The Democratic Republic of Congo is among the only three countries in the world where mountain gorillas can be tracked safely in their natural habitat. This country is located in Central Africa and it is the second largest country in Africa. Just like its size, Congo is the richest mineral-rich country in the world and this has faced a lot of problems including the persistent wars. In the Eastern part of Congo lies the Virunga National Park, a bio-diverse area sitting on oil! This park is home to incredible wildlife including the mountain gorillas that can be visited safely without any harm caused to human.

Virunga national Park is one of the oldest national park in Africa. Formerly called Albert National Park, this park extended to the present Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda. Gorilla tourism with habituated groups began in this park in the mid-1970s. Visitors cpuld visit the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park and the lowland gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Gorilla habituation was extended to Rwanda and its where more research on these endangered apes was conducted by a great primatologist Diane Fossey who studied these apes for a period of over 18 years.

Though Congo offers the opportunity to see both mountain gorillas and lowland gorillas, many trackers fear to track the gorillas in Congo due to political insurgencies!  One time the rebels who were fighting in Eastern Congo took over the forest inhabited by these apes and offered security to those going for gorilla tracking. However peace has gradually been realized and since the rebels were wiped out by the Congolese Army backed by the United Nations, gorilla tracking has commenced again in the park. Today gorilla trekking is conducted daily in the Virunga National Park.

The park has six gorilla families although many trackers prefer tracking mostly in four gorilla families. You can enter DRC from Rwanda which is the easiest entry from the border Post at Goma/Gisenyi (Rwanda), however it’s recommended to check the security situation if entering DRC from Rwanda. Bukavu is the nearest town with some beautiful lakeside hotels, still people can see the Congo gorillas from Kisoro since some of the permits can be obtained from Uganda.

Congo is regarded as the cheapest in terms of gorilla permits, they are sold at a fee of usd$ 450 per person per tracking including park entry and a ranger guide fee, like in Uganda and Rwanda, gorilla permits in DR. Congo are also on a very high demand, they are sold on first come first served basis so you are recommended to book in time at least 2-5 months before your gorilla safari to avoid disappointment.

Tracking gorillas in the Virunga national park begins very early in the morning after reporting at the park headquarters to receive short briefing from the park wardens or senior ranger guide about the all process of gorilla tracking, after the briefing, you will follow the ranger guide deep into the forest to begin the activity, possibly the most done and interesting activity in the Virunga national park.

Like in Uganda and Rwanda tracking the gorillas of Congo is unpredictable it can go from 1-8 hours while searching them as meeting these apes depends on where they spent their last night from and tracking may sometimes be difficult as it involves passing through the steep and slope mountains so a reasonable degree of fitness is very necessary, but ounce you come across these apes you will forget all the troubles you’ve passed through and utilize the one hour you are allowed to stay with these animals.

Infrastructures are not good however chance of sighting the mountain gorillas are very high, not only mountain gorillas that can be seen in Congo, other species of gorillas like the western low land gorillas and the Eastern lowland gorillas are also present at the park although chances of sighting these species of gorillas is at is 1/5 and 3/5 respectively. Come we take you through the wild and have a long life experience.


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