Virunga Mountains

The Virunga Volcanoes are eight volcanoes on the border between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The volcanoes lie between the Eduardsee and the Lake Kivu and belong to the East African grave breach. The two volcanoes, which lie in the Democratic Republic of Congo, are the Nyiragongo ( 3462 m) and the Nyamuragira ( 3063 m). During an eruption of Nyiragongo in 1977 2.000 people died. In 2002, lava flowed from the crater of this volcano and flooded the streets of the city of Goma, 20 km away. Most people could save themselves, there were 147 deaths, but the 250,000 inhabitants of the city of Goma were affected, who fled partly in the neighboring countries of Rwanda and Uganda. Also the Nyamuragira made ​​several times for resettlement of the population. Last streamed in 2002 simultaneously with the eruption of the Nyiragongo lava from Nyamuragira in the direction of Kiwusees and changed its shore structure.

At the central group includes the Karisimbi, the largest with 4507 m altitude volcanic mountain chain, the Mikeno with 4437 m and the Visoke ( Bisoko ) with 3711 m. The eastern group includes the Sabinyo ( 3634 m), the oldest of the Virunga Volcanoes, the Gahinga ( 3474 m) and the Muhabura ( 4127 m).

The Virunga Volcanoes are covered in tropical mountain rain forest and home to the rare mountain gorillas. In particular, for the protection of mountain gorillas, which otherwise occur only in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, founded Prince Albert in 1925 the first African national park, the Albert National Park, shared in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in DR Congo in 1969 been.

Between the Karisimbi and the Visoke is the Karisoke Research Center, a research station for mountain gorillas. The name Karisoke is a combination of the names of the volcanoes between which the research center. It was founded in 1967 by Dian Fossey.