Virunga park reopens eight months after deadly ambush


A still from
A still from "Virunga" showing park ranger Andre with Ndakasi, one of the resident mountain gorillas of Virunga National Park. REUTERS/Netflix/Handout

Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park has reopened after the deadly ambush of a tourist group led to its closure last year over security fears, the park’s director said on Saturday.

Virunga Park sits on the forest-cloaked volcanoes of central Africa and is home to over half the global population of mountain gorillas.

It was closed after two Britons and their Congolese driver were kidnapped last May by gunmen in the east of the park.

They were released three days later, but a ranger was killed trying to defend them.

“We have taken enough time to be sure of an improvement of security for visitors,” Virunga’s director Emmanuel Demerode told Reuters.

Virunga park reopened to tourists on February 15, he said.

It is Africa’s oldest national park and largest tropical rainforest reserve, covering 7,800 sq km (3,000 sq miles).

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