View of a volcano in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

© Marian Galovic/Shutterstock

Parc National des Virunga

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DRC's magnificent calling card is Virunga, Africa's oldest national park and home to mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and the incredible, active Nyiragongo volcano (climbed on a thrilling two-day expedition). Having been the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary Virunga in 2014, the park grew fast in popularity until May 2018 when the kidnapping of two British nationals led to it indefinitely suspending all tourism operations. The pair were released unharmed, but management have said they won't welcome more visitors until they can guarantee their safety.

When the park reopens to visitors you'll either need to make arrangements directly with the park or book a tour with a travel agency to come to Virunga. Most tours begin and end in Goma, and due to the high cost of staying overnight in the park, many visitors base themselves in Goma and do day trips into the park. There is no public transport to the park and you'll need your own 4WD vehicle and driver to visit.

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