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Democratic Republic of  Congo

     We walked across the border into D.R. Congo from Gisenyi, Rwanda. A lot of impressions from this war-ridden area. The M-23 rebel group took control of the Goma region for a short while only to lose it back to the governmental forces a year before we arrived here. The city of Goma was also completely destroyed in the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano back in 2002 covering the city of 1 million people in a thick layer of lava and ashes. We visited the small village of Mubambiro where a Pygmy group had settled. Continuing up to the Virunga National Park where we once again got to see the mountain gorillas in the wild. Absolutely amazing. We also met with the Park director, the famous Mr. Emanuel, who was shot and injured only 3 months prior to our arrival by poachers. Three of his colleagues were not as lucky as they were killed at this incident. We had planned to hike up the Nyiragongo volcano but did not get permission due to the unstable situation with waring fractions still going on in the area. We also heard gun-fire and later also saw a couple of dead rebels laying in the street of a small village where a group of locals had gathered around. This is certainly not safe country. I would recommend to watch the awarded documentary movie "Virunga".

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