Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo Will Reopen

May 25, 2018

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Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo will reopen to tourists on June 4, following a series of violent attacks in the park.

Virunga National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Africa and is often considered one of the most stunning national parks on the continent. Known for its population of rare mountain gorillas, Virunga National boasts some Africa’s most diverse wildlife. However, in recent years, the park’s long history and natural wonder has been overshadowed by ambush attacks on tourists and workers. 

On May 11, two British tourists were kidnapped along with their driver in the Nyiragongo territory, north of Goma. Four armed men jumped into the road and ambushed the vehicle and 25-year-old park ranger Rachel Masika Baraka was killed trying to defend the visitors. Baraka’s was the eighth death to take place in the park this year.

Though the park will reopen in June, the US State Department has issued a Level 3 warning in Democratic Republic of Congo, and is urging Americans to “reconsider travel” to the country due to “crime and civil unrest.” If travelers are still considering visiting the park, it is advised to exercise extreme caution. 

Featured photo by PobladuraFCG/Getty Images

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