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The fishing village of Vitshumbi

The fishing village of Vitshumbi

The fishing village of Vitshumbi

Vitshumbi village is one of the so many villages around Virunga national park located in the central sector. The village is a small town where local people mainly do fishing to get money and earn a living. Vitshumbi village is located on the shores of Lake Edward which is shared by Uganda and DR Congo in the Albertine region.

Getting to Vitshumbi village from Virunga national park headquarters in Rumangabo takes about 3 hours using road transport. Throughout the whole journey to Vitshumbi village, the road is well constructed and the travelers get amazing views of different attractions along the road like animals, plantations, mountains, and much more. Travelers encounter animals of Virunga while going to Vitshumbi village and these include olive baboons, antelopes, buffaloes, monkeys, chimpanzees, elephants, mongooses, birds, and much more.

On arrival at the fishing village in case it is morning, you will see different fishermen preparing boats for fishing. Other fishermen are always seen repairing the fishing nets before using them again to catch fish. The women are always left behind taking care of children and after fishing which takes about 8 hours, the fish is brought to these women to sell to the people. The most caught types of fish on the shores of Lake Edward in the Albertine region are catfish and Nile perch. The fishing village has rangers from Virunga national park who protect the locals from rebels as well as keep low and order in the area.

All the activities (transport and fishing) that take place at Vitshumbi village are controlled and manager by Virunga national park authorities. Virunga national park has done so much in building a strong relationship within the people along the fishing area and this has helped to create social and economic prosperity for the population that is over 4 million people around lake Edward. The rods connecting the fishing area to the markets have been well constructed and this has helped the fishermen to transport their fish safely to the market.

Other activities to do after or before visiting Vitshumbi fishing village

Mountain gorilla trekking: Mountain gorilla trekking is one of the amazing activities you can be part of while on a visit to Vitshumbi fishing village. Mountain gorilla trekking is the most done activity in Virunga national park that gives trekkers an opportunity to spend time with the closest relatives to human beings

Gorilla trekking is done on any of the 8 gorilla families and all treks are led by armed ranger guides. the activity takes 2-5 hours of meeting different park mammals, primates, and birds. The moment mountain gorillas are located, the trekkers are given 1 hour to be around these apes, watch them do daily activities, take photos and learn about their habits.

Birding: On a visit to the fishing village of Vitshumbi, birding is that one activity you shouldn’t miss out on in case you are a birder lover. Birding can be done on the shores of Lake Edward or Virunga national park and you will be able to spot over 700 bird species if you are good at birding. Travelers are advised to move with their birding books, and a pair of binoculars to see distant objects.

Some of the birds you are likely to encounter include white-necked raven, speckled mousebird, black saw-wing, black-billed turaco, African olive pigeon, yellow-billed barbet, cardinal woodpecker, shelley’s crimsonwing, grey-backed camaroptera, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, African citril, grey-throated barbet, mountain oriole, speckled mousebird, white-tailed blue flycatcher, mountain oriole, malachite sunbird, black-headed waxbill, and thick-billed seedeater among others.

Hiking: Travelers can combine hiking Virunga volcanoes with visiting the fishing village of Vitshumbi. Hiking can be done in Virunga national park where you have a chance to choose from the three volcanoes that are found within this park. Virunga volcanoes available for hiking in Virunga national park are Mikeno, Nyamuragira, and Nyiragongo.

Hiking can only be done if you have valid hiking permits and the hikes are led by armed ranger guides. Hiking all the mountains in Virunga national park takes 5-6 hours pf going through steep slopes, meeting different park mammals, primates, and birds. The hike is challenging especially when you are about to reach the summit because the walks become steeper. At the summit of these volcanoes are great views of the surrounding areas like Virunga national park, Lake Kivu, Virunga rangers, and on Mount Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo are lava lakes.