The Kivu Region of the Congo DRC is a place very close to heart of the Babault family. This is the naturalists paradise that our grandfather Guy Babault and our grandmother Josephine Nolan migrated into after an arduous overland trek from Bagamoyo on the Tanganyika coast in the late 1920s. Our father, Rene Babault, was just to two years old at the time. His sister, our beloved Auntie Terry, was born there under dramatic circumstances on a wild forested island in the centre of Lake Kivu.
Virunga National Park’s 8,000 square kilometres play host to the most active volcanoes in Africa and an incredible diversity of wildlife ranging from both Eastern Lowland and Mountain Gorillas to the enigmatic Okapi and both Forest and Savanna Elephant – all in one continuous ecosystem. Today, the south-eastern corner of my grandfather’s old stomping grounds in the Virunga has reopened for intrepid travellers looking for unique gorilla experiences and to climb to the world’s largest lava lake in Mount Nyiragongo. Excellent news for the conservation of arguably the world’s most important national park.