Sectors of Virunga national park
Virunga national park is divided into different sectors where tourists can access attractions of the park such as mount Nyiragongo, Virunga forest, Wildlife among others. Virunga national park is the oldest park and one of the best travel destinations in the Democratic Republic of Congo which was gazetted in 1925 and it is found in the eastern parts of the country. Also 15 minutes away from the Goma town. Virunga national park is popular in the world as home to the few remaining mountain gorillas in the world and sharing them with Bwindi impenetrable forest national, Mgahinga national park which is found in the southwestern parts of Uganda while others are found in the Volcanoes national park of Rwanda. Another ranking activity in the park is hiking the active mount Nyiragongo. Virunga national park can be accessed from different ways and one of them is flying by Kigali international airport and then driving to the Gisenyi- Goma border where you will get your gorilla permit and also other activities are starting from here.
You can fly to the Goma international airport which is the main airport in Congo and it is good by using Ethiopian airlines because it comes directly into the country. Then from here, you will be having to drive just for about 20 minutes to the Grande Barrier where you will meet a security convoy who will lead into Virunga national park and in the same place where you will get your permits for all activities done in the park.
This Park is covering an area of 8,090 square kilometers on the border of Uganda and Rwanda so this is the reason why they have some similar attractions. Virunga national park has four sectors and one of them is the Lulimbi sector which covers the eastern part of the park and borders with Uganda. While in the Lulimbi sector you will see various wildlife like the tree climbing lions in the Ishasha plains which expands into Queen Elizabeth national park which is the one of trending national parks in the southwestern parts of Uganda. Still, in the Lulimbi sector, there are hippos that are usually seen wallowing in the waters of River Ishasha. Other activities around the Lulimbi sector of Virunga national park are the safari walks which are normally done in the afternoon and evening. You will view a large number of bird species. The sector is also good for relaxation especially in the evening at the banks of River Ishasha while watching several hippos. Sometimes, you can also see savannah elephants as they used to visit the river to take water. Other activities you should not miss out on while at the Lulimbi sector are evening bonfires and barbeque dinner. In the sector, there is also Lulimbi tented camp where you can spend your time and it offers a high-quality service through friendly staff, comfortable rooms, delicious meals, and many more.
Another sector is Kibumba which is in the southern part of the park and stretches downwards up to Lake Kivu and includes mount Mikeno, mount Nyiragongo, and mount Nyamulagira and their slopes are surrounded by montane forests. This sector is one of the tracking points for the endangered mountain gorillas. Kibumba is the most visited sector in the Virunga national park and also the best sector for birders, some of the bird species are commonly seen here are collared appalis, Rwenzori Turaco, blue-headed sunbird, red-throated thrush, and many more. Other activities to do while here are nature walks, hiking mount Nyiragongo. After enjoying these activities, you will spend your night in the Kibumba tented camp which offers friendly staff, comfortable rooms, delicious meals, and many more.
Virunga national park also has the northern sector but it is not ranking like other sectors of the park. The sector covers the Rwenzori mountains of Rwenzori national park and the Semiliki river areas, they are found in two countries are Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Activities to you can do while here are bird watching, guided nature walks, wildlife viewing, and others.
The Bukima sector is also found in the eastern part of the Virunga national park. It is popular in the park as the home of mountain gorillas so, on your Virunga safaris try to visit the mountain gorillas of this sector and enjoy an exciting experience. The safari lodges where one can stay while in this sector are the luxurious Mikeno lodge, and the Bukima tented camp. In the same sector is where the briefing for gorilla trekking is done, still, this place is where you have your lunch after visiting mountain gorillas and then go back to your reserved lodge. Apart from tracking mountain gorillas, you can visit the orphanage gorillas at the Senkwekwe center and spend more time with them while moving to the compound of the Mikeno lodge. Another interesting activity to do in this sector is to visit the Mahura forest where to find the habituated chimpanzees.
Accessibility of Virunga national park.
Getting to Virunga national park by air.
It is possible to reach Virunga national park by air using Ethiopian airlines which arrange only one flight in a week. If you want to use this flight, you are advised to book earlier before the traveling date and after reaching the Goma international airport you will find our tour guide in a 4WD vehicle with purified bottled water already to for you to drive up to the Bukima park headquarters which is the starting point for gorilla trekking and you will take a 1-hour drive.
Accessing Virunga national park by road.
Virunga national park can also be accessed from Uganda and Rwanda, where you will cross the border of Congo either through the Bunagana border in Kisoro district of Uganda or Gisenyi border in Rwanda though you will be required to present some documents that allow entering the Congo like Congo visa, a valid yellow fever card, a passport, and the reason why you want to visit the country.
In conclusion, on your Congo safaris try to visit above mentioned sectors of Virunga national park and enjoy attractions of the park that is from trekking the endangered mountain gorillas, bird watching, visiting the Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center, guided nature walks, and others. For more information about Virunga national park visit the Africa Adventure Vacations website or contact us.