DR Congo Gorilla Trekking, Discounted Gorilla permits to Virunga National Park.
For many travelers, gorilla trekking ranks among one of the most exhilarating highlights of their trip to Africa and even most tour operators that offer safaris to Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic including a day for visiting the mountain Gorillas.
Mountain Gorillas are one of the world’s most endangered species of apes. It is estimated that there are currently less than 900 individuals left throughout the world. Nearly half of these can be found in Uganda, but significant populations can also be found in Democratic Republic of Congo and the Parc National de Volcano’s in Rwanda.
Virunga National park located in eastern democratic republic of congo ranks high when it comes to adventures tours to visit the primates & Hike the largest lava lake in Africa. As a result of Rwanda development increasing the cost of the Rwanda gorilla permits from USD 750 to USD 1500 which has given a high potential chance to Uganda & democratic republic of congo to start offering gorilla trekking with discounted gorilla permits for low season to enable budget travelers also enjoy gorilla safaris to Africa.
Virunga National Park is on the opposite site of the Congolese border to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, gorilla trekking is a remarkable activity in Uganda, DRC and Rwanda and acquiring a gorilla permit is an important pre-requisite to be able to participate in this life changing activity. However due to the high competition for gorilla permits in other months especially during peak seasons (December to February and June to September), most intending gorilla trekkers are often left out.
Have you ever thought about participating in Gorilla trekking in DR congo this coming season of December or may next year , but you have been limited by the cost of Congo Gorilla permit? Worry no more because Virunga National Park officials introduced discounted gorilla permits for low seasons to visit the mountain gorillas in the wild of Democratic Republic of congo, making Congo gorilla tours cheaper for the low seasons!. Institut Congolese pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) the tourism governing body in Congo sells over 40 gorilla permits per day for Virunga National Park . Due to the high demand of gorilla permits in the peak seasons (December to February and June to September) and other months of the year, most willing gorilla safaris trekkers are often left out and its among the reasons why Virunga national park offers half price discounted gorilla permits to all travelers that wish to visit in October 15 to 15 December .
In 2011 Virunga National Park introduced the discounted gorilla permits for the low seasons from 15th of these Months (April , May , Early June and October to December 15) so that tourists do not miss the once in the lifetime opportunity to track the mountain gorillas. Ever since Virunga National Park introduced these discounted permits, more and more tourists have picked interest in gorilla trekking safaris and participating in other activities like chimpanzee tracking, Nyiragongo Hike in the low seasons.
During the low seasons, there is a low turn up of tourists, mainly attributed to the heavy rains in Congo from April to May and winter in Europe which makes fewer people to travel. To encourage tourists to travel during those seasons, the aspect of discounted gorilla permits was introduced. In most cases tourists are meant to believe that these discounted permits are only for rainy seasons when the trails are impassable, but the fact that Bwindi is in an area of high altitude, it rains anytime even when it is a dry season.so the worry of too much rain should not discourage potential gorilla trekkers from visiting the country in the low seasons for the remarkable activity. One advantage of trekking gorillas in the low season is the fact that there are few tourists, and you get a marvelous feeling that you have the entire jungle to yourself.
In democratic republic of congo mainly Goma Side there are various Car rental companies like Car rental Congo that hires out cars & Drivers to enable you go for gorilla trekking adventures in Virunga National Park. Then transportation can be arranged through the park for an additional cost or through private car rental company . The Bukima Tented Camp & Mikeno lodge are perfect places to stay overnight before visiting the Mountain gorillas or nyiragongo Hike.
Any tourist interested in acquiring these discounted permits can contact DR congo Safari Companies or Virunga National Park to inquire about the availability of the permits in specified days of their (tourists) interest. Once it is confirmed that the gorilla permits are available for the dates you wish to travel, you will be given the Company’s Bank account/ Park Account where you can make payments for your 3 Days gorilla safari.
Therefore for those tourists interested in trekking gorillas in the months of April, May and November should book now for their permits and the tracking dates chosen should fall within those months that are discounted.
- A maximum of 8 visitors may visit a family/group of habituated gorillas per day.
- To avoid exposing our furry friends to strange germs, wash your hands before you head out for the tracking.
- Do not leave garbage in the park.
- Always keep your voices low. This will ensure that you will be able to observe the beautiful birds and other wildlife in the forest.
- Tip: Your group of trackers will be heading to the stop where the guides left the gorillas the day before. From the nesting spot you will track them to their current location. This can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours.
- Tip: As you approach the gorillas, the guides will signal when to get your cameras ready.
- It is okay to ask the guide questions, but keep your voices low.
- Do not eat or drink while you are near the gorillas.
- Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guide’s example by crouching down slowly, and do not look into the gorillas in the eyes. Wait for the gorilla to pass you by and do not attempt to run away (as this can increase the risk of attack).
- Flash photography is not permitted; when taking pictures, move slowly and carefully.
- Do not touch the gorillas. Keep in mind that though they may look warm and cuddly, they are still wild animals. Keep a distance of at least 7 meters (21 feet) from the gorillas at all times.
- The maximum time visitors are allowed to spend with the gorillas is exactly one hour and the rangers are quite strict about this.