Trekking Congo Gorillas from Uganda
Are you in Uganda and interested in trekking mountain gorillas in DR Congo? Well, trekking mountain gorillas in DR Congo from Uganda will allow you to be around mountain gorillas for 1 hour while learning their habits, watching them do daily activities and you take photos. Virunga national park is located in the eastern part of DR Congo on the borders of Uganda and Rwanda. The park is one of those lucky to be hosting rare mountain gorillas in the whole world. It’s also hosted mountains like Nyiragongo, Mikeno, Nyamuragira, Sabyinyo, and Karisimbi. Tourists on a gorilla trekking safari in DR Congo have opportunities of taking part in other park activities such as birding, volcanic hiking, nature walks, chimpanzee trekking, and chimpanzee habituation.
Things to do In Virunga national park after Trekking Congo Gorillas from Uganda
Mountain gorilla trekking is the most done activity in Virunga national park of DR congo. The park is home to over 8 habituated mountain gorilla families namely the Bageni gorilla group, Munyaga gorilla family, Mapuwa gorilla family, Nyakamwe gorilla group, Lulengo gorilla family, Kabirizi gorilla family, Rugendo gorilla family, and Humba gorilla family. To trek mountain gorillas in DR Congo, you will need to first acquire a gorilla trekking permit which costs $450 in the dry season and $200 in the low season. Trekking mountain gorillas in Virunga national park starts early in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters where the trekkers are taught about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity after which armed ranger guides lead them into the jungles to look for these endangered primates with opportunities of seeing other park animals like the chimpanzees, warthogs, antelopes, pelicans, bird species and different tree species. when the mountain gorilla family is located, the trekkers are given only 1 hour to be around them as watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.
The cost of seeing mountain gorillas in DR Congo is $450 in the dry season and $200 in the low season. The permits can be booked directly from Virunga national park website or using any trusted local tour operator.
Chimpanzee trekking in Virunga national park has the same process it’s just the hours that differ. Any of the activities start with a briefing where trekkers are taught about the dos and don’ts of the trekking activity after which grouping is done and the armed ranger guides lead the trekkers into the jungle to look for these endangered primates. During the trekking, the trekkers have an opportunity of meeting some of the park animals such as mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, warthogs, antelopes, pelicans, bird species, and different tree species. when the trekkers locate the mountain gorilla family, they are given a maximum of 1 hour to be around mountain gorillas while watching them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.
Be escorted by the armed ranger guide as you walk within Virunga national park. Tourists on a gorilla trekking safari in DR Congo from Uganda can opt for nature walks in the park possibly after gorilla trekking. The nature walks in Virunga national park are led by armed ranger guides who take you around one of the oldest tropical rain forests in Africa. The nature walks in Virunga national park allow you to see some of the park animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, elephants, okapis, antelopes, warthogs, pelicans, birds like the African goshawk, papyrus yellow warbler, Black bishop, collared Apalis, and different plant species among others.
Birding in Virunga national park is one of the best birding destinations in Africa so tourists who love birding shouldn’t miss out on this amazing activity while in the park. Virunga national park is home to 706 bird species that have been so far recorded in the area and these include Narrow-tailed starling, Madagascar bee-eater, shoebill stork, black-billed turaco, African olive pigeon, Grey-throated Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Nectarinia Rockefeller, tropical boubou, Rwenzori turaco, black saw-wing, Black bishop, collared Apalis, Rwenzori batis, Red-throated alethe, Thick-billed seedeater, Stripe breasted tit, African goshawk, papyrus yellow warbler, Olive Sunbird, black thirsted wattle-eye, Rockefeller’s Sunbird, White-headed wood hoopoe, and strange weaver among others.
Hiking Mountain Nyiragongo
Hiking mountain Nyiragongo is the most hiked mountain of all Virunga volcanoes and is located within Virunga national park. hiking this mountain is one of the things you shouldn’t miss out on while planning to do a safari to Virunga national park don’t miss out on this amazing activity. Mountain Nyiragongo is the most active volcano in the whole world having erupted on 22nd May 2021. Today mountain Nyiragongo stands at 3470m high and hiking requires you to be physically fit as it takes 6-7 hours to get to the top. Hiking mountain Nyiragongo usually starts in the morning with hikers gathering at the starting point for a briefing at 9 am. All the trekkers must have a valid hiking permit to take part in the activity and this can be got from the national park offices or booked in advance with a local tour operator.
After the briefing, the ranger guides lead the hikers to the summit of the mountain which takes 6-7 hours with opportunities of meeting different park animals like elephants, giant forest hogs, chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, monkeys, buffaloes, and different bird species. When you finally make it to the summit of mountain Nyiragongo, you have stunning views of the surroundings, lava lake, Virunga national park, and surrounding volcanoes such as mountain Karisimbi, mountain Mikeno, mountain Bisoke, mountain Nyamuragira, Rwenzori ranges in Uganda, and Lake Kivu in Rwanda. Some of the essentials you need to hike mountain Nyiragongo include waterproof hiking shoes, insect repellents, long-sleeved clothes, a walking stick, enough drinking water, and energy-giving snacks.
What is the best time to visit DR Congo for trekking mountain Gorillas from Uganda?
Virunga national park in the eastern part of DR Congo can be visited at any time of the year however there are some months that are better than the rest and these are the drier months. The drier months occur in December to February and June to September and during these months there is little or no rainfall which means the trekking trails in the park are less muddy and not slippery, the roads leading to the park are passable, the vegetation in the park is thin giving good photography and clear views of the park animals.
The other months of March to May and October to November are abit wet with too much rainfall, impassable roads to the park, thick vegetation cove, as well as muddy and slippery trekking trails but these favor the budget travelers because the park offers discounts on a gorilla trekking permit with one at $200 and the accommodation facilities to offer discounts.
Where to stay on a gorilla trekking safari in DR Congo from Uganda?
There are so many accommodation facilities in Virunga national park of DR Congo that range from luxury to mid-range to budget options but where to stay automatically depends on your budget. The accommodation facilities in Virunga national park of DR Congo include Mikeno Lodge, Nyiragongo Summit Shelters, Lulimbi Tented Camp, Bukima Tented Camp, Kibumba Tented Camp, Tchegera Island Camp, and many others.
What is the best time to book a gorilla trekking safari in Virunga national park from Uganda?
The best time to book depends on your budget because Virunga national park offers normal and discounted gorilla trekking permits annually for mountain gorilla trekking. The fact that discounted gorilla trekking permits sell out quickly, we advise you to book 3-4 months in advance before the day of trekking in order to avoid disappointments. You can use any of the trusted local tour operators like Africa Adventure Vacations to book for you a gorilla trekking permit as well as transport and accommodation.
Accessing Virunga national park from Uganda?
The easiest way to access Virunga national park from Uganda is by flying from Entebbe or Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro airstrip. Rom Kisoro airstrip you will have to cross to DR Congo using Cyanika border and then connect to Gisenyi town. From Gisenyi town, you will cross to DR Congo using the Rwanda-Congo border and drive to Goma city in DR congo where you will drive towards Bukima and then to the park headquarters of Virunga national park. The journey from Gisenyi to the park takes only 2 hours.
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 mountain gorilla trekking, mountain gorilla habituation, birding, game drives, hiking, nature walks, and community tours among others. Booking trekking Congo gorillas from Uganda can be done at any time of the year.