Congo Safari Guide, Things to do, Accommodations,Gorilla Trekking
Welcome to congo safari guide the most reliable source offering travel related facts to help in planning a gorilla safari to watch the mountain gorillas, things to do in virunga , gorilla permits, nyiragongo hiking permit, tour companies, safari lodges & hotels in Goma, Getting around virunga, sectors in Virunga.
There is only one famous destination in Africa that has been a dream world for gorilla trekking , visit to the eastern lowland gorillas then the best option is to visit the democratic republic of Congo which is a unique distinction of being the best place to visit in Africa for primates, adventures and hiking tours.
Plan a visit to Parc De national Virunga for a Congo Safari holiday with reliable Africa Safari Companies that are operating Safaris & Tours in the second Africa’s biggest country of Democratic republic of congo for wild mountain gorilla trekking in the virgin virunga mountains.
How Much Does a Congo Safari Tour Cost ?
When its comes to planning a safari in Democratic republic of Congo, you will need the expert to guide you on the adventure planning process in Congo with the help of Local Safari Company. Lets try to do some costing together. Right? Congo gorilla safaris permit per person goes for $ 400 as of 2016 , 2017 and 2018. Other destinations that are visited by travelers that choose book Congo safaris can visit Kahuzi biega national park , Idjwi island and Nyiragongo Volcano. The most discounted Congo gorilla trip ranges from 750$$$ to 1500$$ depending on the time of travel
Things to do in Virunga Mountains of Congo.
There are various things to do in virunga mountains of democratic republic of congo including the mountain gorilla trekking , chimpanzee tracking, nyiragongo hiking , nature walks and various sports activities on lake kivu when connecting the islands for relaxation.
Congo Gorilla Trekking
The Most ultimate safari activity of the things to do in virunga is the gorilla trekking adventure that is more cheaper than any other destination in the virunga mountains that are known for gorilla trekking, visiting the gorillas in the wilderness of parc de virunga comes with the price of the gorilla permit to visit a special gorilla family that will be allocated on that particular day of your gorilla trekking in the wild with armed ranger guide.
In democratic republic of congo, gorilla trekking safari tours are arranged by various tour operators within the region, they will have to secure you the gorilla permit, congo visa and even arrange transportation.
Congo Gorilla Permits
In order to go for gorilla watching in virunga national park or kahuzi biega national park , you need a permit. In Virunga Congo there are 40 gorilla permit available per day, the smart thing to do is purchase a permit for your desired dates of gorilla trekking early enough. A gorilla permit in congo costs US $ 400.
Gorilla Families in Virunga national Park
Gorillas are sub divided into family groups with different attributes with silver backs that act as leaders. The silverback’s powerful presence, his calmness, the care that mothers show their young and the playful juveniles is overwhelming. Mountain gorillas are good natured and fascinating to watch. Gorilla trekking is done at Bukima sector and gorilla trekking sets off at Bukima Patrol post and usually takes about 1-2 hours of hiking in each direction with a park rangers depending where the mountain gorillas spent the previous night.
Gorilla Trekking Rules
- Gorilla trekking rules when you have reached at the gorillas , Visitors are always required to wear surgical masks when in the presence of gorillas so as to safeguard the health of Virunga’s gorillas.
- Age limit: you must be over 15 years of age to be eligible for a gorilla permit.
- Diseases : It’s always advisable to cancel if one has a cold, fever, diarrhea or persistent sore throat since mountain gorillas are extremely susceptible to human illnesses especially human respiratory viruses and other common ailments.
- Your time with the gorillas will be limited to 1 hour and you will be asked to maintain a 7m distance between you and the gorillas. This can sometimes be tough, as gorillas are curious creatures, especially the babies, and may sometimes try to approach you. A good guide will likely tell you to step back and respect the distance.
- Eating, drinking, and smoking is not allowed near the gorillas. Neither is spitting, coughing, or sneezing. In DRC, we actually had to wear face masks to protect the gorillas from any diseases that we might have been carrying. Face masks weren’t required in Uganda and Rwanda.
- You are free to take photos and videos of your visit (keep in mind that flash is not allowed, so make sure you disable it) but we recommend also stepping out from behind the camera and taking some time to be present in the moment. If you are lucky enough to have a quiet (aka lazy) group like we did, you’ll be able to sit down on the ground and just quietly observe the gorillas. They truly are incredible creatures.
What to Expect on the Day of gorilla trekking
Your gorilla tracking experience will begin early in the morning (anywhere between 7-8am). You’ll join other trackers at a designated entrance in the park where you’ll get a briefing on the day and the gorilla groups that reside in that particular park/sector.
You’ll then be split up into groups of 6-8 people and assigned a gorilla group, a guide and one or two armed rangers, who will guide you through the park for your gorilla tracking experience. Once your group is set, you’ll be on your way to meet the gorillas.
Mount Nyiragongo Hiking
Mt. Nyiragongo is a beautiful volcano covered with vegetation and sometimes is dusted with snow that features the world’s largest lava lake. It is a home to a variety of animals, including chimpanzees, monkeys and bushbuck. Nyiragongo is greatly feared during eruptions because of the low silica content of its lava that flows extremely fluid.
Trekkers to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano always begin at the Kibati patrol post, 30 minutes by car from Goma and one hour from Rumangabo. Normally the park rangers lead all treks and porters are always available for hire. The fitness of each group determines on the average time required to reach the summit usually takes 4 – 6 hours
Climbs always begin at 10:00 am with a ranger station. Check in at the Kibati station by no later than 9:15 am on the day of their climb. Trekkers are strongly advised to bring full rain and cold weather gear as the temperatures at the summit are usually below freezing. Failure to bring proper gear leads to hypothermia. Nyiragongo permit costs $300 USD International adults and $90 USD for the nationals.
Nyiragongo trekkers will be required to pay an extra of 100 $$$ for the mikeno package and the 56 $$ for the transportation of the package incase you have not slept in the virunga foundation lodges .
Best time to Visit par De national Virunga
As its well known that virunga national park is located in the eastern part of congo with the nearest town being Goma , the climatic condition of congo is the same like that of tropical central Africa and If you want to travel during the dry season, virunga national park congo guide recommends visit parc de virunga in any month except April, May or November. Visit mountain gorillas in virunga national park for an ultimate safari experience from May through October, yet when it comes to combined gorilla trekking & rwenzori hiking in the congo region , plan your safari from June to September and late December.
Many travelers that have visited gorillas in the wild of virunga mountains have loved the experience of trekking in virunga national park in congo. It requires the same fitness level as a rugged hike; you walk on mostly even paths with regular forays into the undergrowth or scrambles over the odd fallen tree trunk. It was muggy and warm in the forest but not oppressively hot, and we definitely benefited from trekking in June, a relatively dry period. An equatorial climate means there is little variation in the average daytime temperature of 24°C (75°F). Rather than hot or cold, the seasons are characterized as wet or dry. October to December is wet, January to February is dry, March to April is wet, and May to September is dry again. Start Planning to undertake a Congo safari to get the combined experience of the primates and the nyirgaongo hike, book the 5 days gorilla trek & Nyiragongo Hike with the most reliable tour operators known to be offering congo safaris .