Can I book a camping safari in Virunga national park?
Can I book a camping safari in Virunga national park? NO; camping is not permitted in Virunga National Park at this time for security reasons however the park owns and operates lodges that are located in three different areas. These lodges and camps include;
Mikeno Lodge: This is located at the park headquarters in Rumangabo. Mikeno Lodge is surrounded by beautiful forests and stunning Albertine Rift views. Guests can enjoy this kind of view just from the veranda of the main building. In most cases, the lodge hosts several primate guests like the blue and colobus monkeys from the terrace of their private room. All 12 cabins are designed with a spacious seating area and fireplace, a natural stone shower, a soaking tub, and flushable toilets.
Kibumba Tented Camp: This Camp is located in the southern part of Virunga national with 18 safari tents overlooking Mount Mikeno. All tents have en-suite bathrooms with hot running water and flushable toilets. The main lodge has its own dining room, while the veranda offers opportunities for al fresco dining and spotting golden monkeys. Keen birders are likely to spot several rare montane bird species from Kibumba tented camp of Virunga national park.
Tchegera Tented Camp: The camp is situated in a tranquil location; just in the middle of Lake Kivu, on the ridge of a collapsed volcanic caldera. The lodge has six tents and offers opportunities to enjoy water-based activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. Each tent has a well-built bathroom with hot water and a flushable toilet, while the entire camp including the main building is lit by 24-hour solar electricity.
Important information you should know before visiting Virunga national park
Virunga national park is located in close proximity to the equator which means that temperatures are likely to be the same throughout the year however, due to some other factors like altitude, at some points, the temperatures can differ quite significantly within Virunga national park based on elevation. At lower altitudes, temperatures range from 73 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit while on higher altitudes temperatures range from 61 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. At the top of the Nyiragongo volcano, temperatures may fall below freezing point.
Virunga national park receives two main rainy seasons that is to say September to November and March to May. Bird watching is excellent during these periods, but otherwise, the dry season is generally the best time to book your safari to Virunga national park.
Items to pack if you are planning a tour to the park include a lightweight waterproof jacket, sturdy shoes, and long-sleeved shirts and pants. Gaiters are also important as they protect you against insect biting and stinging nettles.
Although the price of most tour packages to Virunga national park covers costs like accommodation, activities, and ground transport; the price on the following items like the drinks, gratuities, and Nyiragongo backpacks and porters are excluded from the cost.
Travelers should also note that only undamaged and clean U.S. dollars printed after 2009 will be accepted.
The recommended tip given to any staff in Virunga national park is $10 per person, per day however, it is divided equally amongst all staff members.
The CDC recommends several vaccinations for all travelers to Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Take note of the following vaccines for cholera, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, typhoid, polio, and rabies. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required for all travelers aged nine months and above. Visitors without yellow fever certificate is not permitted to enter DR Congo. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended all year round if you plan to visit the country.
Virunga national park management has the right to cancel any activities if there is a perceived safety risk. In case of any cancelations, travelers are offered an alternative or refunded in full.