Gorilla habituation experience is an exercise that involves visiting a selected family of wild gorillas every day until it gets used to these researchers. With time, all gorilla individuals are identified in terms of their sex, age and later given names, tourists who do this experience also get involved in these activities. Once researchers are confident enough that these gorillas can be visited by tourists, they conduct a mock exercise/trips for six to eight months. Once this is successful, then the habituated family is opened for tourism. Congo doesn’t have gorilla habituation experience safaris because all the gorilla families available in Virunga National Park are all habituated families, gorilla habituation experience safaris can only be done in Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
For tourists interested in visiting gorillas in DR Congo, you will be able to do the normal gorilla trekking activity in either Virunga National Park for mountain gorilla trekking or Kahuzi Beiga National Park for Low Land Gorilla trekking.
Virunga National Park is one of the most diverse tropical rain forests and oldest national park in Africa mostly famous for mountain gorilla trekking in Congo, among other activities done here include Nyiragongo volcano hike, bird watching, Nature walks, Chimpanzee tracking and Habituation. It should be noted that there three countries that have mountain gorillas in the whole world. These countries include Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. Rwanda mountain gorillas are found in Volcanoes National Park, Uganda gorillas are found in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park while Congo mountain gorillas are located in Virunga National Park. All these national parks are close to each other in what is termed as the Virunga massif.
Kahuzi Beiga National Park was created in 1970 and the first Lowland Gorilla trekking was done in 1973, when it comes to Lowland gorilla trekking it ranks high, it was gazetted to conserve the Grauer’s gorilla species the world’s largest gorilla species. The Eastern Lowland gorillas also known as Grauer’s gorillas is the largest of the four gorilla subspecies, trekking Eastern Lowland gorillas is done in Kahuzi Biega National park located in Congo 30kms from Bukavu town the can be accessed by road and air. The park was gazetted in 1970 and the first lowland gorilla trekking was done in 1973, this type of trekking is only done here and this makes the park rank high when it comes to the lowland gorilla trekking. The Park has 12 gorilla families and out of these only 2 gorilla families are habituated and they are open for visitors to trek. The families are called Chimanuka and Mugaruka both named after a dominant silverback, Chimanuka is famous for many visitors given it consists of one of the largest gorilla family in the world with over 36 gorilla individuals.
Encounter Africa safaris organizes both budget and luxury safaris to DR Congo, for those that are interested in luxury travel to Congo, our Luxury DR Congo mountain gorilla safaris are suited for you. You will be driven in our luxury land cruisers, sleep in high-end lodges available and be given VIP treatment. If you don’t find what you are looking for on our website, feel free to send us an email us and we will customize for you a tour that will suit your interest budget and time.
When it comes to organizing and booking DR Cong gorilla safari, look nowhere as Encounter Africa safaris is your number one destination management outfit for you when it comes to booking gorilla trekking. Encounter Africa safaris has its offices in Uganda that takes care of checking the availability of all services ranging from Kahuzi Beiga National Park and Virunga National Park gorilla permits, accommodations as well as the transport to and from either in Kigali or Uganda. Encounter Africa safaris has a fleet of vehicles stations in Kigali and Uganda that will drive you to Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Beiga National Park for gorilla trekking and then back for your international flight back home. All our Uganda and Kigali based vehicles are 4×4 Vans or Jeeps driven by well-trained safari driver guides knowledgeable in as far as Congo and Rwanda are concerned. They know all corners and routes to and from Kigali and you will feel safe and comfortable when you book a DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali with Encounter Africa safaris.
You need a gorilla permit for to trek the lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Encounter Africa Safaris provides relevant gorilla permit booking information for Congo to enable you to plan your gorilla safari well. You don’t have to hassle booking your gorilla permit if you choose from our Congo gorilla tours. We check availability and book all services on your behalf including gorilla permits. Usually, you have to obtain a gorilla permit for several months in advance. We always advise at least 5 months in advance or prior to your visit given they are only 2 groups available for a trek in Kahuzi Biega National park. While booking a gorilla tour, always pay your gorilla permit fee in advance to enable us to acquire it for you.
