Self drive gorilla safaris in Virunga national park
Self drive gorilla safaris in Virunga national park are one of the best ways to move through all parts of East Africa with no limits and restrictions. The self drive gorilla safaris in Virunga national park give travelers an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful surroundings on the roadsides till they reach the borders of DR Congo where they are transported by security personnel to the park.
Self drive gorilla trips in Virunga national park are not so common like in other countries Uganda and Rwanda which also harbor mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga national park, and Volcanoes national park. Self drive gorilla safaris to Virunga national park strop at the DR Congo borders with Uganda or Rwanda and from there you are transported to the national park for gorilla trekking or lodge by the security personnel.
With self drive gorilla trips to Virunga national park, you start from the airport in case you are an international traveler or from your accommodation. There are different routes to take you to Virunga national park, one is from Kigali to Gisenyi through Goma border and the other is from Kisoro to Bunagana border. Whole journeys give travelers great views of the surrounding places, they can have stopovers and much more before reaching the border.
Travelers choosing to do self drive gorilla safaris to Virunga national park need to use good comfortable safari vehicles since the journey is long. The company car you are using should keep tracking your car to help you out in case you are lost. To have a self drive gorilla safari to Virunga national park, you need a gorilla trekking permit, a valid international driving permit, and a map.
Self drive gorilla tours to Virunga national park are not very common but travelers who are more adventurous will always demand for them in order to have comfortable and enjoy the roadsides to DR Congo borders from Uganda or Rwanda. It’s not so good to drive in places you have never been to and out of your country because you might get lost but here are some of the tips for self-drive gorilla safaris to Virunga national park.
You should drive along with an updated map while having a self-drive gorilla safari to Virunga national park. The other alternative is using a google map in case you have access to the internet because these can help you to use the rights routes to Goma border or Bunagana border. Online/google maps are very good during traveling but it can be trouble in case there is no internet in the areas you are passing through and so this is where downloaded or printed map works better.
Self drivers to Virunga national park for gorilla trekking should know in their minds that some of the roads to the borders are not in good condition and where the roads are constructed better, other drivers do drive speedy and carelessly. You need to be careful while driving and you need to tighten your seat belt throughout the whole drive. While driving and you meet animals crossing the roads or children you need to first stop until they all pass and then you continue with the journey.
Driving at night is not advised since it’s risky especially if you are driving alone. You can fall into robbers and they take advantage of you by stealing your property and beating you up especially in the rural areas or darker corners. If it reaches night time when you are still driving, it’s better to get where to sleep and then you continue with the journey the following day.
When to have self drive gorilla tours to Virunga national park?
Self drive gorilla safaris to Virunga national park can be done at any time of the year but there are certain months that are better than the rest. The drier months are the best for self-drive gorilla safaris to Virunga because the roads to Congo borders are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is thin along the roadsides giving clear views of the surrounding areas, there is little or no rainfall, and gorilla trekking in the park is easily done because the trekking trails are dry.
Travelers can still have self drive gorilla safaris in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to Virunga national park. Those that will visit Virunga national park during the rainy season will enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities and gorilla trekking permits. Self drive travelers should note that in the rainy season, there is plenty of rainfall that makes the roads leading to the birders impassable, the trekking trails in the park are muddy and slippery and the vegetation is thick with unclear views of the apes.
Accommodation on a self drive gorilla trip to Virunga national park
Travelers to Virunga national park have several accommodation facilities they can use in case they want to spend a night or more. There are accommodation facilities ranging from budget to mid-range to luxury options such as Lulimbi Tented Camp, Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelters, Bukima Tented Camp, Mikeno Lodge, Tchegera Island, and Kibumba Tented Camp.
Accessing Virunga national park on a self drive gorilla trip
Virunga national park can be accessed from Rwanda and Uganda using road transport. Travelers accessing Virunga national park from Uganda will have to self drive to Kisoro and use Congo-Uganda border at Bunagana to cross to Goma city. They will then be driven to Virunga national park by the park authorities. Travelers accessing Virunga national park from the Rwanda side will drive to Gisenyi town where they will drive to Goma border using Rwanda- Congo border at Goma.