Rumangabo town is located north of Lake Kivu and it is a military base for troops that keep security in Virunga national park. The town is situated 3.5 km away from Virunga national park offices. Rumangabo town is one of the areas in DR Congo visited by tourists are on Virunga national park safaris. Travelers can get to Rumangabo town in just a single day from Kigali using the Goma border. Luxury travelers can fly from Kigali international airport to Gisenyi airstrip or Nairobi airport to Goma international airport and access this town.
The town is a perfect place to stay for those that are going for gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, birding, and hiking safaris in Virunga national park. some of the places to stay in while at Rumangabo town include Mikeno lodge which is a luxury accommodation facility with the best services. They have 12 luxury bungalows that can accommodate a maximum of 24 people. There is also Bukima tented camp which is a mid-range accommodation facility with good services. The rooms are well constructed giving nice views of Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira.
Activities to do while staying at Rumangabo town
Gorilla trekking: Gorilla trekking is one of the activities that travelers staying at Rumangabo town can do. The gorilla trekking activity can be done in Virunga national park which is located near the town. T trek mountain gorillas in Virunga national park while staying at Rumangabo town, you will have to wake up early in the morning for breakfast and then meet your driver to transfer you to the park offices.
You will be briefed by the park wardens who will teach you about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity and then armed ranger guides will lead you to the jungle and using different trekking rails, you will be able to locate the mountain gorillas. The activity enables you to meet different park animals, birds, and vegetation but when you meet the mountain gorillas, you are able to be around them for 1 hour, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.
Chimpanzee trekking: Chimpanzee trekking in the southern sector of Virunga national park is another activity that can be done by travelers staying at Rumangabo town. Chimpanzee trekking does begin with a briefing early in the morning so that participants must wake up early and keep time. In the briefing, the trekkers are taught about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity and armed ranger guides lead them into the jungle.
Chimpanzee trekking in Virunga national parks takes 2-5 hours of going through different trekking trials meeting different park mammals, primates, birds, and vegetation covers. Once the chimpanzees are located, the trekkers are given 1 hour to be around them watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits, take photos, and much more.
Hiking: Travelers finding their stay at Rumangabo town can decide to do hiking on mount Nyiragongo or mount Nyamuragira. The hiking activities are done by those that have hiking permits so we expect you to have booked the permit in advance. Hiking any of the mountains starts with a briefing and armed ranger guides take you throughout the hike up to the summit of the volcano.
Hiking any of these Virunga volcanoes normally takes 5-6 hours of meeting different animals on the slopes such as mountain gorillas, buffaloes, chimpanzees, topis, bushbucks, warthogs, topis, giant forest hogs, mongoose, olive baboons, monkeys, birds, and different vegetation covers. At the summit of each of the volcanoes is a lava lake, views of Virunga national park, Kahuzi Biega national park, Lake Kivu, mountain Rwenzori, plantations, and homesteads.
Bird watching: Travelers staying in Rumangabo town can do bird watching activities conducted in Virunga national park. The bird-watching activities are guided by armed ranger guides who take you to different birding spots. Bird watching activities are best done in the rainy seasons when most of the migrant birds are within the park. All you need to have is a birding book, a pair of binoculars, cameras, and a voice recorder.
Birding activities in Virunga national park introduce you to birds such as red-eyed dove, klaas’s cuckoo, cardinal woodpecker, Rwenzori turaco, red-throated alethe, red-faced woodland warbler, diederik cuckoo, grey crowned crane, mountain buzzard, hadeda ibis, alpine swift, black saw-wing, green sandpiper, grassland pipit, narrow-tailed starling, white-browed crombec, and streaky seedeater.
Other bird species in Virunga national park include white-tailed crested flycatcher, cardinal woodpecker, black and white casqued hornbill, Angolan swallow, thick-billed seedeater, black bishop, common waxbill, malachite sunbird, white-starred robin, stonechat, archer’s ground robin, tambourine dove, harrier hawk, African hobby, handsome spurfowl and mountain sooty boubou among others.
Senkwekwe orphanage visit: Staying in Rumangabo town, you can visit Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage located near Mikeno lodge. There is a place where mountain gorillas that lost their parents in wars or those that fell victims to poachers are kept. A visit to this orphanage center gives you an opportunity to take care of the mountain gorillas, feed them and witness them do daily activities.
Travelers can extend their safari to Tchegera island for more rewarding and relaxing holiday after a long gorilla trek or volcano adventure experience.
What is the best time to visit Rumangabo town?
Rumangabo town in DR Congo can be visited at any time of the year but there are months that are better than the rest based on the purpose of the visit. Travelers visiting Rumangabo town to do activities in Virunga national park, it’s better to go in the drier months of June to September and December to February. During these months, there is little or no rainfall, the trekking trails are less slippery, the vegetation is thin giving unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Travelers can still visit Rumangabo town in DR Congo in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities and gorilla permits for Virunga national park. The rainy season is only good for those going for birding activities in the park because, during that period there are so many birds in the park including the migratory ones. Other activities in Virunga are not enjoyable in the rainy season because the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, roads leading to the park are muddy and the vegetation is thick with unclear views of the park animals.