Volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains near Lake Kivu
Lake Kivu (bottom) is one of the Great Lakes of Africa. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.
The populated white area on the northern shore of Lake Kivu is actually two contiguous cities: Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (west) and Gisenyi, in Rwanda (east).
The lake and the two cities are in the western branch of the Great Rift Valley.
This area also features many volcanoes. In fact, Goma lies only 13 to 18 km (8-11 mi) due south of the crater of the active Nyiragongo Volcano.
Mount Nyiragongo (above Goma) is a volcano in the Virunga Mountains. The main crater is 250 m deep, two km wide and sometimes contains a lava lake.
To the northwest of Nyiragongo lies another volcano, Murara. Murara was a small, short-lived, volcano that began erupting on December 23, 1976. Eruptions from Murara reduced considerably after the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo on January 10, 1977 and ended completely in April 1977.
The other cluster of volcanoes to the northeast is part of the Volcanoes National Park in northwestern Rwanda, bordering Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.
Also famous for its mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park is home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains: (from south to north) Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura. These volcanoes are covered in rainforest and bamboo.