At the heart of the African continent lies one of the greatest rainforests in the world. Covering 22 million miles square across west east and central Africa, the
rainforest hides thousands of animal and plant species. It is in the largest part of the forest harbored by the DRC that was established the Virunga National park. The Virunga park is one of immense beauty and diversity. It one of the biggest national parks in the world. It is well know for its unforgettable landscapes, many animal species and majestic mountains. If one is given the chance, it is a place to visit at least once in a lifetime as it holds the raw beauty and grace of a place untouched by humanity. In the virunga park, nature still has its hold on the environment and and nurtures the lives of a wide variety of life forms.2_visiter_lafrique_Virunga_park_72dpi_900pxThe Virunga Park is the oldest natural park on Africa and is today the most endangered one. You see, the Virunga park was cursed by its wealth: as a rainforest not only is there is the possibility for logging but also the area in which the park is established is rich in palm oil, gold, oil and rubber. These natural resources have over the years constituted an important source of trade for mining multinationals. As a result, every second, an area the size of a football field it being destroyed to access these resources. Not only is one of the worlds greatest forest being destroyed at an alarming rate, but its annihilation could be the cause of the reduction and perhaps extinction of many animal species living in the depth of the congolese rainforest. Not only does the exploitation of natural resources destroys the natural habitats of many animals, but these are also exploited and submitted to trafficking and poaching. The threatened animals include the great mountain gorillas, elephants as well Bonobos.1_visiter_lafrique_Virunga_park_72dpi_900pxCivil warfare in the east region of the DRC has also caused its fair share of harming the environment in the park both to the wildlife but also to the inhabitants. The different ethnic groups living in the park have, for decades suffered from the brutality and ravages of war. They have seen their homes destroyed and have been forced to flee and establish themselves in refugee camps.3_visiter_lafrique_Virunga_park_72dpi_900px4_visiter_lafrique_Virunga_park_72dpi_1280pxThe very acclaimed movie Virunga was one of the only movies with a close up of the very unstable situation of the Virunga National Park. It offers a close up of the both the beauty and ugliness of the park and enters the forbidden world of resource exploitation, wildlife trafficking and poaching, and civil war. It has moved hearts around the globe and it personally moved me to tears. I was particularly touched by the grievances of the populations living in the park as well as the suffering of the mountain gorillas.6_visiter_lafrique_Virunga_movie_72dpi_900pxThis movie inspired me to create a different narrative for the park. I want to, if I have the opportunity, recapture through pictures and articles the hidden beauty of the park, beauty that has been stained with years of destruction. I am aware of the inaccessibility of the area but if given the opportunity I want to expose and polish the gem that the Virunga Park could be if simply given the chance to get rebuilt and bloom. I want to show the world but most importantly, africans about the wealth and beauty of their territories. For example, a surprising and fascinating attributes of the Virunga park is the variety of its environment, ranging from swamps, to lava plains, and from savannahs to the frozen steppes of the Rwenzori mountain’s eternally snowy top / 1.

Africans need to be proud of their natural and environmental heritage. Only then will we be able to unite against the destruction of our environment. It is pursuit that objective that I wish to visit the virunga park and spread its story to the world.


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