A national park is a natural area which is protected from human activities in order to preserve the
natural environment (such as plants, animals and different types of environmental zones). Ishango is
located in the beautiful Virunga National Park, which is the oldest park in Africa.
It was created in 1925 in order to protect the gorillas of the Virunga mountains.
It was later extended to Edward Lake, Rwindi Plain and the Rwenzori Mountains. It was called Albert Park until 1969.
In 1979, the park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1994, following the war in Rwanda, the park was placed on the World Heritage in Danger list, with the aim of combatting deforestation, amongst other things. The park extends over 790 000 ha which covers more than 13 % of the territory of the North Kivu province. It is currently home to a quarter of the total world population of mountain gorillas and is considered a site which absolutely must be preserved for its biodiversity.