The chances of seeing gorillas in Congo are high at more than 80%, are you planning to visit Congo and you want to first confirm whether you will be able to see the mountain gorillas during your trek in Virunga National Park. In this article we explain how gorilla trekking is and the chances you have to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
When it comes to gorilla trekking, this is one of the most organized tourist activity in Congo and on no occasions for the last 2 decades’ trekkers have reported not getting the chance to see the mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park starts very early in the morning where advance trackers go into the forest to locate where the gorillas last nested and spent the last night, they then start following them as they feed, interact and relax in the forest. These advanced trackers communicate with the guides with tourists during their trekking to find the gorillas, you will follow routes guided by the advanced trackers in the forest this saves time and the hustle to look for the gorillas hence giving you great chances of seeing the gorillas in Congo. Gorilla trekking to find the gorillas in their natural habitat in Congo takes about from 30 minutes to 5 hours to walk to find them and once you find them you will spend one hour with them encounter, take photographs and learn more about them.
Where to trek gorillas in Congo?
For tourists interested in visiting gorillas in DR Congo, you will be able to do the normal gorilla trekking activity in either Virunga National Park for mountain gorilla trekking or Kahuzi Beiga National Park for Low Land Gorilla trekking.
About Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park is one of the most diverse tropical rain forest and oldest national park in Africa mostly famous for mountain gorilla trekking in Congo, among other activities done here include Nyirangongo volcano hike, bird watching, Nature walks, Chimpanzee tracking and Habituation. It should be noted that there three countries that have mountain gorillas in the whole world. These countries include Uganda, Democratic republic of Congo and Rwanda. Rwanda mountain gorillas are found in Volcanoes National Park, Uganda gorillas are found in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park while Congo mountain gorillas are located in Virunga National Park. All these national park are close to each other in what is termed as the virunga massif.
About Kahuzi Beiga National Park
Kahuzi Beiga National Park was created in 1970 and the first Lowland Gorilla trekking was done in 1973, when it come to Lowland gorilla trekking it ranks high, it was gazetted to conserve the Grauer’s gorilla species the world’s largest gorilla species. The Eastern Lowland gorillas also known as Grauer’s gorillas is the largest of the largest of the four gorilla subspecies, trekking Eastern Lowland gorillas is done in Kahuzi Biega National park located in Congo 30kms from Bukavu town the can be accessed by road and air. The park was gazetted in 1970 and the first lowland gorilla trekking was done in 1973, this type of trekking is only done here and this makes the park rank high when it comes to the lowland gorilla trekking. The Park has 12 gorilla families and out of these only 2 gorilla families are habituated and they are open for visitors to trek. The families are called Chimanuka and Mugaruka both named after a dominant silver back, Chimanuka is famous for many visitors given it consist of one of the largest gorilla family in the world with over 36 gorilla individuals.
How to organize and book Gorilla Trekking in Congo
Chances of seeing gorillas in Congo. When it comes to organizing and booking Gorilla Trekking in Congo, look nowhere as Eco Adventure Safaris is your number one destination management outfit for you when it comes to booking gorilla trekking. Eco Adventure Safaris has its offices in Uganda that take care of checking the availability of all services ranging from Kahuzi Beiga National Park and Virunga National Park gorilla permits, accommodations as well as transport to and from either in Kigali or Uganda. Eco Adventure Safaris has a fleet of vehicles stations in Kigali and Uganda that will drive you to Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Beiga National Park for gorilla trekking and then back for your international flight back home. All our Uganda and Kigali-based vehicles are 4×4 Vans or Jeeps driven by well-trained safari driver guides knowledgeable in as far as Congo and Rwanda are concerned. They know all corners and routes to and from Kigali and you will feel safe and comfortable when you book a Safari Trip to Congo from Kigali with Eco Adventure Safaris.
How much does it cost to see Lowland gorillas in Congo?
You need a gorilla permit for to trek the lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Eco Adventure Safaris provides relevant gorilla permit booking information for Congo to enable you plan your gorilla safari well. You dont have to hassle booking your gorilla permit if you choose from our Congo gorilla tours. We check availability and book all services on your behalf including gorilla permits. Usually, you have to obtain a gorilla permit several months in advance. We always advise at least 5 months in advance or prior to your visit given they are only 2 groups available for trek in Kahuzi Biega National park. While booking a gorilla tour, always pay your gorilla permit fee in advance to enable us acquire it for you.
Lowland Gorilla trekking permit price in Congo Kahuzi Biega National park are as follows;
East African Residents-USD200
National Citizens of Congo-USD20
How much does it cost to see Mountain Gorillas in Congo?
Chances of seeing gorillas in Congo. Gorilla trekking is a daily activity done in Virunga National Park in Congo, the trek normally starts with a briefing at 7:45am, then you are you will be allocated a gorilla for your trek that day and you will start the walk into the Virunga forest to find the gorillas once you find them you will spend one hour encounter with them, like other national parks for mountain gorilla trekking you will have a chance to take photographs, see other attractions like birds and primates depending on your luck, learn more about the mountain gorilla habitat and how they survive in Virunga National Park. At Eco Adventure Safaris we do provide all-inclusive gorilla tour packages for all the visitors with no hidden costs. The most essential and priority cost is the gorilla permit price that you will incur to secure your trek in Virunga National Park. All our tour packages range from budget safaris to Luxury safaris and you can opt to do any as we tailor your trip together according to your interest. We do have Gorilla tour packages that start in Kigali for the DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali. For a 2day Trip from Kigali costs USD1100 per person in a group of two inclusive of Gorilla permits and as a budget option, transportation, accommodation, Meals, guide services are included as well.
