After a long wait of about 6 months, the Virunga National Park of Congo has been reopened to tourists as of 15th February, 2019. This park saw closure in June 2018 after so many security concerns with the last one being a ranger being killed as he protected 2 British tourists who were at the park visiting the gorillas by Congolese militia. This was one among the many cases that led to its closure but now with a few changes made the Park is open and considered safe as several measures are to be taken by the authorities to erase the growing security concern among tourists.
A few changes have been made with the tours to be done in Congo as all activities are to be carried out by the Virunga National Park Authorities. You may use a tour operator to make for you the booking and following up for your tour to ensure you get the right services. Also ensure to book your Congo Visa 3 weeks in advance to the day of arrival through a trusted tour company or by emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) . This visa costs 105 USD but to qualify for a visa, you have to have a booked tour package and this visa once purchased is non refundable. Visitors are expected to sleep in Goma or within the country border to avoid being late for their park activities which are non refundable and can be missed if the guest is not on time. Clients entering Congo are expected to use the Grand Barrier border post where they are expected to assemble before set off into the park.
This destination is considered the scariest with statistics of about 180 killings but then the one with the best experience as it has the best diversity in Africa.
The tourism of Congo is rich especially in Virunga that has almost all the attractions that Sub Sahara has for example; it harbors 2 volcanic mountains that is Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Mikeno. Democratic Republic of Congo also is the only country with both Lowland and Mountain gorillas. So far the only available packages for booking are the Nyiragongo and Mikeno Mist Packages. Mikeno Mist includes one day gorilla trek and 2 days Nyiragongo Hike with accommodations as your budget allows.
Safety in Virunga; A Message from Management
The management of Virunga National Park is dedicated to ensuring the highest safety and security of all its visitors. Virunga Rangers are trained at international standards for visitor protection, including close protection, communication, first aid and evacuation procedures. In addition, Park management oversees the security environment by maintaining close ties with local authorities, community leaders, embassies, UN agencies and NGOs.
Lastly, the visitors are advised to be aware of the security of the country at the time of booking before confirming a tour to the country. Emmanuel De Merode, the park Director however stated that the security of the clients is their major priority. Book with us for you visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and let us guide you on this dream destinations’ Dos and Donts