us to come back to Rwanda without having to make an extra visa (which for us Brasilians cost 60 US$). This was our first experience of country corruption, instead of making the paper as expected they started to say that we would have to pay each one 100 US$ for a permission to visit the city and the volcano. Otherwise we would get in trouble by the military. Luckly we where able to talk our way out.

Goma, the city we stayed, is base of
Mission: CongoMission: CongoMission: Congo

Mzungos planing the trip.
many of the UN operations. So the easier things to see over there is dried lava(from 2002 eruption) and UN bases.

In the same day we arrived we went to the National Park and hiked up the volcano. Tough hike, 5 hours of steep up hill hiking. But the reward of seing inside the volcano crater really worth any effort. Just when we arrived (at night already) the smoke cleared for 5 minutes and we were able to see the lava pool spraying high stream of lava. We pitched our tents just 2 metters of the volcano crater. Thanks to the constant wind, we could stay there free of the volcano toxic gases.

Next day was really cloudy, but just before hiking down the wind gave us a gift of clearing again the gases from the volcano so we could once again see the lava pool, but now during the day. The pool is very deep into the crater, more than one kilometer below the border level, but the noise of the lava explosions inside the volcano make it looks really close.

Of course, as Congo speak french and we are good french students, we had a
Climbing upClimbing upClimbing up

Fabian, Claudio and our guide climbing up though the dry lava river.
nice wine and cheese dinner at the top of the volcano. Tough was to carry it up... hehehe.






Additional photos below
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LavaLava
Lava

Fireworks for our arrival!!
Lava poolLava pool
Lava pool

Looking inside the volcano crater.
Waking upWaking up
Waking up

Waking up in the tent
Armed guideArmed guide
Armed guide

In our trip up the volcano we had a friendly congolese armed guide.


10th August 2006

Never a dull moment when Jnr & CB are about!
Junior, I honestly don't know what to say. You two really are THE most lovable insane people I will ever meet!!!!! Glad you made it back safely. CB sounded buggered when he wrote me the other day. Are you boys OK? See you soon. And get a haircut would you?!?!?!? hehehehe
13th August 2006

We are OK
As far as I know we are OK... hehehe. About the hair cut, this will take a while to happen, otherwise we cannot win the contest "Shrek is handsome compared to me" ....huahuahua. Hugs Claudio
16th August 2006

class lava pic- i knew i should have went south with ye guys. brilliant
19th August 2006

Hey Glad to hear you made it!
Hey boys, things were a little sketchy when we broke up in the Congo, glad to see you made it up to the volcano. We made it out and now it is back to volunteering in Uganda. Lee and I are planning our trip down to South Africa and back, hopefully we will run into you again! Keep me updated my email is cici-4sho@hotmail.com
19th August 2006

Traveling in the Congo is amazing
One great adventure bud! Wow... I know the feeling of how overwhelming it can be to have so many people want to stare at you and greet the "mzungu". I had an amazing experience with Mountain Gorillas near the Congo/Ugandan border. I have photos and info at my own blog if you want to connect. Its a great way for people to see what they would see if they traveled to the region! Cheers and thanks and safe traveling http://ivorybilledwoodpecker1.blogspot.com/ Don Kimball
20th August 2006

Amazing
This site of yours is amazing, I finally got some more optimistic impressions from the pyramids! I'm recommending it to a lot of people! Thanks so much for sharing!!!
1st September 2006

I'm impressed!
Heading into DR Congo at election time, climbing active volcanos - what a tremendous adventure! Keep enoying yourself and living life to its fullest!
7th August 2007

east
I thought the east of Congo was the safest actually

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