Requirements for accessing Virunga are those things that you won’t leave behind when you are to go for a safari to the famous Virunga National Park.
“Are you looking at visiting Virunga national park? Are you wondering what the Requirements for accessing Virunga National Park are? Then here is a good read for you.”
Firstly, ensure to book your tour to Virunga National Park before you get excited as you might get ready and space is taken on your preferred dates. However, you can also first go through this checklist to see if you can fulfill it then book your tour to the park. Virunga national park offers majorly 3 activities and these include Mountain gorilla trekking, Mount Nyiragongo hike to the lava lake at the summit, and Chimpanzee habituation. There are also other activities like a visit to the Senkwekwe Gorilla orphanage, wildlife viewing further on the southeastern shores of Lake Edward and also you could extend to visit Tchegera Island for kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling or beach walk. Get in touch with a trusted operator to organize the tour as desired.
Before you set off to Virunga park Congo, you MUST ensure to have a valid yellow fever card. Some countries ask you to have this card but are not strict about it but the Democratic Republic of Congo, you can be denied access to the country if you do not have this card. If you happen to forget it or lose it, you will be asked to take a shot at the border and receive a card so as to be allowed to enter the country. Also, ensure this card is in your names and valid that it is less than 10 years otherwise it may not be considered. This yellow fever card is presented at the immigration border during check-in so without it, one cannot check-in or issued your VISA.
A valid passport is a definite must to travel to any country and this should be having an expiry date of at least 6 months ahead from travel date otherwise, you may not be allowed to use that passport. Visiting Virunga, you will need your valid passport to align with the visa application so ensure to have a valid passport when booking for your tour otherwise, you will not be granted a Congo VISA hence losing out on your tour.
A valid VISA is also a top on your checklist of the Requirements for accessing Virunga. The tourist visa to Virunga National park can only be gotten on purchase of a package to the park. Get in contact with a trusted tour operator or Virunga national park to reserve your spot so as to start the visa processing. The DRC tourist visa cannot be gotten on arrival and takes about 2 weeks to be released by the DGM (Direction Générale de Migration) so ensure to book in time. If you are visiting Kahuzi Biega too, the same VISA issued by the Virunga park can give you access to this park and vice versa. If your first destination is in Kahuzi Biega National Park, apply for your VISA from the park by booking a gorilla permit and pick VISA from the Rusizi border on arrival with your invitation letter.
These are the major 3 requirements for accessing Virunga National Park but you could also have a personal list of personal items such as the Raincoat/Jacket, good hiking shoes, headgear like cap or head sock to protect your head from the cold as the forest tends to be cold and also the top of Mount Nyiragongo can be chilly, a waterproof backpack in case of rains while hiking also don’t forget to have change of clothes and especially warm clothes and full-length tops and trousers to avoid irritations on the skin as you make your way through the forest.
Once you are well prepared on this tour, you will surely have the time of your life. Please check with the agent who has booked your tour if you have the Nyiragongo backpack that has a sleeping bag with meals for the Nyiragongo hike otherwise it can be a tough experience up there without one.