The Democratic Republic of Congo's Virunga National Park is inviting tourists on treks to witness the Nyamulagira volcano spewing geysers of lava into the night, a park official told AFP Tuesday.
Volcano fanatics will have to pay $300 (220 euros) to be escorted to a viewing site in the east of DR Congo, a country wracked by conflict and ranked the world's least developed by the United Nations.
"We thought if we can find a volcanologist to assess the situation and find a safe spot, why not allow people to go?," park spokeswoman LuAnne Cadd said.
"The new tented camp for visitors is located just south of the erupting volcano in a close but safe area, selected by volcanologist Dr. Dario Tedesco with the Goma Volcanological Observatory," a statement said.
The eruption of what is considered Africa's most active volcano began on November 6 and has since intensified, with park officials reporting lava fountains reaching up to 200 metres (650 feet) in height.
"The volcanic eruption has not shown signs of slowing or stopping. Eruptions can last from a few days to several months," the statement said.
Luanne Cadd said three Tanzanians, all tourism professionals, and a Rwandan took part in the first trek over the weekend.
Six tourists have since gone on the three- to four-hour overnight expedition, for which the park provides transport from the eastern city of Goma. Another 24 are lined up to do it before the end of the week.
Rivers of glowing lava are flowing slowly into an uninhabited area of the park and pose to danger to Virunga's endangered population of mountain gorillas, the statement said.
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