Are you planning a trip to Congo and you are searching the main things to Know before Traveling to Congo? In this article, we explain to you the main things you need to know to plan well for your trip to Congo. 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.
Highlight of the things to Know before traveling to Congo
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Is it safe to travel to Congo
Things to Know before traveling to Congo. All Congo Safaris tours are fully guided from the moment you step over the border to your departure back home. Almost all our tours start and end in Kigali (the capital of Rwanda), and we ensure that our guests are assisted across the border without any hassle. Members of our team will collect you as soon as you land in Kigali, and will remain with you until you enter Congo – at which point the Virunga National Park team will take over. As the Park is responsible for the livelihood and infrastructure of the four million people who live around it, its officials, rangers and visitors are highly respected by the locals. You’ll be transported in our vehicles but escorted by official parks vehicles loaded with rangers, and will be made to feel safe and warmly welcomed by all whom you encounter. Virunga National Park has brought electricity, power stations, roads, schools, security and jobs to the area, and the locals are well aware of the fact that the tourism income generated by your presence is largely to thank for all of this.
Virunga national Park is receiving an average of 500 tourists each months, they are enjoying new gorillas groups that have been habituated as well as the Picnics at the Tchegera Island. Since February 2019, Nyiragongo is giving a treat to every visitor that climbs her. The lava lake is at the highest it has been for years and now is overflowing its cone with the fissure growing daily with an occasional spew of lava. As one sits and watches the lava flow over the edge, it gives one a sense of what it would feel like to watch an eruption.
Kahuzi Biega National Park as the third best destination in Africa by Best Top 100 Destination showing global leadership in actively protecting its scenic views, natural habitats and wildlife, and showing respect for animals, a basis for its sustainable tourism development. Tourists are enjoying unique Eastern Lowland Gorillas found only in the DR Congo.
Is it safe to climb Nyiragongo?
You can’t escape the fact that Nyiragongo is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. So is it really safe to climb an active volcano? I would say yes, but the truth is that you never know. Walking around independently might be dangerous, since volcanic area has fractures emitting gas, but locals know how to avoid them. Goma has its own seismologic observatory monitoring both Nyiragongo and its sister volcano, Nyamuragira, which is titled the most active volcano in Africa. Volcanologists should know well in advance what these giants are up to.
I want to hike the Mount Nyiragongo, what should I expect? What should I pack?
Park rangers lead the trek even if you have booked the trip through a tour company. Only one group can trek to the Nyiragongo summit daily and the group size is limited to 24 people, due to the accommodation capacity. During June and July, the treks can be fully booked, so assure your spot well in advance. The climb takes 4-6 hours depending on the weather conditions and overall fit of the group. It is possible to conquer Nyiragongo also on a day trip, but it will be a long and very challenging day (for sure). You must arrive to the Kibati ranger station before 9AM; the hike starts around 10AM.
Be sure to pack full rain gear, warm layers, long underwear, enough warm socks, gloves, a hat, and some snacks. When finally reaching the summit, you need to change to a dry base layer immediately. Don’t underestimate the conditions, as temperature at the summit might be near freezing and the risk of hypothermia is real. Sleeping bags can be rented for 10$. If you don’t have a cook with you, bring also enough food. A hot 3-course dinner can really make the day after an exhausting trek, when you are shivering from the cold night. So consider hiring either a cook or cooking utensils. Porters can be hired at the Kibati ranger post for 25$ and I strongly recommend taking one to save your energies. The maximum weight for one porter is 15 kg.
What is the best time to visit Virunga?
As Virunga is located on the equator, the temperature remains roughly the same (hot and humid) throughout the year. The notable difference is between the rainy and non-rainy seasons. Ironically enough, the best time to enjoy clear blue skies (particularly for photography purposes) is during the rainy months (April, May, October and November), as it can get quite foggy during the dry season. The good news is that it rarely rains for a full day, and the periodic spatters actually make way for beautifully clear viewing conditions
What is the food like in Congo
The food in Congo is fantastic! The soil in central Africa is so rich that every single fruit and vegetable tastes exactly as it should. As the temperature is always right and the ground is so rich, harvests take place multiple times a year, and there is always a significant supply of fresh produce. Add to this the fact that there’s great fish and meat in the area and the local chefs are French-trained, and you’ve got a surprisingly impressive culinary destination.
Do I need special medication to travel to Congo
The only mandatory preventative measure was a yellow fever vaccination. As a consequence of the actual pandemic that is rattling the entire world, apart from the yellow fever vaccination card, tourists needs to come visit their negative test result to showed at the point of entry. Moreover, they are subject to another covid test done by INRB at all the point of entry to confirm that they are safe and do not constitute a risk not only to Congolese people but also to wild animals (gorillas) who are also at risk of catching the disease. The test cost 40$ only.
Do I need to be physically fit to hike the Nyiragongo Volcano or Trek Gorillas in Virunga National Park
Yes, you need to be in good health and able to walk for at least three hours if you want to see the gorillas, and five hours if you want to access the top of the volcanoes. Although getting to the top of the volcanoes doesn’t necessitate a climb per se, it’s still more of a hike than a stroll.
How to get a Congolese visa
The visa system to enter Congo are still stringent. You will need to wait for about 4 weeks to get a Congolese tourist from a Congolese embassy. That visa will cost you around 400$ after including the invitation letter and the visa per say. This visa is valid for a month or more and can allow you hover around the entire continent-sized country easily. However, to facilitate visitors willing to experience Eastern Congo, the Congolese government has made a special agreement with Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park through which you can get a visa in less than 2 weeks for as low as 105$. You just need to send your passport bio page to one of trusted tour operators and make a deposit for a tour in one or both of the two parks.
Why book a Trip to Congo with Eco Adventure Safaris
Eco Adventure Safaris will help you book your Gorilla Trekking in Uganda Rwanda Africa and DR Congo contact us and we advise you on the booking process. We as well have different gorilla trekking safari packages ranging from budget, mid-range to luxury options that we can book for you including the gorilla permits. Feel free to checkout our trip advisor reviews and read from a community of happy satisfied clients. With us, you can be rest assured of a memorable Uganda safari holiday. We are devoted to providing excellent service and customer satisfaction. Our team of excellent tour consultants is always willing to help answer all your safari questions. We guarantee you a great gorilla tour in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo with us. Feel free to contact us here for more details about the main things to Know before traveling to Congo.