Gorilla Trekking in Congo

Gorilla Trekking in Congo

Gorilla trekking in Congo is one of the biggest tour activities that travelers engage in when they embark on Safari Tours to Congo to explore the wildlife.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a landlocked country in central Africa formerly known as Zaire. Democratic Republic of Congo is the second largest country on the African continent and richly blessed with minerals and a steadily growing tourism industry. Most tour activities in the country revolve around the visiting of the gorillas in the Virunga national park that harbors the mountain gorillas and Kahuzi Biega national park located in the south of the country that has the lowland gorillas. This country has had many political clashes that have left the place and the people of the country leaving in fear which has time to time affected the tourism industry of the country however with some combined effects of the local security and the ICCN that governs the tourism in Virunga, new measures have been put in place so as to see the success of tourism in the country and ensure the safety of the tourists.

Gorilla trekking in Congo has been a success for a while now and is one experience that beats most of the gorilla treks for a number of factors. You can arrange a Congo Safari Tour where you visit both the lowland gorillas and the mountain gorillas in our 5 days Congo Package. Trekking the mountain gorillas in Virunga national park is a breathtaking one as the number of gorillas that one may encounter on the visit to both parks is big as compared to the gorilla treks of the other parks.

While at Virunga national park, a trekker can come across a family of about 44 individuals on a great day. Even with such a great number of gorillas in one place, there is always one dominant male which is the silverback marked with a grey stripe on the back. The other group members are submissive to this male gorilla. You get to spend an hour in the presence of these mountain gorillas at a distance with the rangers ready to protect you in case the gorillas decide to charge at you.

Gorilla trekking in Congo-Virunga National park takes a short time about 1 and a half to 2 hours until you encounter these great animals. Trekkers in Virunga wear a mask while on the trek as these gorillas are in Ebola prone areas and also to prevent the spread of human airborne diseases like influenza or cough. The mountain gorillas of Virunga are believed to be the most welcoming and tend to have a great bond with the rangers. The younger orphaned mountain gorillas and those hurt by poachers are rescued and are taken to Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Centre to take care of them and give them hope for a brighter future.

All the mountain gorilla treks going to Virunga national park are organized by Virunga park from the grande barrier where the Virunga tourism office is located. You may opt to join group transportation or private transport with a private guide. We can arrange that for you and give the best trip to Congo. The security detail of the Virunga park is efficient, skilled and well trained and has been the biggest hand behind the success of the trips that have been ongoing in the park since the reopening earlier this February 2019. The park in the first 2 weeks had a success of about 210 bed nights which was a great sign for tourism in the park and tours have successfully been ongoing despite the Ebola threats in the area. 

Virunga as a park has put in place several Ebola checkpoints within the park ever since the reported reports of Ebola in Goma town which is the connecting point for all tours going to the park. With a very responsive team, according to WHO, Goma was able to go over the 21 day incubation period of Ebola and was cleared free of Ebola as of August 2019. There are 2 gorilla families of Virunga are found in the Kibumba sector one called the Baraka with 27 members and the second with 40 family members. Virunga national park has 8 gorillas groups as the other 6 are found in the Bukima side. There are 4 great up to standard accommodations that one can stay in while at Virunga that is Kibumba Tented Camp, Bukima Tented Camp, Mikeno Lodge and a new lodge opening on the 1st of October called Ngila Lodge. 

Gorilla Trekking in Congo
Gorilla Trekking in Congo

Kahuzi Biega National park found further south of the country is where one may visit the lowland gorillas. It is one of the country’s biggest parks with an area of 6,000 square kilometers near the Lake Kivu and Rwandan border. The park is found near Bukavu district so one can take a boat after visiting Virunga from Goma to Bukavu either a speed of 3 hours or a ferry of 7 hours to connect as the road to Bukavu is still undeveloped and tricky to access. You can opt to connect via southern Rwanda at the Rusizi border which is just about 30 minutes ride to this small less developed town, the home of the Eastern lowland gorillas. These gorillas have significant differences from the mountain gorillas so it would be a great experience to trek both on your visit to Congo. These are easier and cheaper to trek as the permit goes for 400 dollars and you can get accommodation of your budget as there are many options to choose from. These lowland gorillas live on the flat areas so less hiking is required on this trek. This park is also a UNESCO world heritage site as it was recognized in 1980 for its unique biodiversity of the lowland gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas.

You can get in touch with a trusted tour operator to plan and arrange for you a fully inclusive tour to visit the two different gorilla species in their different points.

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