How to purchase Gorilla Trekking Permits in Congo?
Once you contact us and confirm your trip with us by making Payment for the permits, we shall secure your permits to Virunga National Park Congo headquarters and send you scan of the receipt to confirm your trek for your specified date in Virunga National Park. Once we confirm your permits, you will book your international flights, and then you can pay the balance for all your services.
Other Things to see and do in Congo.
Chimpanzee tracking and Habituation
Chimpanzee tracking and Chimpanzee habituation are the second most popular activities to do in Virunga National Park, chimpanzee tracking gives you a one hour encounter with the chimpanzees while chimpanzee habituation gives an entire day encounter with the chimpanzees, both treks begin in the morning hours where you will be joined by trackers and researchers to walk through the Virunga forest and search for chimpanzees you will have a chance to observe and discover their habits, feeding and natural behavior for those on the chimpanzee habituation treks will spend the day with them until they nest for the night. Same with the gorilla trekking permits for the chimpanzee tracking and habituation experiences you will still need to book your permit in advance in oder not to miss out atleast 3 months in advance.
Nature walks through the Virunga Forest
Virunga National Park is one of the oldest tropical rain forest in Africa with super dense vegetation, a nature walk through this forest on your DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali will give a chance to discover and see breathtaking beauty of the unique Virunga Landscape as well as learn about the various tree species, spot birds and if keen enough you will see some mammals and reptiles.
Nyirangongo Volcano Hike
Hiking the Nyirangongo Volcano is one of the once in a lifetime adventure one should do and this can as well be done in Virunga National Park on your DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali, the Nyiragongo Volcano one of the most active volcanoes in the world with an elevation of 3,470 m (11,380 ft), Not much is known about how long the volcano has been erupting, but since 1882, it has erupted at least 34 times and the most recent eruption happened in 2002.
Virunga Forest being one of the most diverse forest in the tropics it has various habitats and landscapes ranging from Forests, swamps to grasslands, these have thus attracted a vast number of bird species making the birding expedition one of the must do activity on your visit to virunga national park on your DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali. There are more than 706 recorded bird species that one on a birding safari will have a chance to spot and see. Contact us here and we will organize for you this safari accordingly.
Lowland Gorilla Trekking
Lowland Gorilla trekking is done in Kahuzi Beiga National Park and this activity is guaranteed when you acquire a permit, but kindly note given the park has 2 families open for trekking this makes the gorilla permits very competitive and scarce most especially during peak seasons of June, July, August, September, December and February. Sometimes gorilla tracking permits get sold out four months in advance so any traveler is recommended to book their gorilla permits 3-4 month in advance.
What is the best time to visit Congo for Gorilla Trekking?
Chances of seeing gorillas in Congo. Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Beiga National Parks are both located in the tropics and are majorly covered with tropical rain forest vegetation, with this they are prone to receiving uncertain rains any time of the day or week, however, given They are tropical rain forests there are still good months to visit these parks that is dry season which occurs in the months of December, January, February, June, July, August and September during these months it always easy to walk through the trails which are drier compared to the wet months then as well the vegetations is not fully grown and this makes sighting of gorillas easy and more clear. Other months which are abit wet that is March, April, May, October and November most travelers avoid visiting gorillas during these months because the vegetation is fully grown and trails are much slippery making the trekking much harder.
Where to stay on a DR Congo mountain gorilla safari
Accommodations in Virunga National Park. This ranges from budget, mid-range to luxury. Budget options include Bukima Tented Camp and Kibumba Tented Camp among others fares range from 90-100 dollars a night per person, mid-range options include Tchegera Island Camp and Lulimbi Tented Camp among others fares range from 100-200 dollars a night per person and then Luxury options include Mikeno Lodge fares range from 200-400 dollars a night per person. You let us know the best option that works for you and we will for availability and book you according.
Accommodation in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. This ranges from budget, mid-range to luxury. Budget options include Hotel Begonias Bukavu, Exodus bukavu, Lake Side Hotel Bukavu among others fares range from 90-100 dollars a night per person, mid-range options include Coco Lodge Bukavu among others fares range from 100-200 dollars a night per person and then Luxury options include L’Orchids Safari Club fares range from 200-400 dollars a night per person. You let us know the best option that works for you and we will for availability and book you according.
How to access Congo for gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking in Congo is done in Kahuzi Beiga National Park and Virunga National Park which are both located in the Eastern Part of Congo. You will fly to Kigali International Airport then connect to Gisenyi town; from Gisenyi town you will cross the Rwanda-Congo border to Goma town in DR Congo then drive towards the park headquarters of Kahuzi Beiga National Park and Virunga National Park from where you will do start the gorilla trek from, it is approximately a 2 hours drive from Gisenyi town to reach the park headquarters.
Why book Gorilla Trekking in Congo with Eco Adventure Safaris
Eco Adventure Safaris provides unrivalled and professional tour and travel services in Uganda, Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda. Since then, Eco Adventure Safaris as established herself as one of the leading tour operators for Uganda and Rwanda. Eco Adventure Safaris boosts of a professional office and field team that takes care of all your requests and inquiries. We are full members of AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and work closely with Uganda Wildlife Authority. We are highly recommended on trip advisor as well as Safari bookings. Our website is one of the best and reliable point to help you start preparing for your DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali as we have the best and update information that you can rely on. Eco Adventure Safaris is owned and run by Ugandans and as such, you will be dealing with a team that sells what they know. Contact us here about what are the chances of seeing gorillas in Congo