In early April, a team from SCC visiting the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo on a quest that took them deep into the jungles in search of some of the world’s most endangered animals; the mountain gorilla.
The visit came after the park had been closed for a number of months after a security incident closed the region for safety concerns. However, in February the park re-opened and SCC was one of the first on the list to visit again. SCC Directors Caragh and Andy Roberts, along with their daughter Kerry (and others) left Nairobi to travel first through Kigali and then by road into DRC.
With the Virunga National Park team handling everything, from visas to transport to accommodation, the trip proved seamless and everyone commented on the feeling of safety that was maintained throughout the visit. The group visited a number of lodges that have been specially built for guests to visit the area, including the stunning Kibumba Lodge.
However, the real highlight of the trip was, of course, the trek into the jungle to see the mountain gorillas that call the area home. Virunga is one of the world’s most ecologically diverse areas and Africa’s oldest national park, and it is a treat for those interested in birdlife as well – as Andy Roberts is well known to be! Virunga has a number of habituated gorilla groups that can be visited and guests can spend an hour with the groups, getting to know each of their characteristics. Each group is led by an older male gorilla, known for the silver hair on their back as a ‘silverback’. While the SCC team spent time with their group, a playful baby gorilla came over and played in the close foreground to the group – an incredible experience and a real highlight for photographer Kerry, who captured some great shots.
The next day, the group trekked up Mt. Nyiragongo – an active volcano that happened to be at its most potent in a long time on the day of the visit! The trek up was long and hard work, but made easier by the incredible guides and porters who help to bring up warm clothes and food for the walkers. Again, the team were so lucky to have the chance to see the volcano lava at its most active in a long time and Caragh’s photos from the trek were shared across social media.
On this Earth Day 2019, SCC is proud to be a supporter of Virunga National Park and is excited to bring guests to the park to experience this incredible and unique place. In honour of the work the park is doing, SCC has donated to the Virunga’s campaign to reach $50,000 by the end of Earth Day – make sure you do the same by donating here.
To learn more about this trip, and to book for yourself, email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org.