Virunga National Park (Virunga) is recognized globally as a uniquely rich site for wildlife, but it is much more than that. Virunga is also a vital resource to local residents living in and around Africa’s oldest national park.
Under present circumstances, Virunga’s estimated annual economic value is US$48.9 million. In a stable situation conducive to economic growth and tourism, the park’s value could be higher than US$1.1 billion per year and it could be the source of more than 45,000 jobs, including existing positions.
The Virunga National park is among the major tourist destinations in Democratic Republic of Congo. Therefore, it is a place where people go to refresh their minds. Activities done in the park include Gorilla Trekking, chimp tracking, Mountaineering among others.
Virunga national park has facilitated investment in DR. Congo. A large number of investors are now confidently investing their money in DR. Congo. Safari Lodges like Mikemo Lodge, Markets in Coma city, and super markets among others are cropping up due to presence of the park.
Virunga National Park act as pull factors to foreigners – Such foreigners provide market to the products produced in DR. Congo. Such foreigner brings in foreign currency in the country.
Virunga National park earns the country a lot of foreign exchanges. Tourists come with huge sums of dollars paid for Gorilla Trekking, Mountain climbing, Chimp trekking, payment for accommodation, food among others.
The park has widened government tax base- Safari Lodge, Rangers and guards pay taxes to the government. Such taxes are used to develop the country in terms if social services like roads, schools, hospitals among others.
The park protects Mountain Gorillas, birds among other wildlife. Therefore, Virunga National park has helped in conserving and preserving wildlife.
Being among the world’s heritage sites, Virunga National park has made Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) known internationally.
Virunga National Park is an education centre where students go for field trips like Fieldwork excursions, research studies and so on. Therefore, the park has promoted education in DR. Congo and nearby areas.
Virunga National park has led to the development of infrastructures like roads, schools, hospitals, and safari Lodges among others. This is because; part of the income is offered to develop the nearby communities.
The park also hosts other important attractions like Mountain Nyiragongo, Mountain Nyamuragira, and Gorillas and so on. Such attractions are of great importance to DR. Congo and other countries.