I had the unique opportunity to travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to hike the Mount Nyiragongo Volcano in Goma.
The two day, round-trip hike wasn't easy, with 1500m of elevation gain the first day, and the same amount of descent the next morning.
Exhausted as we were, the hike was spectacular, passing an extinct volcano on the ascent and spending the evening with United Nations scientists, watching a new cone erupt all night long, sending lava spewing down to the lava lake.
What has stayed with me the most however, is the Congolese people. Years of civil war and conflict have caused serious harm to the people and wildlife of the Congo, but the people we met were optimistic and happy.
The Congo is truly the heart of Africa.
- Chris T.