After years of civil war that claimed the lives of more than six million people and a long history of corruption and political instability, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not on many travellers’ bucket list.
But there is now one very good reason why they may be more interested. Africa’s oldest national park, the beautiful and other-worldly Virunga, in the east of the country bordering Rwanda and Uganda, reopened this year after the war ended.
It is a magical place, 3,000 square miles of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, active volcanoes, lush mountain forest and savannahs. Yet another battle is now playing out here, one between integrity and greed.
Congolese park rangers are fighting to protect many of the world’s last 880 mountain gorillas who live here – from both poachers and the threat of British oil company Soco International.