Accommodation in Virunga
A new camp on Tchegera Island opened its doors on 21 August. It has excellent views of the Virunga volcano chain and offers water sports including kayaking. Bukina Camp near the Mikeno volcano is closest to the gorillas. And there will soon be cabins on the summit of Nyiragongo.
Virunga Park is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and for years was the victim of armed conflicts in the region. Today, thanks to its rangers, the park is relatively safe to visit and has reopened its doors to visitors. 2015 set a new all time record for it in terms of number of visitors. The accommodation centres inside the park are operating again, and the animals have returned to their old homes: the hippos to Lake Edward, the mountain gorillas to the slopes of the Mikeno volcano, and the elephants, buffaloes and antilopes to the plains of Rwindi.
The park was founded in 1925 by King Albert 1 of Belgium and named after him. In 1969, it was renamed Virunga National Park, and ten years later UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Site for “the unmatched diversity of its habitats”. It has marshes, forests, steppes, plains, savannah and even volcanoes – the Nymulagira is believed to be the most active volcano in Africa, with over 40 eruptions recorded since 1800, the most recent of which was in November 2011. Nyiragongo is another well known volcano. Only those who reach its 3,470 metres summit can see the world’s largest lava lake.