Virunga National Park
- Virunga National Park
Formerly called Albert National Park, Virunga National Park is the oldest protected area in Africa. It is located in the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo and covers a total area of 8090 square kilometers.
Responsible organizations established this park to protect and conserve the unique Wildlife species including the endangered Mountain Gorillas.
This Park is under the Virunga wildlife conservancy, a great joint which connects the West African rainforests to the East African Savanna grasslands.
Its diverse ecosystem that include volcanic mountains, Albertine rift, crater lakes, rainforests, woodlands, open grasslands, swamps and wetlands provides home to diverse Wildlife including rare species that are not found anywhere else in Africa.
The Park was more affected during those times of the 1990 war period in Rwanda. Thousands encroached the park’s areas seeking refuge.
In 1994 the Park was declared a World Heritage Site under danger. It became a ramser site of international importance in 1996.
Adding to about 2077 plant species including 264 trees and 230 species of grasses and shrubs, Virunga is a great habitat for over 218 species of mammals including 22 primates, 109 reptiles, 65 amphibian species and 706 species of birds.
Travelers to Virunga reach there by two options. Some fly direct to an airport in DR Congo. Others land in Rwanda and cross to DR Congo by Car.
For Rwanda option you transfer from Kigali by road up to Goma border through Gisenyi town. Cross Goma border and it takes about two hours for the drive up to the Park headquarters in Bukima
From Uganda, you can also cross to DR Congo via Bunagana border after Kisoro town. From this border, it takes one hour for the drive to Bukima.