Nature walks in Virunga national park are usually done after a main tourism activity like mountain gorilla trekking and a hike to Nyiragongo volcano. In most cases, its an optional activity done in afternoon & evening hours if you book some tour package with the park such as The Great Ape package, The Petit Virunga (Mikeno) package among others.
Yes, nature walks can also be done simultaneous during mount Nyiragingo hiking and gorilla trekking tour in Virunga national park, trailing through the thick and deep Virunga forests. Therefore, if you are looking at enjoying the utmost experience of nature walks in the park, you need to carry a rain coat, light weight hiking shoes, garden gloves, hat, a guide book among others.
Nature walks in Virunga national park can take you to various areas like the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage center that is located in Rumangabo near the park headquarters. This center is a home to several gorillas that were saved from being trafficked poachers. Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage center started with 2 orphan gorillas that is to say Ndakasi and Ndeze. Later, the number of gorillas increased with addition of Kaboko, Mazuka, Yalala, Matabishi. In 2010, the center was saddened by the death of Koboko and Maisha due to health complications.
The orphaned gorillas at Senkwekwe enjoy their home by playing, interacting peacefully without fear of any harm since they are protected and secured by the park rangers. The Virunga park management ensures that they are safe 24/7 and can be visited by guests after tracking in the Virunga forest usually during afternoon hours.
Nature Walks to Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center in Virunga national park.
This center is a home to a number of orphaned gorillas in DR Congo. The park takes ultimate care and responsibility to gorilla members at the center by giving them food, shelter and proper medication. Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage is among the best facility with qualified veterinary doctors to take care these primates. The center derived its name from a dominant silver back gorilla called Senkwekwe which was assassinated in 2007 with other three gorillas from the Rugendo Gorilla family during conflicts with the rebels.
Senkwekwe center is about 10 minutes’ walk from Mikeno lodge and like we said before, most visitors to this center come after doing other park activities chimpanzee trekking, Nyiragongo volcano hiking, bird watching, gorilla trekking among others. For those who had gorilla trekking experiences in Virunga national park, you will compare how these gorillas at center interact with humans verses those in their natural habitats.
Tourists who booked a night stay at mikeno lodge need to contact the park in advance for the possibility of visiting the orphanage center.
During your nature walks to Senkwekwe, you will observe that the orphanage center is located in a good area with lush green forest cover also offering similar conditions like those of their relatives deep in the forest. Other primates such as vervet monkeys, baboons and colobuses wander around the center.
Yes, it is paramount for any wild animal to live free in their own wild however, senkwekwe center exhibited great environment for these gorillas to live as if it is their natural habitat. Anyone interested in conserving and protecting primates for future generation can volunteer and get involved with the gorilla orphanage but after contacting the management of the park.
Best time for Nature walks in Virunga national park
Are you looking for the best time for nature walks in Virunga national park? Well, the park can be visited through the year however, the best time for this activity is during the dry season of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry months, the trails tend to be dry to make visitors hike with minimal challenges. The shrubs in dry seasons are usually short to enable guests on nature walk spot a number of animals and bird species and also take clear photos. On the other hand, during wet season, accessing the park may be difficult due to slippery roads. You are required to use 4×4 safari vehicles if you are planning to travel during this time. To hikers, trails tend to be muddy so get ready for this.