April 23, 2012

Inspiring Destination - Virunga

Located within the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Virunga National Park has diverse habitats and remarkable terrain, extending over 7800 square kilometres. It is bordered by both the Volcano National Park in Rwanda and the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda. From its founding in 1929 as the first national park on the continent, this exotic and intriguing expanse has drawn visitors from all over the world.

From the southern to the northern sectors of the park, the landscape is an emergence of dense alpine and riverine forest, marshland, open savannahs and lava fields. The park also boasts over 218 mammal species including savannah and forest elephants, giraffe and buffalo as well as over 700 bird species. The true wonder of the area however, rests with the hulking presence of 200 of the world’s 750 remaining mountain gorillas, hidden amidst the forests of the Virunga Mountains. The privilege of having an opportunity to glance into the eyes of these enthralling creatures is profoundly remarkable, a wildlife experience that is unsurpassed. A variety of other primates are also frequently spotted within the park, from chimpanzees to Colobus and Blue monkeys; each offering a unique insight into the complexities of our primate past.

With the high concentration of wildlife in the area and the presence of the imposing 3,470m Nyiragongo volcano, which possesses the largest active lava lake in the world, it is no wonder the park was declared a World Heritage Site in 1979. Towards the far north lie the fabled ‘Mountains of the Moon’ the Ruwenzori’s, with snow-capped peaks reaching above 5000m. The frozen beauty of glaciers and exquisite ice fields make this the only true alpine mountain range in Africa. This incredible wilderness remains relatively untouched and unexplored, adding to the uniqueness of the experience.

Whether enjoyed in the company of the endangered mountain gorillas or from the edge of the Nyiragonga crater, Virunga National Park offers the hidden and exquisite beauty of all that is Africa.


April 26, 2012

Virunga - The Heart of the Congo

by Sandor Carter

Congo; the very name is what keeps most people away and yet at the same time lures others to the enigmatic, second largest country in Africa and into the heart of the Continent.

April 25, 2012

Stalking Cheetah in the Grumeti Reserve

by Richard Coke

I just got back from northern Tanzania. The beautiful open grasslands were really lush after the short rains.

It's a great time to see predators. The impala are willing to take risks to feed on the fresh grass in the

April 24, 2012

Epiphany in Ethiopia — The Home of the Lost Ark

by Sandor Carter

Bizarre as it sounds, the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant may be a village in northern Ethiopia.

The Ark is a sacred object in Ethiopia. Every year, at Timkat, held on the Orthodox feast of Epiphany,

April 22, 2012

Book Pick - King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa Review

King Leopold of Belgium, writes historian Adam Hochschild in this grim history, did not much care for

April 22, 2012

Cradle of Humankind Excavation Trip

Guided by Dr Colin Menter

THE PLACE WHERE IT ALL BEGAN…The Cradle of Humankind in South Africa is a treasure trove of fossil sites that have produced more than a third of the World’s information on our early human ancestors, the hominins. A mere fifty minute drive from

April 21, 2012

Property Pick - Mikeno Lodge

Mikeno Lodge
Virunga, D.R.C

Mikeno Lodge is favourably located amidst the dense forest of Rumangabo, within the southern section of the Virunga National Park. Surrounded by various attractions; the city of Goma lies to the north, whilst the Mikeno Gorilla Sector is situated to the east and

April 20, 2012

Photo Essay - Night Glow

Nyriagongo Volcano, D.R.C
by Richard Coke

A group of us embarked on an overnight trek up the Nyiragongo Volcano in the Eastern DRC. It is the worlds largest lava lake and whilst the rest of the group admired the spectacle from the volcano rim, I decided to take a few step back to capture this

April 19, 2012

Photo Essay - Lake of Fire

by Michael Lorentz
Nyiragongo Volcano, D.R.C

Having climbed hard for 5 hours up the flank of Nyiragongo Volcano, I found myself gasping for breath amidst the wind swept lava boulders that form the desolate rim of the crater itself – At 11 385 feet it would have been miserable had it not been for what

April 18, 2012

Documentary Pick - Virunga: Rivers of Fire & Ice

Virunga: Rivers of Fire & Ice
by Alan Root (1995)

The Virunga National Park in Zaire contains a variety of landscapes from snowy glaciers and fire-belching volcanoes to the mist of the rainforest, the home of the mountain gorilla.

April 17, 2012

Video Pick - Virunga Gorillas

Virunga, D.R.C
by Sandor Carter

Check out this short video taken with the Mountain Gorillias during our D.R.C adventure last month.