Compare gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park with Virunga National Park in Congo. Are you planning and interested in going for gorilla trekking and you are finding it hard to choose where to go between Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park, here below is the comparison based on our expertise to help you choose and decide where to go for gorilla trekking experience. The whole truth is that both Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park have mountain gorillas and there is no big difference when it comes to the experience obtained at the end of your trek. However There are many things you can base on to compare gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park for you to choose where to book and go for your gorilla trekking and these include the following;
Accessing Volcanoes National Park and Virunga For gorilla trekking
In terms of accessibility, Volcanoes National Park is a better option than Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Reasons to support this is that Volcanoes National Park is a 2-3 hours drive from Kigali, that Gorillas are easily seen with a short drive time possible even in one day. This is indeed very true and no one can run away from it. People used to avoid gorilla trekking in Bwindi because of the 9-10 hours drive from Entebbe International Airport to Bwindi but now we arrange tours to Bwindi via Kigali which then becomes 4-5 hours drive only. With this, you land in Kigali, use the East African Tourist Visa (which allows you to visit both countries at ago) and then trek gorillas in Uganda at an affordable price. Because of this, even Rwanda tour operators are selling Bwindi instead of their country.
Safety and Security in Volcanoes and Virunga National Park
In terms of safety and security; Volcanoes National Park is the best place for gorilla trekking compared to Virunga National Park. Both countries have experience a long term turmoil of security with Rwanda the genocide and DR Congo various rabble attacks and the Ebola outbreak which negatively affected the gorilla tourism activities for many year, however Rwanda managed to control the situations and now it is much stable and safe compared to Congo. During your gorilla trekking you will be escorted by armed and well trained rangers to protect you from any uncertain attacks of wild animals in the park and just in case the rabbles or poachers.
In terms of Lodges, Both National Parks Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park have Budget, Mid Range and Upmarket Lodges where you could choose to stay during your trek. However Volcanoes National Park has best options when it comes to lodging options and is the best place for gorilla trekking for those interested in staying in super luxury lodges on international standards compared to Virunga National Park. These lodges offer great and luxury services some are ranked among the best in Africa and the country at large for example Bisate Lodge and Singita Kwitonda Lodge in Volcanoes National Park.
Mountain gorilla families in Volcanoes and Virunga National Park
In terms of Gorilla families, Volcanoes National Park has more gorilla families 12 Gorilla families compared to Virunga National Park which only has 8 gorilla families open for gorilla trekking hence this volcanoes National Park has 96 Gorilla permits are available each day for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park. This makes it more flexible to get gorilla trekking permits in Volcanoes National Park especially during the peak season months compared to Virunga National Park which only has 64 permits available every day.
Gorilla trekking experience in Virunga and Volcanoes National Park
In terms of the best gorilla trekking experience, the whole truth is that both Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park have mountain gorillas and there is no big difference when it comes to the experience obtained at the end of your trek. Chances of seeing gorillas in Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park in Congo are 98% so which ever park you visit you will be able to see these great apes in their natural environment.
Affordability of gorilla trekking in Volcanoes and Virunga National Park
In terms of affordability, It is much cheaper to see gorillas in Virunga National Park Congo than in Volcanoes National Park. This issue of price difference is basically out of policy difference between these two countries DR Congo and Rwanda. Rwanda wants to promote itself as a Luxury destination while Uganda wants to market itself as an affordable destination, then Congo is trying to promote its gorilla tourism to attract more travelers after a long turmoil in the region that caused a lot of insecurity. The experience and duration spent with gorillas is still the same? A gorilla permit in Virunga National Park costs $400 per person per trek for the high season months of Mid-December to mid-march then June to October and then $200 for the low season months of mid-march to mid-May and then mid-October to mid-December every year. This gives you an opportunity to spend one hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park.
The Gorilla permit in Rwanda Costs $1500 Per person per trek for the Foreign non residents, $500 Per person for foreign residents and $200 for East African Citizens (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and South Sudan), this gives you an opportunity to spend one hour encounter with the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.
In terms of distance to see Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park with that in Virunga National Park,
The issue of walking longer or short distance depends on the given gorilla family allocated to you on the day of trekking at of the national parks. In both Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park gorilla families are allocated depending on the interest and physical fitness of given individual. If for example, you want a shorter trek, you will have to inform the park authorities on the very day of trekking so that you are allocated such family. If you want a medium or longer trek, then you do the same. It should be noted that while they will try to give you a family that requires shorter walks, the behavior of gorillas might affect the experience if for example gorillas decide to move further as you look for them you will need to move a longer distance still to find them.
Best time for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park
Both parks are open for gorilla trekking all year round but it is also important to note that these are located within the tropics and can receive rain at any time. The best months to track gorillas in Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park include; June to August and December to February since they receive the lowest rainfall and the forest is less slippery. On the other hand, when you happen to travel during March to May and November there are chances of higher rainfall, you will be able to get discounts from some lodges for your accommodation.
Why book your gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park Congo with Encounter Africa Safaris
Founded in 2003, Encounter Africa safaris takes pride in customizing tailor made safaris. It has a very diligent and trust worthy team. Your queries are answered within 20minutes by our team of professional tour consultants. These consultants will make you a travel plan for you, answer to all your questions and make sure all your services are booked in advance for you to avoid inconveniences. We also have very knowledgeable safari guides depending on your language preferences. There some Mountain Gorilla safari Packages to Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park and these include; the 2 day Gorilla safari, the 3 day Gorilla safari, 4 Day Gorilla safari, it all depends on your preference. Feel free to contact us here to help you book.