Gorilla Trekking in Congo
Gorilla trekking in Congo; Gorilla trekking is an interesting and adventurous activity which involves moving on foot deep into the tropical forest in search of the habituated gorillas and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking in Democratic republic of Congo is the most famous activity and it’s done in two destinations that is Virunga national park which is known for harboring the mountain gorillas and Kahuzi Biega national park which harbors the Eastern lowland gorillas. Gorilla trekking is also carried out other destinations like Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda.
Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park
Virunga national park is a home of 8 habituated gorilla families which are available for trekking on a daily basis. Trekking of the mountain gorillas in Virunga national park starts with a briefing at the park headquarters where after you will be divided into groups of 8 people and each group allocated a habituated gorilla family to trek and an experienced park guide who is well conversant with gorilla trekking trails in the forest. Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park takes about 30 minutes to 6 hours depending on where the gorillas are located and during trekking you will be able to view other primates, different bird species, plant species among others. Once the gorillas are found you will be allowed to spend one hour with then in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn about their behaviors, habits, take photos, record videos, watch them feed, breastfeed, play, groom young ones among others.
Gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega national park
Kahuzi Biega national park is a home of about 9 eastern lowland gorillas and 5 gorilla families have been habituated and open for trekking. Gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega national park starts early in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters where after you will start trekking in the forest in search of the eastern lowland gorillas with a park guide. During trekking you will be able to view other wildlife species and once the gorillas are found you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their environment which gives you a chance to observe their habits, behaviors, watch them carry out their daily activities, take photos and record the breathtaking moments.
Cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Congo
A gorilla trekking permit is a legal card or document that is issued to any visitor above the age of 15 years to visit a habituated gorilla family in either Virunga national park or Kahuzi Biega national park. A single gorilla trekking permit in Congo costs USD400 and it’s the cheapest gorilla permit compared to other countries like Rwanda where a gorilla trekking permit costs USD 1,500 per person for all nationalities and Uganda where a single gorilla trekking permit costs USD700 for foreign non residents, USD 600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens.
Gorilla trekking permits in Congo can be booked directly through Virunga national park by contacting Virunga reservation office via email or telephone calls. You can also book gorilla trekking permits in Congo through a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris. When booking through Achieve global safaris you will contact us with the dates and gorilla destination you wish to visit. After contacting us we will check for permit availability and if there are permits that match your dates you will be asked to make a deposit for the permit. Once we receive the money we will purchase the permit on your behalf.
Best time to go for gorilla trekking in Congo
Gorilla trekking in Congo can be done all year round though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February because during this period the gorilla destinations receive less rainfall therefore access roads and gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable compared to the wet season when the trails are muddy and slippery hence making gorilla trekking difficult. During the dry season vegetation in the parks will be thin which helps you to enjoy great views of the gorillas and other wildlife species clearly.
Gorilla trekking in Congo can also be done during the wet season in the months of March to May and November because during the wet season the parks offer discounted gorilla trekking permits at USD 200 and most lodges give discounts to tourists hence favoring budget travelers.
Where to stay during your gorilla trekking safari in Congo
There are a number of accommodation facilities in Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park where you can stay during your gorilla trekking safari. The accommodations range from budget, mid-range and luxury including Coco Lodge Bukavu, L’orchids Safaris Club, Exodus Hotel Bukavu, Hotel Begonias Bukavu, Lake Side Hotel Bukavu, Mikeno Lodge, Bukima Tented Camp, Tchegera Island Tented Camp, Nyiragongo Summit Shelters, Kibumba Tented Camp among others.
Gorilla trekking rules and regulations in Congo
- Keep a distance of 7 meters away from the gorillas
- In case you are filling sick or have any infectious disease, you are advised not the visit the gorillas because they are vulnerable to human diseases.
- You are allowed to spend one hour in the presence of the gorillas
- Cover your mouth or nose in case you want to cough or sneeze so as to minimize the risk of bacteria transmission.
- Do not eat, smoke or drink anything while in the presence of the gorillas
- Do not touch the gorillas because they are wild animals.
- Keep your voices low during trekking and also while in the presence of the gorillas.
- In case the gorillas charge follow the guides’ example, crunch down slowly, avoid direct eye contact and do not run away as that will increase the risk.
Gorilla trekking in Congo is an interesting activity that gives you breathtaking and lifetime memories on your safari. For more information and gorilla trekking packages you can contact us at Achieve Global Safaris.