A calm and stoic local woman.
The Proud owner of a scooter.
Lovely people, but always with a hand out. OK the first few times but 20 times a day for a month?
The political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo had been improving over the last five years though armed groups and elements of the Congolese military remain security concerns in eastern and northeastern DRC. These armed groups, are known to pillage, steal vehicles, kidnap, rape, kill, and carry out military or paramilitary operations in which civilians are indiscriminately targeted.
In spite of security concerns the park was experiencing a resurgence of tourism and investment and Virunga's management appear efficient. The population of mountain gorillas more than doubled in numbers since the late 1980s.
The Virunga Mountain check-in hut, below the range that is home to mountain gorillas.
Virunga National Park is home to about 200 of the world's remaining 790 Mountain Gorillas. A gorilla family can number from four to fifty individuals headed by a single dominant adult male known as the 'Silverback', a name derived from the grey hair that develops on a male's back as it reaches adulthood.
Malaria and Dengue Fever (also delivered by mosquitoes) are problems in some regions of DR Congo so make sure to take anti-malarials if you're going to a malarial area and keep the mosquitoes off you! Travelers who become ill with a flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention.
Other recommended protection for short term tourists is vaccinations against Hepatitis A and Yellow Fever (this last one is required for entry into DRC).