Nature will always surprise us regardless of how knowledgeable we think we are about it. And we’ve found a place that surprised us more than anywhere. Virunga National Park, a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, is home to endangered wildlife like the mountain gorilla and the otherworldly lava lake of Nyiragongo.
Virunga National Park is the soul of Congo, a destination that can’t fail to inspire, whether you’re looking for mesmerizing scenery or a life-changing experience. But Virunga’s beauty has not stopped some from trying to exploit it. Even in today’s world, when we have the know-how and the technology to treat our environment with the respect it deserves, rangers work tirelessly against the threats of illegal poaching and oil companies looking to profit from the area. These corporations disregard the vast natural beauty and the habitat that is home to the gorillas, as well as thousands of other animals.
Only recently open to the public, Virunga National Park offers the unique chance of observing and even interacting with mountain gorillas, but also meeting the Rangers who make sure this powerful, regal species doesn’t suffer at the hands of the irresponsible. Immersed in the monumental scale of natural resources that Congo boasts, traveling to the heart of the park and experiencing nature in this pristine yet wild setting, untamed and unequivocally beautiful, is an unrivalled experience.
But the human factor is almost as inspiring as Virunga itself. The Rangers’ dedication to nature, to the life that flourishes here, shows us how important it truly is. The land inspired them, and they have inspired us.