Congo Safaris

Activities & Attraction in Virunga National park

Join our Congo safaris to explore Virunga National park tucked in the Albertine rift valley eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park was established in 1925and is the oldest National park in Africa spreading over 8,090 square kilometers. Virunga Park covers the Congo portion of the Virunga conservation area bordered by Mgahinga Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. In 1994, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed Virunga national one of the world’s heritage sites. The park is home to two active volcanoes (Mt Nyiragongo & Mt Nyamuragira) hence one of the best hiking spots in Africa. More so, Virunga National Park is home to over 300 mountain gorillas and is of the four national parks to trek gorillas in Africa. Virunga National park is also ranked as the most biologically diverse protected area in Africa sheltering over 706 bird species, 218 mammals, 78 amphibians, 109 reptile species and 22 primates including the famous mountain gorillas. The ark is divided into northern, southern and central sectors each with a different experience. Over the years, gorilla tours in Virunga national park have been hindered by civil conflicts associated with kidnap and killing of park rangers. However, security is tight in the park and tourism is done smoothly. Regarding vegetation cover, Virunga national Park encompasses of trees, a montane forest, swamps, and grasslands serving as food and habitat for birds and animals in the park. African Apes Holidays gives you a complete guide to Virunga National park, when to visit, attractions, activities, packing list and all you need to know about Virunga National park.

Attraction/what to see and do in Virunga National Park
Travelers to Virunga National Park have an endless list of memorable things to see and do on their Congo safari with Magical Africa Safaris. Each experience is exceptional and worth doing. The top tourist activities in Virunga National Park include:
Mountain Gorilla Trekking
Being home to over 300 mountain gorillas, Virunga National park offers you memorable gorilla trekking experiences. The park is home to 8 gorilla families that have been habituated for trekking. Each day, 64 gorilla permits are available in Virunga National park giving you the chance to meet and spend a magical time with the endangered gorilla. A gorilla permit in Congo costs $450, which is less, and affordable compared to $700 in Uganda and $1500 in Rwanda. Virunga National park is, therefore, the best destination for budget gorilla safaris. A 2 Days Congo gorilla trek is a suitable package for trekking Congo gorillas. Congo gorilla families in Virunga National Park are Kabirizi, Lulengo, Rugendo, Bageni, Munyaga, Humba, Nyakamwe and Mapuwa each visited by 8 people a day. Congo gorilla safari bookings can be done directly the Park management or through Magical Africa Safaris, your ultimate gorilla safari company. Like in other gorilla parks, gorilla permit booking in Congo is recommended at least 6 months prior to ensure timely planning and avoid last-minute disappointments. The rules and regulations of gorilla trekking in Congo include
1. Keep a distance of seven meters away from the gorillas
2. Avoid direct eye contact with gorillas
3. Do not use flashlight cameras
4. Do not trek when sick
5. Turn back your face when sneezing/coughing
6. Do not litter in the park
7. Do not touch the gorillas
8. Don’t run when a silverback gorilla charges
9. Keep within your group
The gorilla trekking packing list in Congo entail hiking boots, gardening gloves, sunglasses, hat, long-sleeved shirts. long pants, scarf, insect repellant, bottled drinking water, walking stick and energy-giving snacks.

Nyiragongo Volcano hiking

Congo Safaris

Nyiragongo Volcano

Hike to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano to experience the boiling lava lake which clearly grows at night. Nyiragongo volcano hiking is the most done tourist activity done in Virunga National park attracting the highest number for travelers to this montane forest. Nyiragongo volcano summit stands at 3,470 meters above the sea level located in the heart of Virunga National park. Nyiragongo is the most hiked among the 8 chains of the Virunga Volcanoes. This active volcano last erupted in 2002 and is expected to erupt again any time since signs of the eruption are already showing. With no doubt, a peep into the boiling lake at Nyiragongo summit is a magical experience that lasts for a lifetime. Hiking starts at 10:00am and all travelers are expected to be at the starting point by that time. Anyone left behind will miss the chance to hike Nyiragongo Volcano. Travelers are encouraged to be physically fit to deal with this strenuous hike. A 3 Days Nyiragongo volcano hike is the best package to explore this magical natural wonder. You Nyragongo hiking packing list must include hiking boots., gardening gloves sunglasses, sleeping bags, sweaters, rain jackets, and energy drinks to keep you strong. Travelers aged 12 years and below are not allowed to hike Nyiragongo Volcano

Bird watching
Virunga National park is home to over 700 bird species hence a best spot for bird watching on your Congo Safari. Bird watching in Virunga National Park is best done in the early morning when birds are waking up. Expect to see different birds such as Alpine swift, Chestnut throated Apalis, Thick bellied sea eater, African Olive pigeon, white-headed wood hoopoe, strange weaver, mountain greenbul, Blue spotted wood dove, double toothed barbet, tropical boubou, black headed waxbill and Angolan swallow among others. Our experienced birding guides will help you spot different birds and explain unique features about each spotted bird.

Chimpanzee habituation experience
Travelers to Virunga National park also have a chance to take part in the experimental chimpanzee habituation to familiarize wild chimpanzees with human presence. The experience was started in 2014 to diversify tourism products in Virunga National Park and encourage more visitors to this park. a chimpanzee habituation experience costs $100 permitting you to spend 4 hours in the company of chimpanzees.

Nature walks
A foot walk in Virunga national Park is the best way to explore and discover the hidden gem in this montane forest. You will see primates, birds, and plants on your nature walk through Virunga National Park. The nature walk is the best way to experience and enjoy the fresh and quiet ambiance of this natural forest while enjoying the sweet melodies of birds singing endless in the trees above you.

Accommodation in Virunga National park

where to sleep in Virunga National Park

Nyiragogo Summit Shelters

The popular lodges in Virunga National Park are Mikeno Lodge, Wild Track Lodge, Orchids Safari Club, Tchegera Island Camp, Exodus Bukavu, and M Nyiragongo summit shelters. These serve with quality food and sleeping services at affordable prices. The services range from budget, midrange and luxury to meet all traveler’s budget. Magical Africa Safaris will help you book lodge/hotel rooms ensuring a safe, comfortable and enjoyable stay in Virunga National Park

Best time to visit Virunga National park
The dry season between the month of June, July, August, September, December, January and February is the best time to visit Virunga National Park. There is less or no rains during this time which make it easy for gorilla trekking and nature walks through the park. The rainy season between March, April, May, and November are best for bird watching. However, despite the difference in season, Virunga National Park can be visited all year round.

In general, Virunga National park is a hidden gem in Congo. African Apes Holidays help you book a customized Congo safari to Virunga National Park for gorilla trekking, Nyiragongo Volcano climbing and other experiences in this montane forest.

Posted by African Apes

African Apes Holidays offers you exceptional apes safaris to trek mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, colubus monkeys and other wildlife experiences in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and East Africa