The Virunga Mountains are a chain of volcanoes in East Africa, along the adjoining borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Uganda. The mountain range is a branch of the Albertine Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valley and consists of eight major volcanoes. The Virunga National Park is the crown jewel of African parks. Founded in 1925, it’s the oldest park in Africa.

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Ruwenzori Mountains

Congo’s spectacular Rwenzori Mountains in the north of Virunga National Park include glaciers, lakes, and unusual flora, making it one of Africa’s most beautiful alpine areas.Expeditions begin at the park’s northern headquarters of Mutsora and reach the base of the glaciers in four days at 4400 meters. Those prepared for a challenge can continue to the summit of Mount Margherita at 5109 meters. Along the way on this four to six-day trek, visitors can stay at three well-equipped refuges. Experienced guides lead the way through some of the most beautiful and rugged mountainous landscape in Africa.

The volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains are all dormant; all, that is, except for Mount Nyiragongo, 3,462 meters (11,358 ft) and Mount Nyamurangira, 3,063 meters (10,049 ft), both of which are located in the DRC. The most recent eruptions took place in January 2010 and November 2011 when Nyamuragira produced a spectacular display of fire, smoke and lava. Lava fountains or cones of between 200-300 meters tall can still be seen from miles away and the volcano is very active, creating a trekking sensation like no other.

Nyamuragira volcano is located approximately 25km north of Lake Kivu in the East African Rift Valley, north-west of the Nyiragongo in the Virunga National Park.