3 Days Congo gorilla safari tour to Virunga National Park offers a different experience from Uganda and Rwanda. The increase in the price for gorilla permits in Rwanda has made silverback gorilla tours and safaris to Uganda and DR Congo better and more economically feasible. A gorilla permit in DR Congo costs only 400USD whereas in Rwanda gorilla permits cost $1500. This three days Congo gorilla safari to Virunga National Park is designed to give our clients a cheaper but unique opportunity to do gorilla trekking at the great Virunga national park which despite bad press and recent closures has so much to offer.
Virunga National Park is Africa’s oldest national park. The park is special because of its remarkable biodiversity and landscape. All this is because of its location in the middle of the Albertine rift. It consists of savanna grasslands, plains, Afro-montane forests and marshlands. Virunga national park has two of the most active volcanoes in the African continent including Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo. These two volcanoes account for 30 percent of the most recent volcanic eruptions in Africa. They also give the park unique afro-alpine kinds of vegetation. Apart from the Virunga volcanoes, 20 percent of the Rwenzori Mountain are found in the park. Virunga is also home to 218 species of mammals including Thomas cobs, elephants, lions, buffaloes and the rare Okapi. Virunga national park is home to the largest population of hippos in the world. Over 19,000 can be found in the numerous rives within and outside the park.
However, the key attractions in the park are the mountain gorillas and climbing mount Nyiragongo. 20 percent of the remaining population of mountain gorillas are found here. Uganda and Rwanda may have more mountain gorillas but the Virunga National Park has the only mountain gorilla orphanage in the world. After tracking the gorillas, tourists have an opportunity to visit this interesting Centre for free. The Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) is responsible for the overall management of the park but has had to deal with many challenges. A new challenge is the discovery of oil within the park. This could lead to the destruction of key wildlife habitat to build oil wells and encroachment on park land.
The 3 Days Congo gorilla tour starts from Rwanda before crossing to Goma town in Congo via Gisenyi. The gorilla trekking in Congo package includes visiting Lake Kivu and touring Kigali.
The Tour price will include:
- A safari vehicle
- The Congo Visa
- A Private Driver/Guide
- Gorilla tracking permits for Congo
- Accommodation for 2 nights
- Daily drinking water and meals
- Tour of Kigali city
The tour price will exclude the cost of flights, visas, personal costs and Personal Insurance.
- This tour doesn’t include dinner and accommodation before the first day of the tour but can always be arranged
- You are required to be 15 years or more to do gorilla trekking
- You must have a yellow fever card to enter Rwanda and Congo
- The Congo Visa is covered in this tour but you need to plan for the Rwanda Visa. Please note that you will be required to get another Visa when entering Rwanda after completing gorilla trekking in Congo.
Mikeno Lodge: Mikeno Lodge is the best luxury lodge within and outside Virunga National Park. It is built very close to the park offices in Rumangabo. Its strategic location means that you can easily connect and do gorilla trekking or hiking mount Nyiragongo. The lodge is built on a hill overlooking the Virunga volcanoes and the wider park. You can spot small primates and a few of the park animals right from your balcony or if you take a walk into the surrounding forest. The 12 rooms are amazing with each built using lava stones, mahogany and thatched roofs. Each room is spacious and has a large bed, flushing toilets, a working table and much more. Meals are excellent, tasty and served either in the room or at the dinning. Other facilities include a bar and evening campfire to mention just a few. One of the great things about choosing Mikeno Lodge is that it is owned by the Virunga Foundation and because of that you get to visit the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Centre for free.
Kibumba Tented Camp: Kibumba is another accommodation facility run and owned by the Virunga Foundation. The camp is built on a hill close to an area inhabited by two of the habituated gorilla families in Congo. The lodge sits on the foot of the Nyiragongo Volcano and provides 18 spacious self-contained tents. Each tent has a bathroom, a warm shower, clean bed sheets, a working table and much more. There is also a communal lounge with majestic views of the park and the Virunga volcanoes. Guests should expect nutritious meals consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables and international cuisines. If you are looking for a mid-range lodge where you can be completely immersed in nature (lush vegetation, volcanoes and true African wilderness), then Kibumba tented camp will do it for you.
Bukima Tented Camp: Bukima means “place where there are monkeys”. Bukima Tented Camp is a mid-range lodge found outside the park boundaries but close to one of the starting points for gorilla trekking in Virunga. It started as a camp for gorilla researchers but is now hired out to tourists. Bukima is an excellent choice because it is very close to the briefing point for gorilla trekking and offers amazing views of the Virunga volcanoes and especially Mount Mikeno. This means that you don’t have to travel too far to start the hike if you are their guest. Interestingly, even guests at the luxury Mikeno lodge have to pass through Bukima on their way for gorilla trekking. If the trek goes longer than expected, they stop over for lunch before heading back to their lodge. So how are their rooms and food? Food is great here and so are the rooms. The Camp has 6 tents with their own beds, bathrooms, water, flush toilets and hot showers.