Gorilla Trekking Experience In Virunga National park in DR Congo
Are you looking for gorilla trekking experience in Virunga National park in DR Congo? Mountain gorilla habituation is one of the amazing activities of making the human close relatives get used to human presence. It’s a slow and gentle activity of introducing mountain gorillas to the presence of human beings and it’s done for a period of 2 years. Virunga national park is home to a certain number of mountain gorillas and the park has over 8 mountain gorilla families although there is no gorilla habituation in this park. Mountain gorilla habituation in the world can only be found in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park which is home to more than half of the mountain gorilla population in the world with the activity being done among 2 gorilla families Bikingi and Bushaho in the southern part of the park.
Since all the mountain gorilla families in Virunga national park are fully habituated, the only activity in this park is mountain gorillas trekking when it comes to mountain gorillas. The park is open at any time of the year for all tourism activities including mountain gorilla trekking, birding, chimpanzee trekking, and habituation, hiking nature walks and so much more. The park can be accessed from Uganda and Rwanda but the fastest way to get to the park is flying to Rwanda international airport and the drive to Gisenyi where you cross the border to Goma city and then drive to the park.
If you are asking yourself if you can spend 4 four hours with mountain gorillas on habituation experience in DR Congo, the answer is NO. Spending 4 four hours with mountain gorillas on habituation experience in Africa is only done in Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable national park to be specific in Rushaga sector.
Where to spend an hour with mountain gorillas in DR Congo?
DR Congo is one of the three countries where one can trek mountain gorillas in the world. The only place to trek mountain gorillas in DR Congo is Virunga national park that is located on the eastern side of the country bordering Uganda’s Mgahinga national park and the volcanoes national park of Rwanda. Virunga national park is made up of thick forest vegetation covers where the mountain gorillas have found their home for some good time. You can spend some time with any of the 8 mountain gorilla families that have been habituated in Virunga national park and this will require you to have a valid gorilla trekking permit from any trusted tour operator or from Virunga national park website.
Ways of organizing and booking Gorilla Trekking Experience In Virunga National park in DR Congo
Booking online and using a tour operator are the 2 ways you can organize your mountain gorilla trekking safari to DR Congo. You can book yourself the gorilla trekking permits on the Virunga national park website, book the transport and accommodation facilities online. You can as well as use a trusted local tour operator who is licensed and at the same time a member of any organization connected to tourism. Africa adventure vacations is the best tour company you can trust to book for you a mountain gorilla trekking permit for Virunga national park. After sending us your travel dates, we can check for the availability of the trekking permits with the Virunga national park website and once the permits are available, we shall ask you to send us money and we have received it we shall book the permits on your behalf and then send you a scanned copy. From booking for you a trekking permit, we also book for you accommodation facilities and we organize transport using a comfortable 4×4 safari vehicle where you will be driven by our well-experienced safari guides.
Spending one hour with endangered mountain gorillas in DR Congo
Gorilla trekking is the most done activity in DR Congo’s Virunga national park located on the eastern side of the country. It’s an activity that is done by persons above the age of 15 with valid gorilla trekking permits. the trekking of mountain gorillas in Virunga national park starts with a briefing at the park headquarters where the rangers teach the trekkers the rules and regulations of the activity, group the trekkers not exceeding 8 people and from here each group is led by the trekkers into the jungle to look for these apes using different trails of the park. During the search, the trekkers have opportunities of seeing different park animals like elephants, warthogs, antelopes, okapis, monkeys, birds, and different plants. After several hours of searching and finding the mountain gorillas, the trekkers are given a maximum of 1 hour to be around the mountain gorillas as they watch them do daily activities like hunting, breastfeeding, making nests, learning about their habits, and taking photos.
How much is mountain gorilla trekking in Virunga national park DR Congo?
The trekking permits for Virunga national park are the cheapest costing $450 in the high season from December to February and June to September and $200 in the low season of March to May and October to November.
