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Virunga: Why Africa’s oldest park should be on your bucket list

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By Staff Writer/Travel News Rwanda

We all have a list of places we want to visit. There are certain destinations that really leave a mark on us, and Virunga National Park is one of them. Some of the places on your bucket list might be relaxing, fun or just plain beautiful.

A trek through Virunga National Park is an experience you will never forget. It’s Africa’s oldest national park and a World Heritage Site. Virunga National Park is located in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, just on the border of Rwanda and Uganda.

Firstly, it is a place that has been through difficult times. Companies destroy habitats in order to mine oil, conflict has shattered the peace and there are poachers who hunt the animals that live here. If you really want to get an insight into what has been going on in Virunga National Park, make sure you watch ‘Virunga The Movie.’

Virunga is a 7,800 square kilometre national park covering the Virunga and the Rwenzori mountains. It is one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet, making it a wonderful place for wildlife plans to visit.

The park is particularly famous for the mountain gorillas that reside within it. There are only 880 mountain gorillas left and one quarter of them live in Virunga National Park. As the park is so diverse, you can see a huge variety of different animals and some rare species.

Just some of the animals you might see include hippos, lions, elephants, giraffes and chimpanzees all call Virunga home. Head to Lake Edward if you want to see lots of bird species, the lake also contains over 50 species of fish.

Virunga is home to the world’s largest lava lake, which sits at the top of Mount Nyiragongo. You will be able to see it if you make the trip to the top of the mountain. From the top of the mountains the views are simply breathtaking.

Virunga National Park has a total of five volcanoes, one of which is considered to be the most active in all of Africa. Nyamulagira has erupted over 40 times since the late 1800s. The park is made up of lots of different terrains, which is another reason why it is such an interesting place to visit. In the park you will come across valleys, volcanoes, swamps, lava plains, forests and even savannas. Everyone who visits Virunga appreciates the amazing scenery and huge variety of things to see.


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