February 15th 2019. Virunga National Park has re-opened for tourism. The park will now start selling gorilla trekking trips and Mount Nyiragongo hiking trips as before.
“Dear colleagues, we are very pleased to inform you that Virunga National Park is resuming tourism for 2019,” Virunga announced.
“We resume tourism activities after a moment of suspension. There were incidents that cost the life of our park warden. There was kidnapping of two British tourists. We were forced to suspend activities pending security guarantees and the reorganization of this tourism sector in Virunga National Park, “said the ICCN officer.
Virunga re-opened on February 15th 2019 for the first time since its closure last year. The park was closed following an ambush staged by the Congolese militia that led to the death of Rachel Masika Baraka, one of the park rangers and abduction of two tourists.
Emmanuel de Merode, the director of the park went on to announce the closure of the park to avoid more problems. He also stated that they were to re-open the following year (2019) after elevating the security status of the park. This is exactly what he promises this year.
Now that the park has re-opened, tourists will be limited to gorilla trekking and Mount Nyiragongo hiking only. Apparently the areas where these two activities are carried out from are safe for tourism.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to a number of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas. These gorillas are found in Virunga National Park, East of Congo.
Its one of the best and cheapest places to see mountain gorillas in the wild. Congo gorilla permits cost only $400 each.