Virunga Conservation Area

Virunga Conservation Area

The Virunga Conservation area is one of the most gifted areas in Africa. It is shared between Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC. It covers the national parks of Mgahinga, Volcanoes in Rwanda and Virunga in DRC. The area is most known for the gorillas but there are other wildlife and activities that make this area special. These are the top attractions in the Virunga conservation Area:

Mountain gorillas

There are less than 900 of the mountain gorillas left in the world and all of them can only be found in the Virunga area. Bwindi is the only place you will find the gorillas but its also almost an extension of the Virunga.

Golden monkeys

These are special primate specie only found in this area. The Golden monkeys are also endangered just like the gorillas.

The Virunga Massif

Leaving the gorillas aside, the Virunga area is blessed with a chain of eight volcanoes. With two of them still active, one is dormant and the rest are dead and extinct.  Nyamuragira is one of the active one with Nyiragongo. Nyiragongo is also home to the world’s largest lava lake.

The other six non-active volcanoes are Muhabura, Gahinga, Sabyinyo, Karisimbi, Bisoke and Mikeno. You can hike these volcanoes and each of the hikes is one day apart from Karisimbi which is also the tallest.

Batwa Pygmies

The pygmies where the original inhabitants of the Virunga national Park before it was gazette. This park was formed originally to safe the gorillas. The Batwa pygymies where among the factors that the goillas where going to extinction. They were relocated and later involved in the conservation efforts to make sure they do not encroach on the park again. They are still finding I hard though to adapt to the life outside the forest.

Dian Fossey’s Grave

Dian Fossey worked and dies in Virunga and that’s where she was buried. She contributed a lot to gorilla conservation in the early 80’s. She is believed to have been murdered by poachers due to her efforts of preaching against poaching. She first came to the Virunga in 1968 and made the slopes of mountain Visoke her home and set up a research center here.

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