“In Virunga National Park, the good news just keeps coming. In late February, rangers discovered the 8th newborn mountain gorilla in less than two months”, reports LT&C-Partner Virunga National Park. If you want to read more and see more pictures, see their latest blog. And, if you – once in your life – want to meet a mountain gorilla family in the wild yourself, LT&C can give you some recommendations:
In principle, LT&C, as an independent non-profit conservation organization, promotes only destinations to be visited, which has been described by one of its members as an LT&C-Example, meaning a destination, where your visit is concretely supporting the protected area. In case of the LT&C-Example Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it has been well documented how not only the park itself with its today again increasing mountain gorilla population benefits from every visit, but also large amounts of local people.
Virunga was the first national park on the continent of Africa. Today the Virunga National Park of the DR Congo is part of a three countries’ (including Rwanda and Uganda) group of protected areas covering the Virunga mountains, one of the planet’s hotspots with mountain gorillas as flagship species. For much of its long history, though, Virunga National Park has been severely threatened by armed conflict. Thanks to the dedication of the park’s rangers and wardens Virunga has been able to survive. Thereby the cooperation of the Virunga Foundation with the governmental parks authority ICCN played a key role. Their work to provide unique opportunities for tourists to experience the natural wonders of the park made travelers not only financing the management and infrastructure of the national park but also triggers other financial contributions the surrounding communities benefit from. The vision is that Virunga becomes one of the world’s greatest travel destinations with both nature and up to 4 million local people benefiting.
Together with our tour operator members, LT&C tries helping all three countries’ group of protected areas covering the Virunga mountains to develop positively, creating close cooperation and learning from each other. In this context and together with LT&C-Emperor Penguin member Amahoro Tours, we are planning this coming autumn another workshop and a study tour into the parks. If you are interested, let us know soon.