Hiking safaris in DR Congo
Hiking safaris in DR Congo are the best ways to explore most of the mountains in the country which range from active volcanoes to dormant volcanoes. Hiking safaris in DR Congo take you to Virunga national park a home to mountain gorillas and chimpanzees and they also take you to Kahuzi Biega national park a home to chimpanzees and eastern lowland gorillas. Hiking safaris in DR Congo are good for those that want to test their physical ability because the mountains are not easy to hike and maybe those that want to explore the active volcanoes.
Hiking safaris are the best want to explore the mountains, see the different vegetation covers, animals, birds, rocks, and the lava lakes on some of the mountains. Some of the animals that have found homes on the slopes of these mountains include buffaloes, elephants, duikers, olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, okapi, aardvark, topi, giant forest hogs, bongo, dent’s mona monkeys among others. Hiking in DR Congo can be done at any time of the year but the best time is the dry season that comes with little or no rainfall.
Booking hiking safaris in DR Congo
Planning to visit DR Congo for hiking safaris and you are looking for the best tour operator to work on your safari? Well, Africa Adventure Vacations is one of the best local operators that organize hiking safaris to DR Congo. When you have chosen the mountain you want to hike in DR Congo, you will send us an email containing the dates you want to travel for hiking, and using these dates, we shall book the permits for you, accommodation, and transport. We shall go ahead and help with booking a Congo visa which you must have before entering the country.
Where to go for hiking safaris in DR Congo?
Virunga national park: One of the places to have hiking safaris in DR Congo is Virunga national park. The national park hots mountain Nyamuragira, Mountain Nyiragongo, and Mountain Mikeno. Most of the hiking safaris in Virunga national park are done on mount Nyiragongo as well as mount Nyamuragira because they are active volcanoes. Mount Nyiragongo last erupted in May 2021 while mount Nyamuragira last erupted in November 2011.
Mount Nyiragongo stands at an elevation of 3,470 meters above sea level, Mountain Nyamuragira is at an elevation of 3,058 meters while Mountain Mikeno is at an elevation of 4,437 meters. Hiking Mountain Nyiragongo, Mount Mikeno, and Nyamuragira take 5-6 hours to get to the summit. The activity is done with a help of an armed ranger who takes you the quickest hiking trails to the summit with opportunities of meeting different park animals like the monkeys, olive baboons, duikers, topis, elephants, giant forest hogs, buffaloes, aardvark, birds such as tropical boubou, pin-tailed whydah, tropical boubou, olive sunbird, vegetation among others.
Kahuzi Biega national park: The other place to go for hiking safaris in DR Congo is Kahuzi Biega national park. Kahuzi Biega national park is located in eastern DR Congo near Lake Kivu. The national park hosts 2 mountains Kahuzi and Biega from which Kahuzi Biega national park got its name. Mount Kahuzi stands at an elevation of 3,317 meters and the slopes are covered by wet lowland rain forest, Afromontane vegetation, and trees. Hiking mount Kahuzi gives you an opportunity to encounter the endangered mountain gorillas that stay on the slopes of this mountain.
Mount Biega on the other hand stands at an elevation of 2790m and it’s the second-highest mountain in Kahuzi Biega national park. Hiking Mount Biega takes 6 hours to ascend and descend and during the hiking activity, you get to encounter different park mammals, birds, primates, and different vegetation covers. Hiking any of these mountains in Kahuzi Biega national park requires one to have a hiking permit which they can get from a trusted local tour operator or from the offices.
Hiking experience in DR Congo
Hiking activity on Mount Kahuzi, Mount Biega, Mount Mikeno, Mount Nyamuragira, Mount Nyiragongo, and Mount Nyamuragira does start with a briefing where hikers are taught about the does and don’ts of the hiking activity. After the briefing, armed ranger guides are assigned to the groups to lead them into the jungle where they take them through the hiking trails to the summit as they protect them from dangerous animals.
While hiking the hikers do get opportunities to spot different park animals such as olive baboons, monkeys, buffaloes, okapis, duikers, topis, giant forest hogs, elephants, birds such as grey crowned crane, red-throated alethe, Rwenzori batis, and different vegetation among others. The hiking involves stopping at different points for relaxation and taking some water and snacks.
When the hikers reach the summit, they have good views of the summit as some mountains such as Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira have lakes at the summit. Hikers will have views of the surrounding mountains, national parks, lakes, rivers, vegetation, plantations, and homesteads. Some hikers can have a night at the summit of some mountains like Nyiragongo. Most of the mountains in DR Congo are hiked in a single day and getting to the summit takes different hours depending on the speed of hikers and the nature of the trails.
What is the best time to have hiking safaris in DR Congo?
Hiking safaris in DR Congo can be done at any time of the year but there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months of June to September and December to February are the best for hiking safaris in DR Congo because they are characterized by little or no rainfall and this leaves the hiking trails dry and less slippery, the vegetation along the trails is short with clear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the mountains are passable.
Hikers can still visit DR Congo for hiking safaris in the rainy season that occurs from March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation and permits. However, during these months, there is plenty of rainfall which makes the hiking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall giving unclear views of animals and the roads leading to the mountains are impassable.
Accommodation on hiking safaris in DR Congo
Most of the mountains in DR Congo are found with or at the boundaries of the national parks so hikers can use accommodation facilities for the parks. Hikers to Kahuzi and Biega mountains can use L’Orchids Safari Club, Hotel Begonias, Lake Side Hotel, Exodus Hotel, and Coco Lodge among others.
Hikers to Mount Mikeno, Mount Nyiragongo, and Mount Nyamuragira can use Lulimbi Tented Camp, Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelters, Bukima Tented Camp, Mikeno Lodge, Tchegera Island, Kikumba Tented Camp, and much more