Congo gorilla tours
Congo gorilla tours are about spending time with gorillas at Virunga national park or Kahuzi Biega national park. Congo gorilla tours are one of the cheapest safaris to do while on a gorilla tour in Africa. The national parks have the cheapest gorilla trekking permits going for as low as $450 compared to $700 of Uganda and $1500 of Rwanda
Virunga national park is located in the eastern part of Congo near Mgahinga national park and Volcanoes national park protecting endangered mountain gorillas. Kahuzi Biega national park on the other side is located in the eastern part of the country near the western bank of Lake Kivu. Congo gorilla tours can be done at any time of the year since these parks are always open for tourism purposes.
How to book gorilla permits for Congo gorilla tours
After deciding to visit Congo for gorilla tours, what follows is getting a gorilla permit to enable you to encounter mountain gorillas. Well, you don’t have to worry because here at Africa Adventure vacations limited, we do book permits for those intending to visit Congo for gorilla trekking.
All you will have to do is send us an email containing the days you want to travel or trek and using these days we shall check for the availability of trekking permits with authorities of Kahuzi Biega national park or Virunga national park depending on which gorilla type you want to trek.
When the permits are available, we shall send you banking details of how you can pay for the permit and after we have received the money, we shall go-ahead to book the permit. You need to be aged 15 years and above to qualify for a trekking permit in Congo. Travelers can still book the permits by themselves but they might take longer to get responses from the park authorities.
Price of Congo gorilla permits
Travelers intending to trekking gorillas in Congo, you are advised to book a gorilla trekking permit using a local tour operator in advance in order to avoid last minute bookings. The gorilla permits are cards that allow a person to encounter mountain gorillas for a maximum of 1 hour and they do cost $400 foreign and foreign non-residents, $200 Congolese and East African citizens in the dry season while in the low season the permit price goes as low as $200 per person per trek.
Where to trek gorillas in Congo
Virunga national park: Virunga national park is one of the national parks where gorillas are trekked. The national park is home to about a quarter of the mountain gorilla population left in the world. As of today, 8 gorilla families have been able to be fully habituated for gorilla trekking activities and these are done at all times of the year. The 8 gorilla families in Virunga national park include Humba family, Kabirizi family, Bageni family, Lulengo family, Mapuwa family, Rugendo family, Munyaga family, and Nyakamwe family.
Kahuzi Biega national park: Kahuzi Biega national park is another place to encounter gorillas in Congo. The national park is located in the eastern part of DR Congo near the western bank of Lake Kivu. Kahuzi Biega national park protects eastern lowland gorillas and 5 families have been fully habituated in this park.
Gorilla trekking in DR Congo
Gorilla trekking in DR Congo is done in Kahuzi Biega national park and Virunga national park. The activity starts early in the morning at the park headquarters where participants gather to learn about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity. After the briefing, trekkers are grouped not exceeding 8 and armed ranger guides lead each group into the jungle.
Trekking the gorillas in Congo takes 2-7 hours depending on where the mountain gorillas are on that day or the speed of trekkers. During the search, the trekkers are able to meet different bird species, primates, mammals, and different vegetation covers. As soon as the trekkers have located the gorillas, they are given 1 hour to be around them, take photos, learn about their habits and watch them do daily activities such as hunting, nesting, coupling, breastfeeding, and patrolling among others.
The Best time to do Congo gorilla tours
Congo gorilla tours can be done at any time of the year but there are months that are better than the rest. The drier months of June to September and December to February are the best to have Congo gorilla tours because during such months, there is little or no rainfall, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is short giving clear views of animals and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Congo gorilla tours can still be done in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on permits and accommodation facilities however, during these months there is plenty of rainfall, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall giving unclear views of the animals and the roads leading to the parks ae impassable.
Where to stay during Congo gorilla tours?
Depending on the national park you are to visit, you don’t have to worry about where you will stray because each of the parks has lodges ranging from budget to mid-range to luxury options. Some of the lodges in Virunga national park include Lulimbi Tented Camp, Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelters, Bukima Tented Camp, Mikeno Lodge, Tchegera Island, Kikumba Tented Camp, and much more. Lodges in Kahuzi Biega national park include L’Orchids Safari Club, Coco Lodge, Hotel Begonias, Exodus Lodge, Mount Kahuzi Hotel, and Lake Side Hotel among others.