Tips for planning gorilla trekking in Virunga national park : Virunga national park is located in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, covering a total surface area of about 7800 square kilometers and it is famously known for its endangered mountain gorillas, which attract many tourists from all over the world to visit the country. Virunga national park was gazette as a game reserve in 1925 and later it was established as a national park in 1960 after the country acquired its independence and it was first known as the Albert national park and later on in 1970’s, the president renamed it as Virunga national park after having his best interests in conserving the park with the big intensions of protecting the endangered mountain gorilla species.
Virunga national park stands at an elevation of about 5000 meters above the sea level, which makes it a favourable place for the mountain gorillas to stay because they prefer staying in places with a high altitude. This national park is commonly visited because it a home to over 300 endangered mountain gorilla species and eight habituated gorilla groups/ families that are always available to be trekked by the visitors. Therefore these gorilla groups include; Bageni, Lulengo, Rugendo, Nyakamwe, Mapuwa, Humba, Kabirizi, Munanga among others. These endangered mountain gorillas species are known to be among the main tourist attractions with in the national park, which have attracted many tourists within the country hence contributing a lot on its tourism industry.
Virunga national park is ranked among the best destinations for one to visit while on their safari in Congo because it is surrounded with beautiful natures, rain forests, crater lakes, swamps, wetland vegetation, open grasslands, Albertine rift and therefore this gives a chance to individuals to explore and wander through the beauty lush vegetation and the beauty of the African Wilderness. More so, tourists involving in gorilla trekking activities can also get opportunities to combine it with other interesting activities like; chimpanzee trekking, bird watching due to the fact that it is also a home to over 706 bird species, guided nature walks through the dense forests where they get chances to sight see different animal species like; buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards, waterbucks, white and black colobus monkeys, hippos, yellow backed duikers, blue duikers, giant forest hog, bush bucks, monitor lizards, Nile crocodiles and many more.
Gorilla trekking activities at this national park always in the morning at 7:00am in the morning but the trekkers are encouraged to arrive at the park headquarters where they are briefed about the rules and regulations they are supposed to follow during the trekking. After the briefing, they are being put in groups with a maximum number of eight people depending on what gorilla groups they are ready to trek. More so, they are being given park guides who accompany them and guide them through the trekking because it is easy for them to trek the mountain gorillas where they are located.
Tips to follow while planning to go for Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park in Congo.
Gorilla trekking is an amazing and exciting activity to engage in while on your safari in Virunga national park because tourists get to get new experiences and create remarkable memories. However, they are a number of things one should put into consideration as you plan to enjoy the whole experience before you go and as soon you enter the national park for trekking.
- Tourists should purchase their gorilla trekking permits in advance due to fact that they are always asked to represent them at the park headquarters and these permits are charged at a fee of 400 USD per person.
- It is also advisable to book these gorilla trekking permits at least 3 to 6 months in advance before the trekking date.
- Tourists are encouraged to come along with their travel documents like the Visa, valid passport that helps in identifying them.
- More so, tourists should apply for a Congo Visa before entering into the country and this visa costs at a fee of 100 USD.
- Tourists should go for a yellow fever vaccination because before entering all African countries, it is necessary to represent a yellow fever card.
- Tourists who have their best interests in Gorilla trekking activities can carry along their good quality cameras and their phones, which help them to take pictures and record videos of the most fascinating moments and the beautiful things and places that they will capture during their safari.
- Tourists are encouraged to pack things like a light raincoat in case it rains, cap/ hat and a sunscreen that help to protect you from the effects of the direct sunlight, insect repellant, bottled water in order to keep hydrated during the trekking, snacks/ packed food to eat in case you get hungry along the way and many others.
- Tourists planning to go for gorilla trekking activities are advised to wear good hiking boots, long trousers and long sleeved shirts due to the fact that Virunga national park is a bushy area.
- More so, while within the park, tourists can hire a porter in case one has heavy luggage that will make tired during the trekking.
- While planning to go for gorilla trekking, one should consider the best time they should travel which is during the dry season between months of June to September and December to February because this is the period of time throughout the year when there are less rains and short grass which enables tourists to get clear views of the park.
- Lastly, it is more comfortable if tourists planning to go for gorilla trekking activities to book their accommodation facilities where they plan to stay after the trekking.
Contact our trusted tour operators in case of any more inquires and information about the tips of gorilla trekking activities in Virunga national park and Book with our tours and travel companies such as; Achieve Global safaris and Explore Rwanda tours who offer the best tour packages while on your safari in Virunga national park.