Lowland Gorilla trekking permit price in Congo Kahuzi Biega National park are as follows;
East African Residents-USD200
National Citizens of Congo-USD20
Gorilla trekking is a daily activity done in Virunga National Park in Congo, the trek normally starts with a briefing at 7:45am, then you are you will be allocated a gorilla for your trek that day and you will start the walk into the Virunga forest to find the gorillas once you find them you will spend one hour encounter with them, like other national parks for mountain gorilla trekking you will have a chance to take photographs, see other attractions like birds and primates depending on your luck, learn more about the mountain gorilla habitat and how they survive in Virunga National Park. As Encounter Africa Safaris we do provide all-inclusive gorilla tour packages for all the visitors with no hidden costs. The most essential and priority cost is the gorilla permit price that you will incur to secure your trek in Virunga National Park. All our tour packages range from budget safaris to Luxury safaris and you can opt to do any as we tailor your trip together according to your interest. We do have Gorilla tour packages that start in Kigali for the DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali. For a 2day Trip from Kigali costs USD1100 per person in a group of two inclusive of Gorilla permits and as a budget option, transportation, accommodation, meals, guide services are included as well.
Once you contact us and confirm your trip with us by making Payment for the permits, we shall secure your permits Virunga National Park Congo headquarters and send you a scan of the receipt to confirm your trek for your specified date in Virunga National Park. Once we confirm your permits, you will book your international flights, and then you can pay the balance for all your services.
What to do and see on a DR Congo gorilla safari.
Mountain gorilla trekking, this is one of the major activity done in the Virunga National park, you shouldn’t miss out of this experience, there are not so many mountain gorilla individuals in Virunga despite the availability of the large habitat and it is only 6 families open for gorilla trekking activity, these include Kabirizi gorilla group, Humba gorilla group, Rugendo gorilla group, Mapuwa gorilla group, Lulengo gorilla group, Munyaga gorilla group, Nyakamwe gorilla group and Bageni gorilla group. Among these groups, it is Kabirizi that is popular for gorilla trekking and loved by many tourists because it is the largest group with over 3 dozens of gorilla individuals. If you are interested in trekking this specific gorilla group, you will be required to book early enough your gorilla permit at least 3 months in advance so that you don’t miss out on the trek.
Chimpanzee tracking and Habituation, Chimpanzee tracking and Chimpanzee habituation are the second most popular activities to do in Virunga National Park, chimpanzee tracking gives you a one hour encounter with the chimpanzees while chimpanzee habituation gives an entire day encounter with the chimpanzees, both treks begin in the morning hours where you will be joined by trackers and researchers to walk through the Virunga forest and search for chimpanzees you will have a chance to observe and discover their habits, feeding and natural behaviour for those on the chimpanzee habituation treks will spend the day with them until they nest for the night. Same with the gorilla trekking permits for the chimpanzee tracking and habituation experiences you will still need to book your permit in advance in order not to miss out at least 3 months in advance.
Nature walks through the Virunga Forest, Virunga National Park is one of the oldest tropical rain forest in Africa with super dense vegetation, a nature walk through this forest on your DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali will give a chance to discover and see the breathtaking beauty of the unique Virunga Landscape as well as learn about the various tree species, spot birds and if keen enough you will see some mammals and reptiles.
Nyiragongo Volcano Hike, Hiking the Nyiragongo Volcano is one of the once in a lifetime adventure one should do and this can as well be done in Virunga National Park on your DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali, the Nyiragongo Volcano one of the most active volcanoes in the world with an elevation of 3,470 m (11,380 ft), Not much is known about how long the volcano has been erupting, but since 1882, it has erupted at least 34 times and the most recent eruption happened in 2002.
