Gorilla trekking in Congo
Gorilla trekking is the key attraction that every traveler wants to do on safari tours to Virunga national park DR Congo. In Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the second biggest country and it is blessed with minerals. This country is ranking in the world as the best area for gorilla tours in the Virunga national park where one can trek mountain gorillas and Kahuzi Biega national park which is found in the southern parts of the country where you see the lowland gorillas. The Democratic Republic of Congo had been experiencing political instability which has caused to few killings and destruction of properties for people in the country and also affected the tourism industry which forced the management of Virunga national park together with local security to introduce new security measures so that to see the success of tourism in Congo and to make sure that Virunga visitors are safe.
Gorilla trekking in Congo is one of an amazing experience where gorilla treks cannot miss out to visit while in Africa due to a number of factors. You can book a Congo Safari tour which gives an opportunity to trek both the mountain gorillas and the lowland gorillas. Visiting the endangered mountain gorillas of Virunga national park is magnificent while finding a number of gorillas that cannot be found elsewhere.
Still in Virunga national park is where you will meet a gorilla family with over 44 individuals if you are lucky enough. While enjoying a great number of gorillas in one place, you will also see a dominant silverback with a grey stripe on the back and other group members following him. You will interact with them for 1 hour in 7 meters with the ranger while telling you what to do.
To find a gorilla family in the park may take 1-2 hours but depends on the allocation of the gorilla family and the speed of trekkers. You will be required to wear a face mask while trekking these gentles, this was put in place so that to prevent the spread of human diseases like flu or cough. The mountain gorillas of Virunga national park are the most welcoming and have a very big relationship with the park rangers if compared to other gorillas of other gorilla destinations. still, Virunga national park is the only place with an orphanage Centre where younger orphanage mountain gorillas who lost their parents to poachers are rescued and taken care of them. The place is known as Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Centre.
The management of Virunga national park is responsible for all-mountain gorilla treks carried out in the park from the Grade Barrier which is a starting point for gorilla trekking and in the same place is where tourists receive permits for activities in the park. They are also among the security team of the Virunga national park to ensure the safety of tourists. Since the government introduced some security measures in the Virunga region, there is great signs of development tourism in the park but still affected by the Ebola threats.
The management of the park introduced various Ebola checkpoints around the park since the scientists reported the cases of Ebola in Goma town which is the checking-in point for all tourists going to the park. Virunga national park has 8 gorilla families which are found in two sectors though Virunga is divided into four sectors and one of them is the Kibumba sector with two habituated gorilla families which include the Baraka with 27 members and the gorilla family has 40 members. While other 6 gorilla families are sighted in the Bukima sector. There are four best accommodation facilities that offer high-quality services and also ensure the safety of tourists with their properties and these includes the luxurious Mikeno lodge, Kibumba tented camp, Bukima tented camp, and Ngila lodge.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is different from other gorilla destinations of Africa because it is the only place where you can trek both mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas. So, if you are interested in trekking lowland gorillas you will travel to the southern part of the country where Kahuzi Biega national park is found. This Park covers an area of about 6,000 square kilometers and stretches near Lake Kivu and on the border of Rwanda. Lowland gorillas and mountain gorillas are similar with few differences so on your Congo safari trek both and enjoy an unforgettable experience at the cheapest gorilla permit which is sold at only 400USD per person. Kahuzi Biega national park is also surrounded by accommodation facilities where one can spend a night to make his or her dream true and these are some of them; the luxurious Orchids Safari Club, Exodus Bukavu, Lakeside hotel, and others. Kahuzi Biega national park was gazetted in 1980 as a home to the lowland and eastern lowland gorillas and it is also among the UNESCO world heritage site.
Other activities to do in Congo after gorilla trekking.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is blessed with many tourist attractions that every traveler is looking for. So, trekking gorillas you can in the evening visit Tchegera island and relax from there while enjoying the beautiful views around the island. Or visit the Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary where you will get a chance to spend more time with these creatures and participate in daily activities like feeding the infants and many more. For wildlife viewing, Garamba national park is the best option for you where you will see the elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and others. You can also extend your safari to Ituri forest to encounter and experience Batwa pygmies culture.
