Gorilla Trekking In Volcanoes National Park vs Virunga National Park
Gorilla Trekking In Volcanoes National Park vs Virunga National Park- If you are planning to trek mountain gorillas in Africa and still asking yourself which park to trek from between Virunga national park and volcanoes national park, this article is going to help you on which national park you should visit. Both Virunga national park and volcanoes national park are homes to endangered mountain gorillas that live on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes such as Sabyinyo, Karisimbi, Bisoke, Nyiragongo, Gahinga, Muhabura, Mikeno, and Nyamuragira. Volcanoes national park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda and is home to 10 habituated gorilla families while Virunga national park is home to 8 habituated gorilla families in the eastern part of DR Congo.
Gorilla trekking experience in Virunga national park vs Volcanoes national park
When it comes to gorilla trekking experience, we all know that gorilla trekking in volcanoes is way far better than that of Virunga national park. the difference is not that big at the end of the trekking but still, volcanoes national park remains the best. There are 98% chances of seeing mountain gorillas both in Virunga national park and volcanoes national park. If you visit any of the parks, be rest assured of meeting mountain gorillas in their natural habitats.
Gorilla trekking permits in Volcanoes national park vs Virunga national park
When it comes to gorilla trekking permits, the volcanoes national park has the most expensive permits the permit price for volcanoes national park vs that of Virunga national park. Rwanda has targeted volcanoes national park as a luxurious park starting from permit price to accommodation facilities in the place. DR Congo is just trying to promote its mountain gorillas but they still have a problem of civil wars.
The time to taken to trek mountain gorillas in both national parks is the same. A gorilla trekking permit for volcanoes national park costs $1500 at any time of the year while that of Virunga national park costs $450 in the dry season (June to September and December to February) while those that visit the park in the rainy season (October to November and March to May) get the permit at a fee of 4200. The trekking permits for Volcanoes are sold to persons above the age of 15 years while for Virunga national park its persons above the age of 18 years.
Mountain gorilla families in Virunga national park vs Volcanoes national park
There are over 10 habituated gorilla families in volcanoes national park and Virunga national park has only 8 habituated mountain gorilla families. The gorilla families in volcanoes national ark are Kukira Gorilla Family, Amahoro gorilla family, Igisha Group, Karisimbi group, Umubano gorilla group, Sabyinyo gorilla group, Agasha family, Titus gorilla family, Muhoza gorilla group, and Hirwa gorilla group. The gorilla families in DR Congo are Bageni gorilla group, Nyakamwe gorilla group, Munyaga gorilla family, Lulengo gorilla family, Mapuwa gorilla family, Rugendo gorilla family, Humba gorilla family, and Kabirizi gorilla family.
Number of gorilla trekking permits in Volcanoes national park vs Virunga national park
Volcanoes national park has more gorilla trekking permits compared to Virunga national park. there are 10 habituated mountain gorilla families in volcanoes national park which means that there are 80 trekking permits every day while Virunga national park has 8 gorilla trekking permits meaning that the park has 64 gorilla trekking permits. The permits for volcanoes national park can be got from the Rwanda Development Board or through any trusted tour operator while those of Virunga national park can be got from Virunga national park website or a trusted tour operator.
Accommodation in Virunga national park vs Volcanoes national park
Although both volcanoes national park and Virunga national park have the budget, mid-range and luxury accommodation options, the hotels in volcanoes national park are much better than those in Virunga national park, and also if we consider the number still volcanoes national park has more accommodation facilities compared to Virunga national park. The accommodation facilities in volcanoes national park include Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, One $ Only Gorilla’s Nest Lodge, Bisate Lodge, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, and Amakoro Songa Lodge among others while those in Virunga national park include Bukima Tented Camp, Mikeno Lodge, Nyiragongo Summit Shelters, Kibumba Tented Camp, Lulimbi Tented Camp, Tchegera Island Camp, and many others.
Security in Volcanoes national park vs Virunga national park
Volcanoes national park in Rwanda is safer than Virunga national park when it comes to trekking. Although there are park rangers who lead the trekkers into the jungle to search for mountain gorillas, volcanoes national park is very safe. DR Congo has been facing a problem of Civil ways for years that’s the security personnel escort the trekkers into the jungle. Volcanoes national park on the other hand has ranger guides who escort you to the jungle to protect you from dangerous wild animals.
Distance to Volcanoes national park vs Virunga national park
Virunga national park is by far the nearest national park to the city Centre or airport when it comes to gorilla national parks in the world. Volcanoes national park in the northwestern part of Rwanda is just a 2-3 hours’ drive from the airport of the city Centre. With this short driving time, it means a person in Kigali city can do a 1 day gorilla trekking tour by waking up early in the morning to catch the briefing at the park headquarters, trek mountain gorillas, and after drive back to Kigali. Getting to Virunga national park takes you even a full day from Kigali or Entebbe international park via country borders to the park.
What is the best time to visit Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park for gorilla trekking?
Both Virunga national park and volcanoes national park can be visited at any time of the year but the best time to do visit is the dry season which is characterized by little or no rainfall. The dry season happens from June to September and December to February in all national parks. Within the dry season, the vegetation in the parks is very thin, the roads leading to the parks are slippery and the trekking trails in the parks are less muddy and slippery.
Virunga national park can be as well be visited in the rain season (October to November and March to May) because the permit price is low at $200 but the rainy season has a lot of rainfall which makes the trekking trails slippery and muddy, roads to the park slippery and vegetation very thick.