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Journeys with Joe

Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Suspends Tourism

The day after the release of two British tourists, kidnapped with their driver, and when a 25-year-old female park ranger was killed on Friday in the Nyiragongo territory, north of Goma.

The DRC is currently listed at Level 3 on the U.S State Department’s four-level travel advisory list, urging Americans to “reconsider travel” to the country due to “crime and civil unrest”.

Virunga is the DRC’s largest national park and Africa’s oldest, covering 3,000 square miles on the border with Uganda and Rwanda.

Home to about one quarter of the world’s mountain gorilla population as well as lowland gorillas, elephants, and lions.

Tourism in the park picked up four years ago; and growing, after years of unrest and civil war.
Last week’s kidnappings were the first reported incident against travelers.

Last month, six park rangers were killed in an ambush by MaiMai militia in an area of the park where travelers usually don’t visit.

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