Congo Gorilla Tours are the travel programs/safaris that engage one in traversing the designated national parks if the Democratic Republic of Congo that protects the endangered mountain Gorillas. Most travelers interested in visiting the endangered mountain gorilla species in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo are torn between choosing which of the 3 to visit. Other travelers who have a bigger budget opt to visit 2 or all the 3 destinations however costly it may be but for those who have visited all the 3 countries for gorilla trekking have testified to it being a once in a lifetime experience. Also, you can schedule visits to the 3 countries at different intervals in different years so as to limit the financial strain. Every gorilla trek destination has unique and outstanding points and it would be easier for one to choose after reading and researching about each. You could read online, ask friends who have visited any or even online review platforms like trip advisor and safari bookings can help. Getting in touch with a great tour operator can also put your mind at ease as you make a decision until the point of booking the tour.
Opting to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo on your Congo gorilla tours is a great choice for so many factors. Gorillas in the DRCongo can be found in 2 parks that are the Virunga National Park where you can book a permit to visit the mountain gorillas and then Kahuzi Biega National Park where you can opt to visit the lowland gorillas. DRCongo is blessed to be the only country in the world with both gorilla types which is one pull factor for choosing Congo among the 3 countries. Trekking in Congo/Congo Gorilla Tours that is trekking mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park is a more authentic experience and less touristy as compared to the other parks so for one looking for such an experience, DRCongo should be number one destination. Virunga national park, home to Congo’s mountain gorillas is the oldest national park in Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Virunga as a park has a great community plan for the people living around the park and have several projects that benefit the community like schools for the children of the fallen rangers who have been killed while on duty and you can get a chance to take part of the activities done here whether physically or financially. You can also get to visit the world’s only gorilla orphanage in DRCongo that is Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage center while on your Congo Gorilla Tours where you will get up-close with the young gorillas that are being taken care of after being rescued from the forest when hurt or after the loss of their parents to poachers or civil wars in the region. Virunga National Park provides for about 27,000 people in the form of job opportunities so by choosing Virunga for your Congo gorilla tours, you are indirectly employing people and creating a better living for them.
Congo has a big insecurity threat which usually makes trekkers think twice about coming to this destination but this is also an experience on its own and the security team of Virunga National park for visitors is great thus there isn’t need to worry as much when on tour to Virunga to visit the mountain gorillas. After reopening of this park earlier in February 2019, came very effective security measures with a good team of rangers and security personnel that protect you from your point of entry into the country until you leave so what more safe place to visit.
Congo Gorilla Tours are also different as the trek does not last as long as in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. The gorillas both in Virunga and Kahuzi Biega are easier to locate as the trekkers usually trek for about one and a half to 2 hours before encountering these gentle giants. The standard time spent with the gorillas is 1 hour in all parks and that is when you get to study the animals, take photos and enjoy their presence.
There is so much to top up your gorilla tour in Virunga like a visit to the world’s largest lava lake; Mount Nyiragongo, you can also take a boat trip to Tchegera Island, the island with black Sand or even take a boat transfer to Bukavu where Kahuzi Biega national park is and visit the lowland gorillas.
You can access DRCongo via Rwanda or even fly directly into Goma airport but if you opt to land at Kigali International Airport, you can pass Gisenyi–Goma border to visit Virunga or pass Rusizi border to visit Kahuzi Biega and ensure to apply for your visa to Congo at least 2 weeks in advance as it cannot be issued to you on arrival so avoid disappointments and disorganization, please take note. Also note that your Rwanda visa will expire once you cross into Congo so of you are returning to Rwanda, please apply for one at the border when entering the country so as to find it when returning after your Congo gorilla tours.