Get our newsletter!
Guaranteed tours
8-16 May 2021: From Stromboli to Etna - Sicila and Eolian Islands (Italy)
: spaces available / : guaranteed / : few spaces left / : booked out

Your money is insured!
VolcanoDiscovery's main site
Subscribe to our newsletter?
Simply send us an (if you like empty) email to newsletter (AT)

News - tours and travel

Virunga National Park (DR Congo) temporarily closed after British tourist kidnapping

Wed, 16 May 2018, 14:54
14:54 PM | IS
Two young maintain gorillas playing in Virunga NP (photo: Ingrid Smet / VolcanoDiscovery)
Two young maintain gorillas playing in Virunga NP (photo: Ingrid Smet / VolcanoDiscovery)
Due to a security incident within the boundaries of Virunga National Park, the park is now temporarily closed until 4 June 2018.

Last Friday morning 2 British tourists were violently kidnapped and held hostage whilst on their way to the park’s mountain gorilla sector. Their Virunga NP ranger escort was killed and their Congolese driver wounded but later released to bring the ransom message. The 2 British nationals were safely returned on Sunday 13 May – no official statement has been made on how they were released so one can assume that a ransom was being paid.

This is the first time that Virunga National park closed since its successful re-opening in November 2014, as well as the first time in 20 years that there has been a violent incident involving travelers visiting the park. The incident is a reminder that despite recent increase in tourism to this beautiful and unique nature destination, traveling to eastern DR Congo involves certain risks due to the political instability of the region. Violence in Goma a few weeks ago was a conflict between rivaling gangs on the city's outskirts (and not, as reported in some media, a terrorist attack) and the deadly incidents in Virunga National Park over the past years, months and weeks always involved either poachers killing park rangers in sectors of the park which are not open to the public (as the park authorities do not have them in full control) or militia and armed gangs hiding out in the park plundering local villages.

The response of the Virunga National Park authorities to this incident has been to close down the park for a few weeks in order to reassess the security and make changes and new implementations so that the safety of travelers can be once again better ensured. They are not taking any risks and being very responsible, only re-opening the park if they have the sectors open to the public back in control. We are following up on the situation closely and are in regular communication with the ICCN's European security officer who reviews the safety situation in Goma and Virunga NP on a daily basis.

Previous news

Tue, 8 May 2018, 15:42
A last minute spot is now again available for this year's Kamchatka volcano expedition! ... read all
Thu, 12 Apr 2018, 08:42
See two of the world's most active volcanoes from close: join our volcano special tour to Ibu+Dukono on Halmahera, Indonesia. ... read all
Fri, 6 Apr 2018, 05:30
A set of pictures showing typical sluggish pahoehoe lava flows active near Pulama Pali in mid March, taken by Dr. Ingrid Smet during an exploration on 16 Mar 2018. ... read all
Sun, 11 Mar 2018, 00:56
View into the caldera of Santorini
Geological tour with an experienced volcanologist to visit the most important geological sites. On this tour you will learn a lot of one of the most important volcanoes of the world. It was erupting around 1613 B.C. and had an intense impact on the prehistoric cultures of Europe and around the Mediterranean Sea. ... read all
Copyrights: VolcanoDiscovery / VolcanoAdventures or sources as noted.
Use of material: Text and images on this webpage are copyrighted. Further reproduction and use without authorization is not consented. If you need licensing rights for photographs, for example for publications and commercial use, please contact us.

Eager to learn about volcanoes and the fascinating world around them? Visit VolcanoDiscovery