The war is a tool that destroys everything. It devastates everything it founds along its way without a pity. The tourism is more fragile than any other activities. Even if a country is full of tourists who come for its national parks and many other attractions, like our country was, when it’s ravaged by a war, no tourist would try to come. Only after some time the tourism would restart at a slow pace.
Tourists stopped to visit the eastern DRC since 1993. No tourist was recorded from 1996-2003 except blue helmet soldiers working for the UN. Anglophone tourists visited the park, and after seeing the gorillas, they shared beer and dances with the villagers in the vicinity of the KBNP. Teenagers used to loudly call them “Mzungu!”, meaning “white people” in Swahili, until 1992.
From 1993 to 2003 and even nowadays the word Mzungu seems to be forgotten by present teenagers. When they see white skin visitors they would shout at them “MONUC!”, which means the UN worker or the UN mission to Congo. In the Kahuzi Biega National Park, for instance, nowadays the number of the tourists, ‘Muzungu’, is getting higher than the number of the UN people who are visiting the park. But on the street the children’s call is still dominated by “MONUC!”.
Everyday people visit these gorillas in KBNP. The POPOF’s tourism section Silverback Kingdom Trekking Agency (SKTA) receives some of the visitors and drive them to the park.
See the photo where some tourists are advised by a park ranger before entering the park to visit the Cimanuka group.
At the moment the security situation in the area is improving and the tourism has begun to grow slowly. Anyone who is interested in visiting the Kahuzi-Biega National Park and this region can contact the Silverback Kingdom Trekking Agency (SKTA) at POPOF.
On July 24, an Indian pilot was taken hostage by rebels in North Kivu Province and later released on August 3. We are very much relieved to hear the news of the release. The incident took place at a remote airstrip in a tin-mining zone in North Kivu, some 150km away from Goma, the provincial capital.