Virunga National Park Congo Guide
Trekking to see the gorillas is a definite highlight of a Congo Safari Tour. It takes place in Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with you a population that constitutes 604 of the world’s critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, 1004. It’s surface area of 7,800 Km2 (3000square miles) comprises of an outstanding diversity of natural habitats, ranging from tropical rainforests, swamps, volcanoes and rivers. It steps to the snowfields of Rwenzori at an elevation of 5,109meters above sea level.
If you are interested in having one of the best experiences of your life and helping a critically endangered species, a gorilla tracking adventure in Virunga will leave your jaws dropping in awe. Gorillas are vulnerable to human germs, a reason you are required to keep a seven meter distance from them.
[Virunga National Park] You’ll be in a group of 8-25 individuals. These magnificent beasts are worth every level of difficulty because the one hour you will spend with them makes you quickly forget whatever the hike throws at you. You will interface with gorillas of every size from the mega-huge silverbacks to the smallest infants and everything in between.
Some of the members are shy. As you move slowly around to get their faces ,he might gently turn around and show you their back. It is impossible not to be touched by the friendly nature of the babies. Some might call it life changing. It is pretty special to see these cute-little-beasts, sitting in the sunshine and happily munching wild fruits.
The trek to see them is mostly an uphill task, through a bamboo forest with all types of tropical trees. You will hike through a route with spectacular views! There are no set paths, as the resident gorillas continuously move in search for food. To this effect, the ranger guide leading your group will clear foliage to make the path using his machete. Depending on the pace of your group, you will walk for 15mins-4 hours before finding the gorillas. On finding them, you will spend an hour with them, which is incredible. The guides will tell you what you can and cannot do while in their presence. We suggest you listen to them carefully. [Virunga National Park]
If you have mobility limitations, it is possible to hire a group of a porter to carry your luggage and give you an extra push whenever you need it.
The trip down is quite slippery but takes a shorter time.
It is quite common to stumble across okapi without tracking them, the park has a rich concentration of these elegant crossbreeds of giraffes and zebras(sort of). Take it as a bonus if you find them.
Virunga National Park: Best time to visit
June-September to February. Being dry months, the conditions in these months is cooler and the terrain drier.
What to know about Virunga National Park
It is better to purchase your gorilla permits in advance because they sell out especially in high season.
Wear gators to prevent irritation caused by stinging nettles. The forest has lots of them. Whether it is wet or not, the gators will protect your legs from those nasty vines that are hard to see with the necked eye.
Our driver guide will pick you up from the airport. He is always on time, very organized and super knowledgeable about Congo’s history and way of life. You will enjoyed many hours of conversation with him.