Ranger Dudunyabo Machongani Célestin Killed in the Line of Duty

Ranger Dudunyabo Machongani Célestin atop Nyiragongo volcano, an area that he helped protect.

Virunga National Park is sad to announce that another brave ranger has been killed. Ranger Dudunyabo Machongani Célestin, age 30, died after he and his fellow rangers were ambushed by Mai-Mai militia. The attack occurred in the Mt. Tshiaberimu area of the park, west of Lake Edward. Célestin was captured during the ambush and later killed by the assailants. He leaves behind his wife, Feza Kashusha Ushindi, and two children, Henri (4) and Karem Miriam (1).

Ranger Dudunyabo Machongani Célestin (left) crossing Lake Edward on his way to Mt. Tshiaberimu.

Célestin was originally from Bunia and joined the ranger force in 2011. He did his comprehensive ranger training at Lulimbi Station in the Virunga’s Central Sector. His first assignment was mountain gorilla protection in the southern sector. He also worked from Kibati Station and helped protect the Nyiragongo volcano area. In his most recent role, Célestin was charged with protecting the flora and fauna surrounding Mt. Tshiaberimu, where Virunga’s only population of eastern lowland gorillas live.

Ranger Dudunyabo Machongani Célestin’s graduation in Lulimbi.

Virunga National Park will provide for Ranger Célestin’s wife and children through the Fallen Rangers Fund. If you would like to help support them and other families of Virunga’s Fallen Rangers, please make a donation here.




  1. Lo July 16, 2017 Reply

    Thank you Ranger Celestin for your brave work. There is a special place in heaven for those who protect God’s creatures.

    • Seán October 10, 2017 Reply

      He did well defending Virunga, may he rest in peace, out of harms reach.

  2. chris kaiser July 16, 2017 Reply

    thank you rest in peace

  3. Beverly July 16, 2017 Reply

    Very sorry for this loss we were in Virunga in December and this rangers are amazing people. May God help his family and protect all the rangers.

  4. Jason July 16, 2017 Reply

    True heroes, words don’t express the thanks for what you do and sacrifice.

  5. Paula July 16, 2017 Reply

    Killed by the Mai Mai militia? So is the government going to hunt down these killers? This Mai Mai militia needs to be annihilated.

  6. Martin Adair July 16, 2017 Reply

    Another hero murdered, Dudunyabo Machongani Célestin, when your family look into the night sky, they shall see you, for a new star is born.

  7. Dawn July 16, 2017 Reply

    Sorry for the loss of this brave man. Many prayers said for this ranger and his family in their tragic time. May you always be a beacon for all rangers in the park.

  8. Dr.Patrice Moubayed July 16, 2017 Reply

    May the death of these fine and courageous men not be for nothing, paradise for sure has taken them. May their names be never forgotten and justice come upon them who are a disgrace for Africa! My thoughts are with their families.
    Best of wishes from germany

  9. Melissa July 16, 2017 Reply

    I am so deeply sadden by this news. I’m a 6th grade teacher and we teach a novel about a gorillia taken from the Congo. To give our students background knowledge we used many articles about Virunga and the rangers. This feels personal, deeply sorry for your loss.

  10. Gigi July 16, 2017 Reply

    I an deeply saddened to read this. God Bless you and your family. Thank you for your service.

  11. saul July 16, 2017 Reply

    There is a hole in my heart for the loss of yet another brave ranger.No words can begin to express the gratitude and bravery of this ranger and so many others who have fallen protecting Virunga.

  12. mukasa charles July 17, 2017 Reply

    Rangers are special people in the presence of God for the work they do to protect the wild creatures
    may CELESTINE rest in peace

  13. Chris July 17, 2017 Reply

    It’s times like this when I realize how much I wish a were rich. I want to give to their families! I am so grateful for all that they give of themselves to protect endangered and hunted species that are so under pressure; sadly, sometimes to the point that they give it all for the cause. Their families are probably in a bad situation without the man providing sustenance and security. Best wishes to all, and thank you noble warrior.
    I can give $20. I hope that is worthwile. If everybody gave at least $20 that would add up?

  14. Steffany July 19, 2017 Reply

    You will be missed brave Ranger. Thank you for your dedication and passion to protect the beautiful wonders of Virunga. Keeping your family in my prayers. Rest In Peace Celestine. <3

  15. LAURA July 20, 2017 Reply

    Really sorry for this loss. It’s heartbreaking when Rangers like this one dies because of the government poor governance and inability to secure protection for population. It doesn’t have to be like this…

  16. Ramsey August 26, 2017 Reply

    Rangers are amazing men. Im sad for all of your losses, and I too wish I could do more. You Rangers give me hope. The sacrifices you all make are extrordinary. Infact I cant imagine! God bless

  17. Scammell, kimber December 14, 2017 Reply

    Africa needs to attend to the morals and corruption within her park system !! The current director should provide unveiling protection for ALL park animals and rangers. Why are these animals endangered? Doesn’t ANYONE recognize that the animals that still exist are becoming Extinct and that people are dying because there are trying to protect them !! Those animals are God’s majestic creatures, leave them in peace !! Poachers are EVIL beings and will feel the wrath of God. Judgement day will come for all who kill for money or greed !!

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