We offer bespoke gorilla trekking experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo, whereby guests will be provided with uniquely crafted tailor-made gorilla watching tours beyond your imagination. Visit the critically endangered mountain gorillas within their natural habitat, enjoy eco tours in Congo wild from Kahuzi Biega National Park and Virunga National Park or vice versa.
The bespoke gorilla safaris in Congo are by far the most enjoyable ones as visitors will be able to trek both the eastern lowland gorillas and critically endangered mountain gorillas. Democratic Republic of Congo is the stronghold of the eastern lowland gorillas (Kahuzi – Biega National Park) and also one of the only three countries to inhabit the critically endangered mountain gorillas (Virunga National Park).
The other countries to find the mountain gorillas are Rwanda and Uganda. All the gorilla trekking national parks in Democratic Republic of Congo are located in the eastern parts of the country bordering Uganda’s and Rwanda’s gorilla trekking national parks, and thus it is easy for trekkers to also go trek in Uganda and Rwanda for a more interesting gorilla safari in Africa.
The trekking of both mountain and eastern lowland gorillas is somehow tiresome, hiking in the jungles to find these primates, but the experience you will achieve is of a lifetime. Virunga National Park is a home to over 250 mountain gorillas and trekkers will interact with 8 habituated gorilla families in the trekking sector of the park known as Bukima sector.
The 8 habituated gorilla families include; Kabirizi, Bageni, Nyakamwe, Rugendo, Lulengo, Humba, Mapuwa, and Munyaga. Gorilla trekking is done in groups of 8 individuals per group and thus trekkers are always emphasized to reach the Park headquarters in time (07:00am) such that you get your gorilla trekking group and for briefings before going for the real trekking.
Congo gorilla permit is sold at a lesser price than gorilla permits of the other two gorilla trekking countries (Rwanda and Uganda) as it costs only US$ 400. For those trekkers who are also interested in trekking the other remaining habituated gorilla families in Africa which are found in Uganda and Rwanda should take note that a Rwanda gorilla permit costs US$ 1500 as for Uganda costs US$ 600. However, trekkers are reminded not to forget a yellow fever vaccination because you won’t be allowed into the country minus proof of the inoculation.
Hepatitis A, typhoid, meningitis and rabies injections plus the anti-malarial are also recommended. A Congo tourist visa is also very much required. An application for a visa required to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo should have been submitted in advance.
This costs US$100. The exact gear needed while in the jungle needs to be prepared too, such as; strong trekking shoes, woolly or the moisture-impermeable socks, comfy mountaineering clothes, rainwater gear, a primary support kit and a light weight backpack with plenty of room for food and drink. A waterproof camera is also very much suggested as nothing wrecks a high-quality camera like the tropical forest’s heavy shower.
Mountain gorilla treks in Virunga National Park are led by experienced park rangers and usually depart from Bukima patrol post. Treks usually require 1-2 hours of hiking in each direction, depending on where the mountain gorillas spent the previous night and the difficulty of the terrain.
In order to safeguard the health of the gorillas, trekkers will be required to wear surgical masks (provided) when in the presence of gorillas, and should also view them from a certain distance of at least 6 to 8 meters away. Trekkers are allowed to spend/interact with the gorillas for strictly one hour. Though you will spend one hour with the gorillas, I assure you that the experience got from that one hour is unrivalled.
Only individuals above 15 years of age are allowed to go to the jungle for the trekking of gorillas. Guests who don’t feel well at the time of your scheduled trek, for example; you have malaria, fever, diarrhea, or persistent sore throat, you are kindly requested to cancel because this trekking activity is somehow tiresome and these primates are extremely susceptible to human illnesses hence leading to their death once exposed to them.
Besides gorilla trekking, Virunga also offers hiking safaris to Nyiragongo volcano and hikers will enjoy many surprising things at the summits of the volcano including the largest bubbling lava lake. Some best accommodations in Virunga include; Mikeno Lodge, Bukima Tented Camp, Kibumba Tented Camp, Tchegera Island Tented Camp, Lulimbi Tented Camp, and Nyiragongo Summit shelters at the top of Nyiragongo Volcano (ideal for hikers), well as the good accommodations in Kahuzi-Biega national park include; Orchid’s safari club and Coco lodge, among others.