Tour Packages To Virunga National Park
Tour packages to Virunga national park– The park is located in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and considered as the oldest national park in Africa with a diversity of wildlife resources to boost the travel industry. It also covers an area of 7,800sq.km
In the past year, the park suffered with a lot of instabilities however, ever since it was reopened for tourist on 15 February 2019 after the kidnap that happened on two British tourists, the park has been stable and safe for tourism. Over 600 rangers, guides and military officers were recruited to ensure tight security and better service delivery.
Virunga national park can be best accessed by flying into Kigali international airport and transfer to Goma through Gisenyi. The journey from Kigali to the park is approximately 4 hours’ drive. Some visitors tend to have an overnight stay in Gisenyi before crossing over to DR Congo the following day. Alternatively, you may book comfortable accommodation in Goma town before heading to the park for your booked safari.
Virunga national park is among the best national park for primate watching and it is a home to a number of mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, lowland gorillas, several monkey species and large mammals including lions, elephants, hippos, warthogs among others. More still, the park is a birding paradise to core birdwatchers with over 706 bird species recorded such as Rwenzori Turaco, shoe bills, grey-throated barbet etc. Researchers have also recorded about 109 reptile species, 65 amphibian species and over 2000 plant species in the park.
Several tourist activities have been developed to feature in various tour packages in Virunga national park. These include, gorilla trekking, Chimpanzee tracking and habituation, forest walks, Mount Nyiragongo hiking, bird watching and visiting Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center.
A tour package to the park is very adventurous if you choose to hike to the summit of to the most active volcano in Africa (Mount Nyiragongo). You will be able to see the red glow boiling magma coming through a vent.
As a travel advise, before setting off for your safari to Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo, make sure you have your valid passport ready, valid yellow fever vaccination card and a tourist visa. Always seek further guidance and clarification on travel update from your travel agency or the park management if you are planning a trip to Virunga.
Please note that the Rwanda tourist expires once you cross over to DR Congo, therefore, you are required to apply for another visa if you intend to travel back through Rwanda after your tour to Virunga national park.
There is a list of tour packages to Virunga national park and these may be combined with a wildlife safari to other East African countries like Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
All tour packages to Virunga national park have a set departure time. The set- off time for every package must be strictly observed and they are not flexible. Therefore, visitors intending to travel to the park are advised to keep time otherwise, they may end up missing their activities. Don’t expect a refund under this circumstance. Before booking Virunga tour packages, you are advised to check your flight details too.
The following are the tour packages offered in Virunga national park and their respective departure times;
The Virunga Classic package
This package gives visitors an opportunity to explore most of tourist activities of Virunga national park. It takes 6 days and 5 nights in the park. Guests stay 5 nights at Mikeno lodge and 1 night at the summit. Visitor who book this package trek gorilla twice and also hike to the summit of mount Nyiragongo. You will also visit Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center and the Virunga headquarters. Tourists should note that the Virunga classic package is scheduled on every Wednesday and Monday. Travelers who book this tour must be at Grande Barrier by 11:00am to commence this trip.
The Nyiragongo package
The Nyiragongo hike is among the most selling tour package in Virunga national park. Visitors must be Grande Barrier border at exactly 7:00 am for check in and get their respective hiking permits by 8:00 am in the morning. After set off in a convoy to Kibati post for briefing session and start your hike to the most active volcano in Africa. This is a 2 days trip and hiking to the top of the mountain takes 4-6 hours depending on the physical fitness of the visitors. If you keep time and move at a normal pace, by 5:00am you would be at the top of volcano to enjoy the magnificent views of the entire region. You will have an overnight dinner and overnight camping on the rim of a volcano. And by 6:30 am, you will be descending to the base of the mountain for the next activity.
The Great Ape package
For tourists interested in visiting Virunga national park for primate experiences, this is the best package for you to explore! It gives a fantastic opportunity to encounter mountain gorillas and the chimpanzees in their natural habitat. This tour is scheduled only on Monday and Wednesdays at 11: 00 am with 4 nights stay at Mikeno lodge.
You are advised to be at the boarder at least 2 hours prior to departure time to make thorough preparations for this trip. Most tourists combine this trip with wildlife safari in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to have the best feel of the authentic African wildlife and primate experience. Send your travel request to a trusted local travel agent to explore the best of Africa jungle adventure.
The Mikeno Mist package
Tourists who booked Mikeno mist tour package are expected to be at the Grande Barrier by 12:00 pm for check-in and receive their Nyiragongo hike and gorilla trek permits. This is a 4 days tour to Virunga national park and it allows travelers go for mountain gorilla trekking as well as hiking mount Nyiragongo. At 13:00 pm, visitors join the security convoy and later set off to Kibumba tented camp where they spend 2 nights and then 1 night the summit of mount Nyiragongo.
The Petit Virunga (Mikeno)
This tour package takes you to Virunga national park to spend 2 nights at Mikeno lodge and 1 night at the top of Nyiragongo volcano. Tourists interested in this package must be at Grande Barrier border by 11:00am for check in and prepare for a smooth departure. Travelers who book the petit Virunga (Mikeno) tour package is scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Therefore, plan very well if you are interested in this package right from your flight bookings and so forth. This package allows visitors to meet mountain gorillas, hike mount Nyiragongo and also visit the Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center.
The Petit Virunga (Bukima)
This is a 4 days trip where guests stay 1 night at Bukima tented camp, 1night at Mikeno lodge and 1 night at Nyiragongo summit. Expect to encounter mountain gorillas and also hike to the top of Africa’s most active volcano. Tourists set off from Grande Barrier at 11:00am for this package. Once you fail to catch up with this time, you automatically miss out this trip. This tour package is available only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays and the starting time is always 11:00am. Travelers also have a chance to visit Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center if this trip is booked.