Coming from Rwanda/Kigali, going to Goma
In a positively manner the country Rwanda
welcomed us. The current impression of a traveler
country was the perfect contrast to the
former dismal history of this land, the genocide 16 years
before. This historical
event, an incomprehensible human tragedy in the African history adhered
almost in everyones head.
The present shows instead a colorful country wich deals openly with it's past. The town Kigali appears
in the rural areas you are always cordially welcomed as a tarveller. The feeling
of trepidation was taken from me in all visited parts of
very fast. I had the impression that the Rwandan people are again proudly on their 'new' country
by watching open minded into their future.
The won liberal feeling ends abruptly with the border
crossing into the Congo. The social downward gradient
decreases steady on a distance of 200m, and when
the tar streets are ending you can be sure arriving Goma. The city is
split. The UN on the one side, the other side is
the dirt. Photographing in town is forbidden, but no one
informs you, till you get ripped off by the civil
police, and now you can 'enjoy' the corruption mill. After
long negotiations we paid 50 dollar for punishment and I
guess that this police guy will come back to our hotel
the next day. And he
came back and exalted the amount up to 60 dollar again. After
our driver was held back for 3 hours and
the payment, the police gave up
finally? For taking photos
in the town centre you have to
catch up a permission in combination with unknown costs.
So far, it didn't worked at all. The
tourist Ministry knew nothing about it, and after a
while they interrogated Chris and Marc about our camera
with the attempt
classify us as“ professionals”. The total cost, the flabby
amount of 5000 US $ per nose. As the employees became
aggressive both left escape-like the so-called Ministry.
Now we understand that we have to behave
us in this city
as unnoticeable as we can . Welcome in Goma! Up and
Mountain Gorillas in the Congo
Far away from this
ailing condition we reached the national park
on a rough road or track after three hours.
While fearing the rebels which are situated on the neighbour
volcano only a few visitors get lost in this really
This circumstance has the advantage, that at this place
nearly undisturbed free-living mountain gorillas can be
The first contact with this peace-keepers of the mountain forests
We entered the upper area a little late. The two-hour march
through the jungle resembled as a mud battle, however the
36-head strong group of gorillas was still in the
greenwood. If one comes too late, the group of gorillas
walks into the impenetrable mountain forest lain more
highly. Excitingly and strong impressively moment was
to stand in a distance of five meters in opposite
a King Kong for the first time.
However these fantastic jungle inhabitants radiate such a
peaceful behavior, that the thought to an unequal brawl
disappeared fast. Compared with Grizzlys, we all would
already sit in the highest crowns of tree.
Little 'King Kongs'
Left: Maybe boss in a few years,
Middle: The Boss/Silverback
O.k. with the boss even the Scouts were carefully acting.
The silver back showed up however calmly, was snorting a
little and eyed the innumerable flies which circled like the
Saturn-Rings around him
(video). Suddenly he stood up by drumming on his chest
and dashed without regard of losses through the forest. Here
two gorilla children tumbled widely through the air, but
were softly caught by the soft bottom. Generally young
gorillas are quite similar like rubber balls. They often climb
higher plant carpets, by rolling down uncontrolled through
Ascending the volcano
Nevertheless in the city of
nearly all necessary implements for a mounting route on the
Nyiragongo are available. The supermarkets offers western
products but the prices are high. Besides
this, a permit is to be caught up in the park office in
Goma. Here the price amounts is 400 US $ for three nights.
This was a special price, otherwise 200
$ per night is usual. Uphill 15 carriers were at work,
whereby the water and food supply was the main important
Cost per carrier 12$ up, 12$ down. The armed park Ranger are
in the basic charges. Our main target was to transport
the camera equipment save about 1500 elevation meters to
During the ascent the weather situation, fog and storm with
us the last meters. But this trend is typical for this
season which called little rain time.
Although his season is more damply, you have one advantage.
If you get a clear gap or a fair weather period you can
appreciate the amazing clarity, which is important for the
The entire crater area of
an diameter of apprx.1.35
km appears gigantically, and you'll understand fast
at this place not to deal with contemplative dimensions. Here a
small town could be
placed inside, or for instance the Olympic
Oval in Munich
fits nearly 6 times in the bowl. The bubbling lava lake
measures 250 meters in diameter.
With night temperatures of approx. 5 degrees C ° the
immense radiation heat could be felt even through dense
clouds. Even from the estimated distance of 500m to the warm
up some degrees. An useful thermal support while the strong summit hoists
are whistling around your ears.
Moon halo and lava illuminated crater areal with a fisheye
The day view in the big bowl
Waiting for a suitable cloud gap is a toilsome affair, but
if the crater became “free-blown” a great view
opened. Cooking fissures, lava blisters
and drifting crust soils showed up the surface in constant
motion. The tele lenses strengthened the rapid movement of
the lava, and you'll get surprised how fast the bubbles are
crossing your view-finder. That is not necessarily helpful
while focusing the optics, and from time to time I
registered a quiet cursing in the wind-protected gaps of the
Bubbles and lava figures in a detailed view
The whole thing becomes interesting
photographing the detail. Here also the fast change of the
formations was considerable. Still
bubbling nest, a lively tear opened itself after the next
cloud. Smelling the uprising gases remembered us actually to
our planned descent into the crater.
Nothing, the otherwise quite friendly park Ranger refuse the
descent into the interior. A permission should be caught up
in Goma. We fixed clear this act in the park office in Goma,
but the information chain to the rangers tored off between
Goma and the base of the mountain. Well well, then the
telephoto lenses turn out to be very needful. The zoom
70-300mm was quite good, but the last bite of sharpness was
missing. Thus I had to live on loans, and here big thanks to
Richard and Martin. The 400er / f: 4 was perfect.
With the sunlight the colour of the
lava crust and the withdrawing lava changed.
This tricky bog had actually
special malice. Built on a volcanic fissure,
the disposal of the toilet paper turned out as a difficult
act. Due to the thermal lift of the
which pushed importunately toward the wood recess, the used
hung some times
at your cheek….
The summit of the
Nyiragongo crater was nearly overgrown up to
In the foreground burned trunks from the year 2002.
If you get a closer view you'll discover
tree-hanging lava bombs.
The lava took a straight way through the area and
flowed around the still healthy trunks. At the “juicy” trunk
the lava solidified, and the 'tooth of the time' let the
trunk decay out, by leaving the negative.
The descent through the sumptuous vegetation. The armed
protection was always present, in addition, you get
accustomed yourself in this area.
People of Rwanda
most important facillity, the brewery in
at the lake Kiwu .
Due to this relation, a special and surprising homelink to
Munich by a regular used stamp in the Rwandan post system.
More about click to 'Geonauten'