Climb Nyiragongo and spend the night above the world's largest lava lake

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Virunga has a third of the world's Mountain Gorilla population - and only orphanage

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Incredible photographic opportunities

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Approaching buffalo on foot in the central sector of the Park

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One of the family groups of Gorillas

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Virunga NP

The Virunga National Park is situated on the watershed of the Nile and the Congo Rivers in the eastern DRC - containing a dizzying array of habitats from glacier to marsh and everything in between.

Virunga is Africa's oldest National Park and World Heritage Site - it is also the continent's most diverse; containing the most species of mammals, birds and reptiles with the greatest diversity of landscapes and habitats. And it is the most threatened - approximately 3 million people live around the borders of the Park, some of whom have spilt over the boundary - many are either refugees or fleeing protagonists from civil unrest that has plagued the region (Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC province of North Kivu) for decades.

Historically the chance of encountering and spending time with Mountain Gorillas has been the main draw here - George Schaller undertook his pioneering study of them here in the early 60's and was closely followed by Dian Fossey who made it her original base. It has also always been a magnet for birders - with 706 species of birds recorded it is the richest protected area in Africa by a country-mile, and 25 of those species are strictly limited to the Albertine Rift and 11 are threatened with extinction. 

However to concentrate on the birds and primates is to do the Park an injustice - as it is precisely the fact that there is so much here - from plains game (buffalo, topi, kob and elephant) to montane-adapted species - that makes a journey to the Virunga NP so unique.

There is not a park anywhere where it is possible to view Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees, trek up an active volcano and camp above the world's largest lake, walk amongst classic big game - and witness first-hand an incredible conservation effort.

Photo credit Brent Stirton - Bukima Tented Camp
Africa's oldest National Park View slideshow


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Andrea Hulme Andrea Hulme
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Virunga NP's camps

Just some of the places we'd recommend staying in Virunga NP

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Our team

Our experienced travellers include:

Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Rod Tether
Rod Tether
Olly Williams
Olly Williams

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

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