Is Gorilla Trekking in Virunga national park Worth the Money?
Is gorilla trekking in Virunga national park worth the money? Absolutely yes, gorilla trekking in DR Congo’s Virunga national park is worth money, effort, and time spent.
All past visitors to the misty jungle of Virunga agree with us that the experience of meeting face to face with the mountain gorillas is a rewarding, thrilling, life-changing, and unforgettable wildlife experience on this planet hence very worth for every time put into organizing a gorilla safari, effort, and money for a holiday.
Well, purchasing a gorilla permit worth $400 to see mountain gorillas for just one hour may seem like exploitation in the eyes of an ordinary person but for a traveler who understands the value of spending even one minute in the company of these gentle apes in the wild will pay even more to be one of the luckiest people in the World.
And for the above reason, we confidently say that yes, yes and yes, gorilla trekking in Virunga national park of the Democratic Republic of Congo is worth more than $400 per person.
Much as gorilla trekking in Virunga is unforgettable and a bucket list experience for several safari enthusiasts, prior preparations, patience, and hard work is required because travelers may walk for over 6 hours before encountering the mountain gorillas. The following are the reasons why gorilla trekking in Virunga national park is worth the money;
The entire gorilla trekking experience in Virunga national park is generally exhilarating and life-changing
The entire experience of encountering eye to eye with the mountain gorillas in the thick forests of Virunga national park is rewarding. The mountain gorillas are gentle, calm, and peaceful apes that were habituated to endure human presence hence they are aggressive to travelers interested in watching them doing their daily routines.
Yes, mountain gorillas that are ready for tourism activities must undergo a habituation process but visitors upon their encounter must follow guidelines issued during briefing and tracking sessions otherwise, at any time they may charge and cause danger! Visitors must study their body language as explained by Park Rangers in order to enjoy watching these strong primates in their natural environment.
The money you pay directly supports different mountain gorilla conservation efforts in Virunga national park
The endangered mountain gorillas are greatly threatened by habitat loss due to human activities like poaching and civil wars in DR Congo. Therefore, the money paid for gorilla tourism is used to conserve the Giant Apes in the Virunga national park. Part of the money is also used to pay Gorilla Doctors, Rangers, Researchers, and guides as well as the local community living around Virunga national park. Consequently, this contributes to the long-term protection of the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
Therefore, for those asking if gorilla trekking in Virunga national park is worth the money; we would say that the prices of gorilla permits in the Democratic Republic of Congo alongside the strict restrictions are crucial for the overall preservation of the health and welfare of mountain gorillas.
The unmatched flora and fauna of Virunga national park
The brilliant flora and fauna of Virunga national park make gorilla trekking experiences in the Democratic Republic of Congo worth the money. While the forest is a stronghold for mountain gorillas, the park is endowed with other animal species such as chimpanzees, Eastern lowland gorillas, forest duikers, leopards, grey-cheeked mangabeys, forest elephants, Cape buffaloes, bushbucks, Olive baboons, and blue monkeys as well as several Albertine rift endemic bird species.
Virunga national park gorilla permits in DR Congo are cheaper than in Uganda and Rwanda
You might be wondering whether gorilla trekking in Virunga national park is worth the money until you learn of the actual cost of gorilla permits in Uganda and Rwanda. While DR Congo charges $400 for the foreign non-residents, Uganda charges $700 while Rwanda charges $1500 per person per trek hence making DR Congo a cheaper destination for tracking gorillas in Africa.
While the mountain gorillas are the same in all gorilla tracking destinations in Africa, there are slight differences in terms of accessibility of the respective gorilla national parks, varying terrains, and vegetation density. It is therefore more affordable and worthwhile to book a gorilla tracking experience in DR Congo’s Virunga national park than Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable national park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park.
Expect breathtaking sceneries of Virunga national park
A typical gorilla trekking day in Virunga national park may involve walking several hours of challenging hiking through rugged landscape and thick vegetation however, if you are physically fit, all these will be part of the thrilling adventure. From side to side you will see several volcanoes including mount Nyiragongo, Mikeno Sabinyo, rolling hills, densely-forested slopes, clear skies among others. Therefore, gorilla trekking in Virunga national park is worth the money because of the unmatched experience and the magnificent sceneries that will make your eyebrows raise.