The Mont Hoyo is located in Eastern DRC (E 1.24750 – N 29.80918) at 125 km far from beni town in Irumu territory, ranging from 1300 m to 1500 m of elevation.
Mont Hoyo is among touristic areas which had some socioeconomic impacts on local communities livelihoods. With different armed crisis and presence of different factions of militias, it has been abandoned by tour operators and ICCN (the Congolese conservation agency) followed by people displacement.
ICCN left the site in 1996 during the first liberation war led by Mzee Laurent Kabila and local population left the area in 2002. They are resettling now from the different IDPs (Internal Displaced People) camps.
Mont Hoyo has been created in 1947 and there is no clear idea about its richness in terms of fauna and flora a part from the tourism attraction about graves.
Information collected on ground states that there is some animals present there such as Okapi, warthog, porcupine, pangolin, chimpanzee, elephant, etc.
Mont Hoyo was among the best destination for visitors and there has been a wonderful guest house, some people who has visited it said.
Two main groups inhabit the surrounding areas of Mont Hoyo: Lesse group and Pygmies and their local economy depends on tourism. Nowadays, they are trying to resettle but there is no sign of economic activities. Their main activities are agriculture and hunting. The nearest market where they can go sell their goods is located at 25 km!
Pygmy camp (about 34 people) Pygmy with Deo
During our last travel to Mont Hoyo, we had to walk for 13.5 km two ways (=27 km) in order to reach the summit. The road is bad conditions and it cannot be used even by a motorcycle. There are about 13 small bridges to be rehabilitated and 1 long one (12 m).
During our travel, there is no where you can buy even a sweet or small snacks! But, everyone is praying so that ICCN can come back as it’s the only way the Mont can be reopened and revive the tourism activities.
Unfortunately, due to the absence of ICCN, who is lacking field equipments for rangers to be deployed in the area, there is a traditional and armed poaching going on against monkeys and duikers.
It’s a wonderful place where you can visit graves and get to know about Pygmies and their life. But there are some actions to be done before with support from everyone who wants this site to be renewed: bridges renovation, house renovation, field equipments for trackers (rangers), support to local communities, etc.
Mont Hoyo Guest house View of the grave