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The Congo, also known as DRC is one of Africa’s largest and diverse countries. With all its resources and wonders, it should be one of the richest countries in Africa, but corruption, coups, and instability from rebels and violence keep that possibility far from being a reality. Parts of the Congo are so undeveloped that there are only available by taking a week long boat ride! Other places have airports, but a domestic ticket can rival airfare to Europe or the United States! With that said, it’s easier to visit the eastern and western parts of the Congo in two separate trips. I traveled through parts of eastern Congo visiting the city of Goma and Bukavu, and two national parks, Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega. On my return to the Congo I plan to fly into the capital of Kinsasha and visit some of the unique tribes that live along the Congo river.
Virunga National Park is certainly one of most unique places in the planet. The complex ecosystems here along with rare wildlife make Virunga incomparable to other natural places in Africa and the world. Virunga’s terrain ranges from tropical forests to snow covered peaks. It’s home to the most active volcano in the continent, and one of the few places left in Africa where you can find mountain gorillas.
Located on Lake Kivu, Goma is as close as you can get to finding a resort city in the Congo. The city once was a nice place to visit, but destruction by volcanoes combined by recent battles has taken its toll. Goma is now dominated by the UN, with multiple bases throughout the city and UN patrols constantly passing by.
Kahuzi Bieza is one of the biggest national parks in the country. It’s most known for protecting the highly endangered eastern lowland gorillas, which only can be found in the Congo. The national park also protects a diverse range of habitat, from mountains and volcanoes to lowland forests and swampland and thousands of species of unique flora and fauna.