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Active volcano benefits gorillas
11 March 2008

On 1 March 2008, Tuver Wundi, the Gorilla Organization’s communications manager, joined a team from the Congolese Wildlife Authority (ICCN) on an expedition to the summit of the active Nyiragongo volcano. The team spent two days at an altitude of 3470m observing the spectacular scenery and lava inside the crater of Nyiragongo, and assessing the volcano’s activity in preparation for its opening as a tourist attraction.

Nyiragongo erupted in 2002, devastating much of the town of Goma and killing dozens of local people. While the volcanic activity inside the crater of Volcano Nyiragongo is still intense, volconlogists have confirmed that the volcano does not present danger to the town of Goma or the surrounding area.

A well organised and safe trip to the volcano provides a once in a lifetime experience for visitors and as a tourist attraction the volcano will bring much needed income to the communities living around the Virunga National Park, home to some of the world’s last remaining Mountain gorillas. With little opportunity to generate income, local people in this area rely heavily on the gorilla national park for resources, an activity that is sadly destroying the gorilla habitat. The evolution of Nyiragongo as a tourist attraction will help with the development of the area and reduce the devastation to the Virunga National Park.

In the near future, the Gorilla Organization will bring both students and young people to visit the volcano, situated 15 km from the town of Goma.
for further information or photographs contact:

David Hewitt, Communications Manager
The Gorilla Organization, 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, Nw1 8HX
Tel: 020 7916 4974
Mobile: 07801 971123
david@gorillas.org
www.gorillas.org