If there is one question that we have to answer more than any other here in the KBNP, it’s “Is it safe to visit?” We are now working on getting a website up which will provide regular updates on the security situation, but in the meantime here’s a little summary in case you’re planning a visit or just interested to know more.
Our park is huge, covering approximately 6000 km2 and spanning the provinces of South Kivu, North Kivu and Maniema. The KBNP is divided into two zones, the high altitude sector to the east and low altitude sector to the west, which are connected by a narrow corridor. The high altitude sector comprises mountain forest covering 600 km2 from an altitude of 1800 m to 3300 m and the low altitude sector is a tropical forest lying between 600 m and 1200 m above sea level. Currently, visits are limited to the high altitude sector which is guarded by six patrol posts and a main station at Tshivanga. Daily patrols are carried out in order to survey this sector of the park and to guarantee the safety of our visitors.
At the moment, our main focus has been on securing the high altitude sector and in this respect we have had considerable success. There has been the rare attack on commercial convoys carrying minerals and other resources on the main road traversing the park, but we have never had an incident of any kind related to tourists (we’ve received about 2000 visitors from all over the world since 2007). Our guards patrol our key visitor areas constantly and make sure that all our staff are kept up-to-date on the latest security information. Our advice to any potential visitor is to make your reservation and to contact our staff by telephone or on firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any queries about security. You can also get further information by checking your government’s travel advice, but please note that such information is often very general and may not address in detail the situation in the park.
A key ambition of our tourism programme is for tourism to provide jobs and alternative revenue streams for the surrounding populations, thereby decreasing the amount of illegal activities within the park. We hope that some of you can help us in this endeavor simply by paying us a visit.