The price for gorilla trekking in Africa.
Book your mountain gorilla permit trekking in Congo at any month of the year at only $400 per trek which is cheaper than the Rwanda gorilla permit which sold at $1500 or Uganda at $700. For those who want to trek during the low season of the year, the management of Virunga national park also gives a chance to get a gorilla permit on discounts. There are two ways of booking gorilla permits in Congo and one of them, you can book directly from park offices or another one, you can book through Africa Adventure Vacations which is the number trustworthy travel operator in Africa. A gorilla permit is one of the things included in the overall costs for a gorilla trekking in Congo. Other things involved in the overall costs for gorilla trekking in Congo are Visas, transportation, and accommodation. Gorilla tours in Africa are classified into three that is from the Luxury, Mid-range, and budget. Therefore, the overall costs for gorilla trekking depend on the class which fits your budget. For instance, a 3 days gorilla tour costs $1500 for a budget traveler, while for a luxury traveler is $2000 Other activities to do in Congo.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is blessed with many tourist attractions that every traveler is looking for. So, trekking gorillas you can in the evening visit Tchegera island and relax from there while enjoying the beautiful views around the island. Or visit the Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary where you will get a chance to spend more time with these creatures and participate in daily activities like feeding the infants and many more. For wildlife viewing, Garamba national park is the best option for you where you will see the elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and others.
When to trek gorillas in Congo.
All Congo gorilla destinations are can be visited all year round but the most recommended time is dry the dry season and this is divided into two seasons is from June-August and from December-February when the hiking trails are not too slippery which favors tourists to enjoy gorilla trekking in Congo. This is important to note that African weather is unpredictable so at any time of the day it may rain, this is the reason why you are advised to carry necessary items for gorilla trekking like good hiking boots, heavy clothes, a rain jacket and other things you do not need to forget to put in your bag while coming are sunglasses, a camera with extra batteries, insect repellent, garden gloves, energy drinks, and others.
Where to spend a night in Virunga national park.
While on your gorilla safari in Virunga national park, you will need to book one of the various accommodation options where you will spend a night before or after gorilla trekking which will fit your choice and interests. The accommodation in Virunga national park is ranges from luxury to budget.
The luxury accommodation.
These offer luxurious service and the hotels or lodges are constructed in strategic locals that allow tourists to enjoy the beautiful views of Virunga Forest. services offered are delicious meals, friendly staff, great rooms, and many more.
The mid-range accommodation.
It is somehow more expensive and offer high- quality services compared than budget accommodation facilities. They normally have restaurants with bars which is stocked with different types of drinks, dining service, comfortable rooms and others.
The budget accommodation.
These are cheap moderate accommodation facilities that offer services like restaurants that have delicious meals that is already to serve at time of the day, comfortable rooms and others. However, they may not have a warm bath shower, bars, Wi-Fi, television and so on.
These are some lodges in Virunga national park as shortly explained below;
Kibumba tented camp is one of the news camps in Virunga national park. It has both tented camps and permanent rooms which are constructed with a private shower, twin, double and single bed. A single room costs $200 per night.
Mikeno lodge is for luxurious tourists which is located along with Goma town with 12 rooms decorated with mahogany trees and lava stones. Since it is near the park, to very early in the morning at the starting point on your gorilla trekking day. All rooms are decorated with stone showers and cured baths.
Lac Kivu lodge is constructed in African style within Goma town near the banks of Lake Kivu. There are 20 rooms with beautiful views of Lake Kivu. Services offered here are WIFI, swimming pool, beauty center, conference rooms and others are Bukima tented camp, Ngila lodge, Nyiragongo summit shelter.
Africa Adventure Vacations is always available to help you and arrange for you a Congo safari tour where you will have to trek two gorilla species that is mountain gorillas in Virunga national park and lowland gorillas in the Kahuzi Biega. For more information please do not hesitate to contact us.