Lulengo gorilla family in Virunga national park
Lulengo family is part of the 8 gorilla families that are found in Virunga national park. Lulengo was led by Rugabo in the time of habituation but he was murdered together with 2 females in 1994. In the same attack, Mvuyerekure a young gorilla was kidnapped by poachers whose plan was to sell the gorilla to Uganda. These poachers were arrested and jailed before reaching Uganda.
When the group was left with no leader, Lulengo a silverback from the same group rook over the leadership where he controlled 12 members. The numbers of Lulengo gorilla family reduced in 1998 when Lulengo had a serious fight with Mapuwa and most of the members ran to Mapuwa family.
In 2014 Lulengo fought with Rugendo and in the fight, he was able to steal one of the members called Bagambe to his group. Despite some of the family members going to Mapuwa gorilla family, the family has managed to grow from 6 to 11 members.
Tracking Lulengo gorilla family
Trekking mountain gorillas of Lulengo gorilla family starts with a briefing at the park offices very early in the morning. Travelers going to trek these giant apes have to wake up early in the morning and take breakfast, the drivers will pack them and transfer them to the park offices where they will learn about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity from the wardens.
Armed ranger guides will lead them into the jungle to search for these apes and during the search, they will be able to meet different park animals such as buffaloes, okapis, topis, bongo, mongoose, elephants, duikers, giant forest hogs, olive baboons, monkeys, aardvark, bushbuck, kobs, birds and different plant species.
The trekking activity takes 2-5 hours but when the trekkers locate mountain gorillas, they are given 1 hour to be around them, learn about their behaviors, take photos with a camera that have no flash and watch them do daily activities such as coupling, nesting breastfeeding, hunting and much more. later you trek out of the jungle meet your driver for a transfer to the next destination or lodge.
Trekking permits for Lulengo gorilla family
Trekking permits for Lulengo gorilla family are cards issued out by Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature to allow a person to encounter the gorilla family. The trekking permits for Lulengo gorilla family are 8 and they are sold each at a fee of $450 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents, $200 for Congolese and East African citizens while those that travel in the low season can get them at $200 per person per trek.
Booking permits for Lulengo family
Booking permits for Lulengo gorilla family is easy when you use a local tour operator because they do communicate with people at Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature quickly. Africa Adventure Vacations limited is one of the local tour operators that doe4s help travelers intending to trek Lulengo gorilla family on booking the trekking permits.
All you have to do is to send us an email containing the dates of the month and year you want to travel and using these dates, we shall check quickly with Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature to see if the permits are available. Once the permits are available, we shall send you banking details f you how you can send us money and when we receive it, we shall go ahead to book the gorilla permits for you.
Best time to track Lulengo gorilla family
Travelers can visit Virunga national park and encounter Lulengo gorilla family at any time of the year but certain months are better than the rest. The drier months are the best to trek this gorilla group because during that period, there is little or no rainfall that leaves the trekking trails less muddy, the vegetation is short giving unclear views of the park animals, and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Travelers can still visit Virunga national park for Lulengo gorilla family trekking in the rainy season to enjoy huge discounts on gorilla trekking permits and accommodation facilities. The rainy season occurs from March to May and October to November and during that period, there is plenty of rainfall that leaves the trekking trials muddy and slippery, the vegetation is thick with unclear views of park animals, and roads leading to the park are impassable.
What to pack for Lulengo gorilla family trekking?
To have a memorable trekking safari with Lulengo gorilla family, you need to come well prepared with all the necessary equipment. Some of the equipment we advise our clients to come with are good waterproof hiking shoes, a pair of gaiters, rain jacket, cotton stocks, long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, a camera, a pair of binoculars, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellents, reusable drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, facemask, and sanitizer.
Accommodation to book during Lulengo gorilla family safari
There are several accommodation facilities that are found in Virunga national park and these range from luxury to mid-range to budget options with excellent facilities and services to all travelers that use them while on Lulengo gorilla family trekking safari. These include Lulimbi Tented Camp, Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelters, Bukima Tented Camp, Mikeno Lodge, Tchegera Island, Kibumba Tented Camp, and much more.
Other activities to combine with Lulengo gorilla family trekking
Hiking: Are you good at hiking and you are coking to Virunga national park for Lulengo gorilla trekking? Well, there are 3 mountains in Virunga national park available for hiking and these are Mount Mikeno, mount Nyiragongo, and mount Nyamuragira. Mountain Nyiragongo is the most hiked volcano in Virunga so you should not miss out on this opportunity while in Virunga.
Hiking mount Nyiragongo takes 5-6 hours of going through steepy slopes and rugged terrain. Armed ranger guides lead the trekkers throughout the hike and during the activity, there are chances of meeting birds, animals such as mongoose, kobs, topis, bushbucks, aardvark, duikers, okapis, topis, buffaloes, elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas, and much more. At the summit of Nyiragongo is the largest lava lake in the world, you will have stunning views of Virunga volcanoes, mount Rwenzori, Virunga national park, Kahuzi Biega national park, homesteads, tea plantations, and homesteads.
Chimpanzee trekking: There are a few chimpanzees in Virunga national park that have been habituated for tourism purposes. After trekking Lulengo gorilla family, you can trek the other species of primates that share about 98% human DNA. To be part of chimpanzee trekking, you need to book the permits in advance of 3-4 months.
Trekking these apes is like gorilla trekking because it starts with a briefing and later on the armed ranger guides lead the participants through different trekking trails while searching for these apes. During the search, the trekkers are able to meet some of the park animals such as giant forest hogs, buffaloes, monkeys, olive baboons, warthogs, gorillas, okapi, kobs, topi, and birds.
When the chimpanzees are located, an hour will be given to the trekkers to learn about their behaviors, take photos, and watch them do daily activities like hunting, coupling, nesting, and feeding among others. After spending time with these primates, you will trek out the jungle, meet your driver to transfer you to the lodge or your next destination.
Birding: To bird lovers, Virunga national park is home to over 706 bird species most of which are seen during birding activities. Birding in Virunga national park is done with an armed ranger guide that knows about the best birding spots of the park. When coming for Lulengo gorilla family trekking, you should carry along equipment for birding like a birder’s book, a voice recorder, a pair of binoculars, and much more.
Birds of Virunga national park include African goshawk, harrier hawk, white-necked raven, Red-chested cuckoo, African paradise flycatcher, mountain oriole, yellow-billed barbet, olive woodpecker, red-faced woodland warbler, bronze mannikin, thick-billed seedeater, stonechat, alpine swift, diederik cuckoo, narina trogon, red-chested cuckoo, white-browed crombec, white-headed wood hoopoe, and green sandpiper among others.