Virunga National Park Research

Exploring Africa’s Goma Region: Diary: Day 14

FLI Lac Kivu

Lac Kivu

The 7R Future Leadership Institute has been following Belgian Floris Buter from the Virunga National Park on a week long field trip in Africa, in order to gather topography data for a hydro-power project. The collected data are to be wired to the Belgian engineering firm TPF. They need the data to make a feasibility study.

However during his field trip Floris decides to leave the Virunga National Park project to set up his own business servicing the Virunga National Park and others. Today you will read how meets some friends at the airport, enjoying some Jet-skiing at Lac Kivu although he can not really afford it.

Topographical Feasibility Study In Hydro-Power Project

Day 14, 24th of June 2015 – Beni

I wake up and swim.

I take a shower and the breakfast at Albertine Hotel.

I take a motortaxi to Beni Mavivi. I pay 2000 fc.

At the gate they ask 1200 fc for the motortaxi to enter. I refuse and decide to walk the rest of the road. I see some FARDC guys hanging around in their huts. I greet them. I walk on. When I see the airport, I take a picture. An airport official signals me I have to come over to him. I walk up to him smiling, talking and joking. I see he changes his mind wanting me to charge for the photo. Instead he asks where my car or motor is. I answer they are at home and that I took a motorcycle taxi to the gate and that I refused to pay 1200 fc to walk the road. He asks me if I ever heard about people being killed by guys with machetes near Beni Mavivi. I confirm I heard about the story. He explains it happened on the road I was walking. Oeps.

I enter the airport. I’m early and I walk inside without being checked on health or fire arms. I take place in the waiting area. I negotiate with the lady that sells peanuts. I loose and buy them for the price that she stated from the beginning. Then Echo flight arrives after CAA (Fokker 50) and Busy Bee (Dornier 228). I sms Ernestine that I’m good to go for a late lunch in ‘Au Bon Pain’.

We take off from Beni. We land in Goma. I take a moto to ‘Au Bon Pain’.

I meet Graham with Ernestine and she proposes to sit elsewhere. We sit at the table and couches where our adventure started 1 year ago. We talk laugh sit eat drink. I PAY. She doesn’t have money. We leave. I call Syd and he invites me to Pascal’s. We drink, swim and drive Jet Ski’s on Lac Kivu after we told each other that this is for the ‘new rich’ and not for us. We enjoy the lake and the Jet Ski’s. Very hypocritical of us.

There are lots of nice people at Pascal’s place.

We eat hotdogs.

We leave to Chalet because it is Wednesday.

We have a good time. I go to sleep.

Notes by Floris Buter

FLI Floris Buter VirungaFloris Buter is the Managing Director Commercial Enterprises of the Virunga National Park in Africa. He is responsible for the identification, conceptualization, implementation and operation of all commercial opportunities in and around Virunga National Park. Today he is in the process of leaving his job, setting up his proper company servicing the Virunga National Park and other potential clients.

Virunga is truly the crown jewel of Africa’s national parks. The park contains over 50% of sub-Saharan Africa’s biodiversity and is home to about 200 of the earth’s last 720 critically endangered mountain gorillas. Virunga is the oldest national park in the Africa. Despite this, the forests and amazing animals of the park, most notably the mountain gorilla, are in a desperate fight for their survival.

To read the other diary posts from Floris Buter, click here.

Are you a scientist, adventurer or explorer on a mission ?
The 7R Future Leadership Institute supports nature research and exploration. If you are a scientist, adventurer or explorer on a mission, we are interested in your story. Please contact us via info(at) to discuss terms and conditions.

The Virunga Movie was nominated for an Oscar in 2015 in the category ‘Best Documentary Feature’. You can watch it here.


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