FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about Virunga National Park

Below are some of the Frequently Asked Questions about Virunga National Park in Congo.

Is it customary to tip in Virunga?

Tips are always appreciated and therefore, a tip box will always be available if you are staying in the Virunga accommodations. Therefore whatever you tip in that box is divided equally among the staff members. If the service provided to you by your guide is also pleasing, then the general rule for tipping is USD 10 per day per person.

What are the essentials before visiting Virunga National Park?

The essentials one needs to have when going to Virunga National Park include Raincoat, rain jacket, hiking stick, hiking shoes, hat, waterproof backpack, gloves, water, and warm clothes.

Essentials

What does my Virunga package include?

Virunga Safari Packages include permits, accommodation, transportation(pick up and drop off included), VISAs, and meals. As you pay for your Virunga package, make sure to always ask for what the whole package includes so that you are not surprised by your tour operator.

What languages are spoken around Virunga National Park?

The official language spoken in Congo is French and it is widely spoken in the areas of Virunga National Park. Other languages spoken around Virunga include English, Swahili, Lingala, Tshiluba, and Kituba. The park officials and the people surrounding the park have overtime made it a habit to use English, Spanish and other international languages since most of the guests are international.

Whats is the Ebola situation in Congo?

Ebola in Congo is being maintained and it is nowhere in the tourist destination areas of Virunga National Park. It is heard of in the northern part of Congo in the Beni areas though it’s being maintained. A lot of measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of Ebola in Congo.

What are cheapest hotels in Virunga national park?

The cheapest hotels in Virunga National Park are Kibumba Tented Camp and Bukima tented Camp. Though the accommodation facilities are mid-range and the offer the best services to their guests.

What is nearest airstrip to Virunga national park?

The nearest airstrip to Virunga National Park is Goma Airstrip in Goma Town. Goma airstrip operates flights like Ethiopian Airlines and other domestic flights from within Congo. Therefore guests are advised to book accommodation in Goma Town since flights are sometimes delayed.

Other travelers can opt to fly into Rwanda and take a 3-hour drive from Kigali International Airport to the grand barrier border in Congo since Kigali International airport operates quite a number of International Airlines.

What is the best time to visit Virunga national park?

The Democratic Republic Of Congo is one of the countries in the world which receive the largest amount of Rainfall in a year. This though can not stop tourist activities from being conducted because the weather patterns are not constant. The dry months of the year in Congo are from July to September and these are the best months one can travel to Virunga National Park for gorilla trekking. These months are the best because the trails are not muddy, slippery and hard to navigate. But this doesn’t mean that during these months it won’t rain, therefore expect rains any time.

Is Virunga National Park Safe?

Virunga National Park takes it upon itself to ensure the Security of its Guests, and as a guest expect to be handed over to the custody of an armed ranger who will move with you to ensure your safety. Quite a number of clients have opted to visit Virunga National Park since it was reopened February 2019 because very many security measures were put in place to ensure safety. This shows that Virunga National Park is safe for visiting and you will enjoy your stay as you explore the various wildlife species that are in Virunga.

Will I get a cell phone service in Virunga?

YES, there is cellular network service across the Virunga National Park though, to avoid high international roaming rates, it is advisable that a traveler should purchase a Congolese SIM Card.

What forms of payment can I use in Virunga?

Payments to Virunga National Park can be made by Credit Card and Bank payments. Cash payments are also allowed in USD (US Dollars), but one should ensure that the dollars are clean, not torn and not damaged (even a slight tear will not be accepted). Also, ensure that the dollars are not late than 2009 because Congolese Banks will not accept these old notes that are 2009 and back.

How can I contact Virunga National Park?

Virunga National Park can be contacted through info@virungaparkcongo.com or through our Contact Form.  An experienced consultant will help you immediately when you contact us.

Can I visit Virunga national park in wet season?

YES, one can visit Virunga National Park in the wet season though there might be some difficulties in the trails. This is because, during the wet season, the tracks are very wet, muddy and slippery making the traversing of the park harder.

Can I camp in Virunga?

NO, Virunga National Park does not permit camping in the park for now.

How far is Virunga from Goma?

The distance from Goma to Virunga National Park (Kibumba) is 35 kilometers and can take you about 35minutes to 45 minutes. The roads are not that good because they are filled with lava remains though they are navigable.

What mandatory vaccine is needed?

Travelers planning to visit Virunga National Park in Congo MUST have a valid yellow fever shot and vaccine card displaying their Name, Date Of Birth and Sex. They MUST be given this shot 10 days prior to the day of visiting Virunga. Therefore, the Yellow Fever Vaccine is the mandatory vaccine that one must take before they visit Congo and Virunga in Particular.

Can I pay cash for gorilla trekking at the Virunga national park head office?

No, it is not possible because you have to have purchased a VISA to access Congo 2 weeks before your arrival and to get a VISA you have to have purchased a Virunga National Park Package.

 

Do I need a visa to visit the Park?

This depends on your nationality and given that you are an international traveler, it’s a MUST to secure a VISA to be able to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo. You can book the VISAs through your tour operator when you secure your Virunga Safari Package. For those travelling from Uganda and Rwanda, you need to also organise for those VISA’s separately.

Will I be alone in the vehicle going to Virunga national park?

This will depend on the tour you book. Ensure to check if you booked a private or a group tour because for a private tour you will be the vehicle with a guide and a drive accompanied with army guards in a convoy. Though when you book a group tour you will be in the vehicle with other tourists/travelers accompanied with guards in a convoy.

Does virunga national park have luxury accommodation?

YES, Virunga National Park has quite a number of accommodation facilities that range from midrange to luxury accommodation. The luxury accommodation in Virunga is Mikeno Lodge while the other two midrange accommodation facilities are Kibumba tented camp and Bukima tented camp.