Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park
Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park : Virunga national park is located in the Eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo, which is known as the best destination for tourists who are travelling to Congo with a best interest in Congo gorilla trekking activities. This national park covers a total surface area of about 7800 square kilometers standing at an elevation of 5000 meters high above the sea level, which makes a favourable place to for the endangered mountain gorillas to stay due to the fact they like staying in areas with a high altitude. Virunga national park was gazette as a reserve in 1925 by the King of Belgium who was known as King Albert 1 and later it was established as national park in 1960 after Congo had gotten its independence. This national park was first known as the Albert national park and later it was renamed as Virunga national park in the 1970 is when the president had his best interests in conserving the park with an aim of protecting the endangered mountain gorilla species.
Virunga national park is famously known and commonly visited because it is a home to around 300 endangered mountain gorilla species which act as the top most tourism attraction in the country which have attracted many tourists who would love to engage in gorilla trekking activities within Virunga national park hence leading to the development of the tourism industry of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Virunga national park has 8 habituated Gorilla families/ groups that are always available to be trekked and they include; Nyakamwe, Bageni, Rugendo, Humba, Mapuwa, Munyanga, Lulengo, Kabirizi and many more.
Gorilla trekking in Virunga National park.
Gorilla trekking activities in Virunga national park are considered as the best way one can involve themselves in order to explore well through the national national park as they capture beautiful views and enjoying the nature within the surrounding. These activities usually begin early in the morning at 7:00am whereby tourists are encouraged to arrive at least an hour before at the park headquarters where they are always given short briefings by the park rangers or stuff about the rules and guidelines that they are supposed to follow during the trekking for example; tourists are advised not eat or drink while in the presence of the mountain gorilla species and after locating these species, they are also advised to keep a distance of about 7 meters between them and the animals in order to avoid any harm. Later after the briefing, tourists are grouped in different groups with a maximum number of eight people depending on which gorilla groups they are going to track. More so, each group of members is being assigned to a park guide whose role is to guide and lead individuals through the activity because it is easy for them to spot these endangered mountain gorilla species with in their natural habitats and also these park guides give opportunities to the trekkers to feel free to ask about anything they would wish to understand better within the national park during the Gorilla trekking activities.
Virunga National park shares boarders with Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda which are all known to be the best destinations for gorilla tracking safaris in Africa and more so, this gives a chance to the endangered mountain gorilla species to have their freedom of moving freely while crossing over from one country to another. However, each of these countries have fully countries over their own.
Virunga national park is the best destination for travelers to visit and explore through the lush vegetation as they discover and wander through the beauty of the African Wilderness. This national park is surrounded by 230 tree species, the Albertine rift, stunning volcanic mountains, rainforests, crater lakes, wetland vegetation, open grasslands and swamps. More so, as tourists are trekking the mountain gorilla species with the national park, they have opportunities to sight see other mammal species like; leopards, buffaloes, warthog, elephants, lions, Okapi, waterbucks, blue duikers, yellow backed duiker, bay duiker, giant forest hog, aardvark kob, bushbucks, hippos, red-tailed monkeys, monitor lizards, black and white colobus monkeys, Nile crocodiles, and also harbours around 706 bird species among others.
Tourists exploring around Virunga national park can also combine gorilla trekking with other interesting activities like; Chimpanzee trekking, guided nature walks through the dense and tropical rain forests within the park, hiking Nyiragongo, which is known as an active volcano where the volcanic eruption goes on in a lava lake throughout the year, landscape viewing, bird watching and many others. More so, this national park that the Endangered Mountain gorilla species as one of its major attractions, it also has other a variety of tourists attractions like; good climate, wildlife species among others.
Accommodation facilities in Virunga national park.
Virunga national park has many accommodation facilities that are offered to its guests, which range from Budget, mid-range and luxury suites and this gives a chance to tourists to choose where to stay according to their preferences and what matches with their budget. In addition, some of these accommodation facilities include; Mount Nyiragongo summit shelters, Kibumba tented camp, Tchegera island camp, Bukima tented camp, Mikeno lodge, Lulimbi tented camp, Tchegera island camp and many others.
Cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Virunga national park.
Tourists planning to on a Congo gorilla trekking safari in Virunga National Park are encouraged to purchase their gorilla trekking permits, which they will be required at the park headquarters before heading to the national park. These trekking permits are charged at a fee of 400 USD per person and the advantage of these fees is that it covers up other charges like the park entrance fees and guide fees among others.