Bird watching, Virunga Forest being one of the most diverse forests in the tropics it has various habitats and landscapes ranging from Forests, swamps to grasslands, these have thus attracted a vast number of bird species making the birding expedition one of the must-do the activity on your visit to Virunga national park on your DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali. There are more than 706 recorded bird species that one on a birding safari will have a chance to spot and see. Contact us at and we will organize for you this safari accordingly.
Lowland Gorilla Trekking, Lowland Gorilla trekking is done in Kahuzi Beiga National Park and this activity is guaranteed when you acquire a permit, but kindly note given the park has 2 families open for trekking this makes the gorilla permits very competitive and scarce most especially during peak seasons of June, July, August, September, December and February. Sometimes gorilla tracking permits get sold out four months in advance so any traveller is recommended to book their gorilla permits 3-4 month in advance.
Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Beiga National Parks are both located in the tropics and are majorly covered with tropical rain forest vegetation, with this they are prone to receiving uncertain rains any time of the day or week, however, given They are tropical rain forests there are still good months to visit these parks that is the dry season which occurs in the months of December, January, February, June, July, August and September during these months it always easy to walk through the trails which are drier compared to the wet months then as well the vegetations is not fully grown and this makes the sighting of gorillas easy and more clear. Other months which are a bit wet that is March, April, May, October and November most travellers avoid visiting gorillas during these months because the vegetation is fully grown and trails are much slippery making the trekking much harder.
Accommodations in Virunga National Park. This ranges from budget, mid-range to luxury. Budget options include Bukima Tented Camp and Kibumba Tented Camp among others fares range from 90-100 dollars a night per person, mid-range options include Tchegera Island Camp and Lulimbi Tented Camp among others fares range from 100-200 dollars a night per person and then Luxury options include Mikeno Lodge fares range from 200-400 dollars a night per person. You let us know the best option that works for you and we will for availability and book you according.
Accommodation in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. This ranges from budget, mid-range to luxury. Budget options include Hotel Begonias Bukavu, Exodus Bukavu, Lake Side Hotel Bukavu among others fares range from 90-100 dollars a night per person, mid-range options include Coco Lodge Bukavu among others fares range from 100-200 dollars a night per person and then Luxury options include L’Orchids Safari Club fares range from 200-400 dollars a night per person. You let us know the best option that works for you and we will for availability and book you according.
Gorilla trekking in Congo is done in Kahuzi Beiga National Park and Virunga National Park which are both located in the Eastern Part of Congo. You will fly to Kigali International Airport then connect to Gisenyi town; from Gisenyi town, you will cross the Rwanda-Congo border to Goma town in DR Congo then drive towards the park headquarters of Kahuzi Beiga National Park and Virunga National Park from where you will do start the gorilla trek from, it is approximately a 2 hours drive from Gisenyi town to reach the park headquarters.
It is great that Congo offers normal and discounted gorilla trekking permits annually for mountain gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park, so it will depend on your budget to choose when to book a DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali, however, given gorilla trekking in Cheaper the permits do sell out quickly in advance so it is better to book your trek 3 months in advance. There is, therefore, need to contact Encounter Africa safaris early enough so that we check availability of gorilla permits in Virunga National Park, reserve them, pay for them so that we secure them for and on your behalf.
Encounter Africa safaris was established in 2011 with an aim of providing unrivalled and professional tour and travel services in Uganda, Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda. Since then, Encounter Africa safaris as established herself as one of the leading tour operators for Uganda and Rwanda. Encounter Africa boosts of a professional office and field team that takes care of all your requests and inquiries. We are full members of AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and work closely with Uganda Wildlife Authority. We are highly recommended on trip advisor as well as Safari bookings. Our website is one of the best and reliable point to help you start preparing for your DR Congo mountain gorilla safari from Kigali as we have the best and update information that you can rely on. Encounter Africa safaris is owned and run by Ugandans and as such, you will be dealing with a team that sells what they know.
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