Congo famously known as Democratic Republic of Congo or DRC is a land of continuous travel adventures and fun in both year seasons. The beautiful attractions and national parks weave through the wonderful mountains and hilly backdrops giving travelers things to do as they drive around or chill at their lodge. Rain forests, mountains, Volcanoes, are made accessible to guests by road transport that’s why Congo gorilla parks are chosen as Congo most beautiful parks across the country.
The Democratic Republic of Congo protects both known species of gorillas; the Eastern Gorilla and Western Gorilla. The Democratic Republic of Congo is an amazing place to see gorillas in Africa. This Central African country hosts three of the four known gorilla species.
The DR Congo is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The country has it all from gold treasures, mountain gorillas, and low land gorillas, wildlife, chimpanzees, Volcanoes and much more. I believe you will find you’re desired destination with in this amazing nation as long as you love primates and rewarding adventures like Volcanoes hiking. As you plan your Congo safari tour, here are the stunning places to consider for a wonderful vacation.
Where to Go Gorilla Trekking in Congo
- Virunga National Park
- Kahuzi Biega National Park
Though travel interests differ for different guests from year to year Virunga and Kahuzi Biega national park are still a priority for travelers on Africa primate safaris due to the great conservation effort in not only the parks but also in the surrounding local communities. Both protected areas assure the preservation of all park bio diversity in respect of history and culture of the surrounding communities.
This makes both parks suitable safe destinations for gorilla tracking tours though trying to get more fame across the globe as they take pride in the unique offerings they hold for guests daily.The natural environment in these places is outstanding giving sustainable travel to whoever chooses to visit any time of the year. You may have been to beautiful natural places in the world but Congo is one of those you should try out some day.
Planning a Gorilla Watching Tour to Congo
Gorilla tracking tours in the DR Congo take place in the Virunga National park and Kahuzi Biega National Park which is located in the Eastern side of the country.
DRC has got both mountain gorillas and the other subspecies of the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi-Beiga National Park. Eastern lowland gorillas have short fur on the body but more similar to mountain gorillas hence tourists can track both subspecies of gorillas once in DRC, an experience that you won’t get in Uganda or Rwanda.
This rich conservation area in Congo is a home of eastern low land gorillas also known as Grauer’s gorillas and is the largest of the four subspecies. The low land gorillas have large hands, stocky body shape and short muscles a thing that differentiates them from other gorillas. However, the trekking experience is same just like that of mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and in Virunga National Park.
Kahuzi Biega national park is one of the most influential places for Congo safaris and tourism .If you want to see the fascinating side of Democratic Republic of Congo, a trip to low land gorillas will give you definite answers. Find this gorilla park in a 30 kilometer distance from Bukavu it takes one & half hours to get to the park by road.
Virunga National Park
This is one of the most biologically diverse protected areas on the planet packed with amazing primates-Mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and other forest habitats, scenic landscape and great ambience. Just in case you don’t know Virunga National Park is one of the top mountain gorilla safari destinations in Africa and the only place to experience gorilla trekking in Congo. Get close to wild gorilla in the jungle forest with a trip to Virunga National Park and also enjoy chimpanzee habituation and viewing other park primate species on a single trek. Its the park natural beauty that keeps flow of visitors to Congo all year.
Imagine waking up hearing sounds of earthquakes deep below the surface. The movement knocked giant rocks off the crater walls forming a new vent on the edge. This is a true story about the recent volcanoe eruption in Congo what is known as the world most beautiful active volcanoe near Lake Kivu at the eastern boarder of Congo in Virunga National Park. The big thanks goes to all the people of Goma who accepted change and gave way to nature.
Nyiragongo Volcanoes offers visitors wonderful hiking experience filled with impressive views of the blue skies, mountain Rwenzori in Uganda and the entire view of Virunga national park. Nights and morning up in the mountains are incredible and the dazzling magma appears in a unique form best for photography and observation.
Visiting DR Congo for Gorilla Tourism
A couple of decades ago, DRC used to be feared by most tourists due to civil wars that destabilized tourism. Fortunately, wars have faded away due to increased security by Virunga National Park rangers and the UN peacekeeping forces.Gorilla safaris now days take tourists into the DRC without any security threat.
Once you book a gorilla tour with a tour operator, you are guaranteed to encounter gorillas in their natural habitat. The Congolese institute for conservation of wildlife and nature together with Virunga National Park Authorities habituated 5 gorilla families which are open for tourists.
Tourists have an advantage of cheap gorilla permits in DRC at $400 per person which is issued by Virunga National Park Authorities.
Gorilla watching in comparison with Uganda and Rwanda is quite good due to fewer tourists who visit virunga national park. In addition to being less visited, only 6 people are allowed to see gorillas contrary to 8 people in Rwanda and Uganda hence you are likely to track minus crowds. Tourists wear surgical masks not to transmit respiratory infectious diseases like colds to gorillas.
Accessibility of Virunga National Park is another factor why most tourists opt for gorilla tracking in Uganda and Rwanda. Most tourists access DRC either from Rwanda via the Gisenyi/Goma border or through southwestern Uganda via the Bunagana border which is not convenient for most travelers. In addition, roads leading to Virunga National Park are not tarmac and you must use a 4 wheel vehicle.
To conclude about the highlights of the best gorilla tracking destination, Rwanda’s volcanoes national park tops due to ease accessibility, bamboo terrain which makes watching gorillas easier. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Uganda comes second because of its high number of gorillas; in addition there are a lot of adventure tourist activities to do such as birding, nature walks, wildlife viewing whereas DRC has two subspecies of gorillas that is the mountain gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas.
Note, however, tourists planning for a gorilla safari in either of the gorilla national park, need to arrange their safaris in advance of 3-4 months. The climatic conditions are pleasantly tropical with warm and wet weather conditions.
Gorilla tracking is done all year round but the best time would be during the dry season between December to February and June to September while the wet season is usually between October to November and March to May.