What are some of the other activities you can engage after Gorilla Trekking Experience In Virunga National park in DR Congo
Chimpanzee trekking and habituation in Virunga national park
These are the second most done activities in Virunga national park. Chimpanzee trekking and habituation requires one to book the permits in advance so that they get an opportunity of spending 1 hour and 4 hours respectively with the chimpanzees in their natural habitats. Both chimpanzee trekking and chimpanzee habituation activities start with the briefing at Virunga national park headquarters where the trekkers are taught about the dos and don’ts of the activity and from here grouping is done and the rangers, as well as researchers for the case of those going for habituation, lead them into the jungle to search for the allocated chimpanzee families. The trekkers are taken through different trails of the park with opportunities of seeing different animals such as monkeys, gorillas, elephants, antelopes, birds, and different tree species. On finding the chimpanzees, the trekkers 1 hour and 4 hours respectively to be around mountain gorillas, learn about their habits, take photos, and those with habituation permits are allowed to make chimpanzees get used to human presence
Hiking Nyiragongo volcano
Hiking Nyiragongo is one of the dreams come true for most of the hikers in the world. The mountain is located inside Virunga national park and to hike it you need to have a valid hiking permit. Mountain Nyiragongo is the most active volcano in the world having last erupted in May 2021 and it has also got the largest boiling lava lake at the summit. The hiking of mountain Nyiragongo starts with a briefing where the hikers are taught about the dos, don’t’s as well as expected during the hiking, and from here the rangers lead the hikers on to the summit of the mountain. The mountain is 11,380 ft and hiking takes you through different vegetation zones with opportunities of seeing the mountain animals like elephants, antelopes, monkeys, and different bird species. At the summit of Nyiragongo volcano, you will find a large boiling lava lake, have great views of the surroundings, the national park, and much more.
Bird watching in Virunga national park DR Congo
Virunga national park is among the most amazingly undiscovered bird-watching destinations in Africa with over 706 bird species that have been o far recorded in the park. During bird watching in Virunga national park you will be accompanied by well trained birder guide who will help yuou spot different bird species such as Shoebills storks, Rwenzori Turaco, Francolinus nobilis, egrets, grey herons, ibises, alpine swift, African olive pigeon, white-headed woophoopoes, Angolan swallow, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Grey-throated Tit FlycatcherCinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, Olive-bellied Sunbird, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Hairy-breasted Barbet, grey-throated barbet, Grauer’s swamp warbler, Spot-flanked Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, tropical boubou, Zitting Cisticola, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Yellow-billed Barbet, White-fronted Bee-eater, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, European White Stork, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Tawny-flanked Prinia, Banded Prinia, Little Rush Warbler, Malachite Sunbird, Scarlet-tufted Sunbird, Mozambique Nightjar, Standard-winged Nightjar, Lesser Kestrel, Tambourine Dove, Bronzy Sunbird, Pied Kingfisher, Olive Bee-eater, Croaking Cisticola, Short-winged Cisticola, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Mottled Spinetailed Swift, Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Swamp Nightjar, Olivaceous Warbler, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Broad-billed Roller, Great White Pelican, Bracken Warbler, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Eastern Rush Warbler, European Bee-eater, European Roller, Pink-backed Pelican, Common Reed Warbler, Red-throated Bee-eater, White-throated Bee-eater, Rwenzori batis, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Ruwenzori Double-collared Sunbird, Northern Double-collared Sunbird, Sedge Warbler, Woolly-necked Stork, Cassin’s Flycatcher, African Dusky Flycatcher, Dusky-blue Flycatcher, African Pygmy Kingfisher, African Malachite Kingfisher, Saddle-bill Stork, Regal Sunbird, Little Bee-eater, Lilac-breasted Roller, Striped Kingfisher, papyrus yellow warbler, and Rockefeller’s sunbird among others.
Nature and forest walks in Virunga national park
Virunga national park has got very many different walking trails within the forest and these allow you to get close to nature compared to when you are on game viewing activities. The nature walks in Virunga national park are led by a ranger guide who takes you around the forest while telling you about nature with opportunities of learning about different tree species, birds, animals, culture, and the national park itself. If you are planning to have nature walks in Virunga national park, you are advised to carry along long pants and sleeved pants, waterproof hiking shoes, a camera, enough drinking water, and energy-giving snacks.
What is the best time to book Gorilla Trekking Experience In Virunga National park in DR Congo
Virunga national park is located in the tropics and is mostly covered with tropical rainforest vegetation meaning they can receive rainfall at any time of the year. However, the best time to visit this park is the dry season (December to February and June to August) because during these months there is little or no rainfall which makes the roads leading to the park passable, trekking trails less muddy and slippery and the vegetation thin for clear views of animals.
Accommodation options in Virunga national park
These range from luxury to mid-range to budget and then camps and they include Mikeno Lodge, Nyiragongo Summit Shelters, Bukima Tented Camp, Kibumba Tented Camp, Lulimbi Tented Camp, Tchegera Island Camp, etc. you need to tell us in advance what option is best for you then we shall book it for you if it’s available.
What to do with Africa Adventure Vacations?
Africa adventure vacations is a tour company based in Uganda licensed by the Uganda Tourism Board and a member of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators. Booking with Africa adventure vacations provides you safety and confidence during your safari courtesy of well-trained safari driver guides who are well conversant with all routes and tourism destinations in Africa. You can book with us any of the activities you want to do in Africa such as luxury mountain gorilla trekking, mountain gorilla habituation, birding, game drives, hiking, nature walks, and community tours among others. Booking gorilla trekking experience in Virunga National park in DR Congo can be done at any time of the year.