TEMBEA : Magnificent Virunga

On a sunny day, the smooth rise of its slopes towards the peak, in the all familiar conical shape of a volcano, will introduce the Virunga volcanoes from a far. The image of the sudden jutting into the sky, above the largely flat background, will attempt to create a mirage of the days when these majestic creations of the supreme, grumbled out of their snores, and slowly woke up to spew the all deadly red hot volcanic magma, into the sky before flowing all around.

On a sunny day, the smooth rise of its slopes towards the peak, in the all familiar conical shape of a volcano, will introduce the Virunga volcanoes from a far.

The image of the sudden jutting into the sky, above the largely flat background, will attempt to create a mirage of the days when these majestic creations of the supreme, grumbled out of their snores, and slowly woke up to spew the all deadly red hot volcanic magma, into the sky before flowing all around.

Such thoughts will titillate your imaginations, the beauty of such a rare occurrence being constructed in your mind and the horror of having to mentally run through such a hellish scenario - the mental prize for enjoying these attractions, without nay worry in the world.

These magnificent chains of volcanoes are located along the northern border of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. The chain of mountains stretching 77 km, is a branch of the Albertine Rift, a part of the Great Rift Valley.

They are located between Lake Edward and Lake Kivu and consists of eight major volcanoes. Most of them are dormant, except Mount Nyiragongo (11,358 ft) and Mount Nyamuragira (10,049 ft), both in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Recent eruptions occurred in 2006, and in January, 2010. Mount Karisimbi at 4,507 metres (14,787 ft), is the highest volcano. The oldest mountain is Mount Sabyinyo which rises 3,634 metres (11,923 ft), above sea level.

The Virungas are spectacular mountains, its dense forests on the mountains’ sides are home to some unusual plants and animals, but the best known, the mountain gorillas, are mild-mannered giants munching mostly on forest vegetation and not on wayward travelers who are eager to see themselves in their ‘wild’ cousins.

The land of the Virungas is beautiful and rich, desirable to both beast and man, and is only one of only two locations where mountain gorillas live in the world.

The Virungas are the “classic home” of mountain gorillas, Gorilla gorilla beringei, being the place where they were discovered by a German officer, Oscar von Beringe, in 1902.

The uniqueness of the volcanic hinterland is perhaps best expressed the shiny glitter of bare soils and mud house walls as soon as the sun begins to shine around the mountains.

Tiny silvering twinkles will play with your eyes wherever you look, like a natural polish that Mother Nature has endowed on the environs of the Virunga.

In the wet moths the cold stings, the humidity intimidates, but the scenery will uplift any melancholic spirit. From the dangerous waving of the road around the slopes, the wheat plots that pass for geometrical patches of brown on green slopes, the mounds of black soil, covered by fresh, ever green potato foliage that makes the area look like a huge potato farm.

The Virungas are jewels of the Great Rift Valley formation, and a prize for people of the world who would like to experience the power of nature first hand.

Ends

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