Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park
Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park; Trekking of Gorillas is the most popular activity in Virunga national park that attracts many tourists and it involves moving into the tropical rainforest in search of the mountain gorillas and once found spend time with them in their environment. Virunga national park is located in the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo bordering with Uganda and Rwanda. Apart from Virunga national park trekking is also done in other destinations like Kahuzi Biega national park in Democratic Republic of Congo, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda.
Virunga national park is a home of about 8 habituated gorilla families which are available for trekking on a daily basis and they include Kabirizi gorilla family, Lulengo gorilla family, Munyaga gorilla family, Humba gorilla family, Rugendo gorilla family, Mapuwa gorilla family, Bageni gorilla family and Nyakamwe gorilla family. Trekking of the mountain gorillas in Virunga national park is an extraordinary activity that starts early in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations at the park headquarters. After the briefing you will be subdivided into groups of 8 people where each group will be allocated a habituated gorilla family to trek and a park guide who is knowledgeable about the mountain gorillas and also conversant with gorilla trekking trails. Gorilla trekking takes about 30 minutes to 6 hours depending on where the mountain gorillas are located. During trekking you will be able to view mammals like forest elephants, duikers, other primates like chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, blue monkeys, view variety of bird species among others. Once the mountain gorillas are located you will be able to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you a chance to learn more about their behaviors, lifestyle, habits, take photos, watch them breastfeed, play, feed, groom young ones, record videos among others.
Cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Virunga national park
A gorilla permit is a card that is issued to visitors above the age of 15 years allowing them to visit a habituated gorilla family in Virunga national park. A gorilla trekking permit in Virunga national park costs 400 USD per person for foreign non residents which is cheaper compared to Rwanda where a gorilla permit costs 1,500 USD per person for all nationalities and Uganda where a gorilla trekking permit costs 700 USD per person for foreign non residents and 600 USD per person for foreign residents.
A gorilla trekking permit in Virunga national park allows visitors to spend one hour in the presence of the mountain gorillas and the permit should be booked 3 to 4 months in advance before the trekking date because permits are competitive and get sold out quickly especially during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, January and February.
How to book a gorilla trekking permit in Virunga national park
A gorilla trekking permit in Virunga national park can either be booked directly through the park by contacting Virunga reservation office via email or telephone calls. You can also book a gorilla permit in Virunga national park through a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris. booking a gorilla permit through a tour operator is the best option in that its quick and we will not only purchase the permit on your behalf but also plan for your entire Congo safari.
Where to stay during your gorilla trekking permit in Virunga national park
Virunga national park has various accommodation facilities where you can stay during your gorilla trekking safari. The accommodations include Mikeno lodge, Mount Nyiragongo summit shelter, Tchegera Island camp, Kibumba tented camp, Bukima tented camp, Lac Kivu hotel, Lulimbi tented camp among others.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking
Trekking can be done all year round though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February because that’s the best period when gorilla trekking trails are dry and passable compared to the wet season when trails are muddy and slippery hence making trekking difficult.
How to get to Virunga national park
Virunga national park is located in the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo and can be accessed by road transport means from Uganda and Rwanda. When coming from Rwanda, travelers will fly to Kigali international airport and then drive to Gisenyi, Goma town via Le Grand Barrier border which takes about 4 hours drive. Travelers from Uganda will cross to Virunga national park via Bunagana border.
Gorilla trekking in the park is an adventurous activity that gives you unforgettable memories during your safari. For affordable trekking packages you can contact us at Achieve Global Safari or visit our website.