What Is Virunga National Park Famous For
Are you wondering what Virunga National Park is famous for? Virunga national park the Africa primate haven is home to two types of gorillas. The mountain gorillas and the low land gorillas. On this park’s 8090 sq km of land rich wildlife thrives. The topography of this area is generally volcanic work with an altitude range of 680 m in Puembo River to 5109 m in Mountain Stanley.
About 6 gorilla families are currently existing in Virunga National park namely Munyaga gorilla family, Kabirizi gorilla family, Mapuwa gorilla family, Rugendo gorilla family, Humba gorilla family, and Lulengo gorilla family.
A part from gorilla trekking other primate walk is enjoyable too in this ancient park including like chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, De Brazaa monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, Hamlyn’s monkey, blue monkeys and others.
Most Popular Gorilla Safaris
- 3 Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking
- 5 Day Gorilla and Chimp
- 8 Day Gorilla Tracking
- 2 Day Bwindi Gorilla Via Kigali
- 3 Day Uganda Gorilla Via Kigali
- 5 Day Chimp and Gorilla Habituation
- 3 Day Fly in Gorilla Habituation
- 3 Day Fly in Safari to Murchison Falls National Park
- 3 Day Bwindi Double trek via Kigali
- 5 Day Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
The outbreak of civil wars since 1998 has affected the progress of gorilla conservation in this park coupled with poaching. This is running the goal of King Albert of Belgium who gazette in Virunga park in 1925 who wanted to protect the mountain gorillas from the verge of extinction.
This biosphere serve is not only a primate haven but a number of other wild animals love its treats. Some of these include African Buffaloes, elephants, yellow backed duikers, Okapi, blue duikers, red river hog, giant forest hogs, water chevrotain, so many others.
- Gorilla Trekking
- Hiking Mountain Nyiragongo
- Chimpanzee trekking
Gorilla Trekking In Virunga National park
Virunga national park is one of the famous homes of the left over mountain gorillas that the world celebrates. Together with Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Volcanoes National park, Virunga National park survived the arid conditions protecting a range of wildlife.
Every person must have a permit for Virunga National park to be allowed to do gorilla trekking. On the day of gorilla tracking, you gather at Bukima Patrol for briefing. Listen to the rules like no provoking the gorillas, feeding the gorillas is forbidden, keep a distance of about 8 meters from the gorillas and so much more.
Follow the ranger guide with a maximum of 7 other trekkers to locate the mountain gorillas. Expect to hike through creepers, walk over soggy surfaces, bypass huge buttress roots and stems. This is a water catchment area so you may jump over some streams and rivers.
While trekking to locate the mountain gorillas do not forget to look for De Brazaar’s monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, golden monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, Dent’s monkeys, Hamlyn’s monkeys, to mention but a few.
A number of other wild animals spend part of there life in the forest like okapi, elephants, duikers, aardvark, giant forest hogs, African Buffaloes and others
This ancient park gives home to a rich avian life including endangered Albertine endemics. A few of these birds you are likely to spot include Arch’s Robin- chart, Green Board Bill, Strange weaver, Grauer’s rush Warbler, White bellied robin-chat, African golden oriole, mountain buzzed, red sheeted, and others.
Although the first glance at the mountain gorillas may stimulate some adrenaline, you are advised not to show this while infront of the gorillas because it cause suspicion. Mountain gorillas are watchful of every detail displayed by there visitors and therefore be careful not to anger them.
Just one precious hour is allowed with the gorillas then retreat back. This gives the gorillas enough time to feed and take care of there families.
Chimpanzee trekking in Virunga National park is one of the oldest safari activities in Africa. It was started in 1987 by Frankfurt a zoologist. This was one of the ways he wanted to protect them from humans. You must have chimpanzee trekking gears to follow these human cousins in the wild.
Chimpanzees live in communities under a democratically elected Alpha Male. They have about 98% human DNA and often referred to as human cousins in kingdom Animalia.
Chimpanzees are generally vegetarian but at some extent they may feed on monkeys during severe arid conditions. The primates in D.R. Congo are facing poaching as human often hunt them for wild meat and trophies.
You need a chimpanzee trekking permit to be part of this memorable activity. The cost of a chimpanzee permit is currently $100 per person per trek.
Hike Nyiragongo Volcanic Mountain in Congo
Hiking Mountain Nyiragongo which is one of the still active volcanoes is absolutely amazing. This active volcano last erupted in 2022 spitting out magma that covered over 30 km. Many people see this as a wonder but when you get to the top you feel the actual boiling underneath.
A hike to Nyiragongo mountain starts from Kibati Petro with briefing by the ranger guide. Get your hiking gears ready. Carry light weight items that will last you at least a night while at the top of Nyiragongo Volcano. Hiring a porter to help you carry your baggage is load lifting off you.
As you move look over the lovely canopy that you leave behind and surrounding green vegetation cover. Listen to what the ranger guide advises you about and trek at your pace for about 6 hours. Carry your packed lunch, energy treats and dinner is prepared from the premises on arrival.
A modest facility awaits you from the top for the night. To have the actual feel of an active volcano, sleeping on the floor is the best choice for you to hear the grumbling and violent sounds of magma from the active volcano.
As darkness draws in, a clearer picture of boiling lava can be seen while standing on top of the mountain at the edge of the caldera. The beautiful but vigorous mixture of lava comes into full view. Descend the following day after this once in a life time experience any one would wish to add to their to do Africa Safari list.
How To Book Gorilla Trekking Permits For Virunga National Park
Booking a gorilla trekking permit for Virunga National Park permits is on arrival. At the moment the cost of a permit for Virunga National park is $450 per person per trek. All The regulating board for gorilla permits in D.R. Congo are Institute Congolais Pour La conservation (ICCN) and Virunga Foundation for mountain gorillas.
The regulating boards for lowland gorillas are Kahuzi Beiga with Institute Congolais Pour La Conservation.
Although the funds from gorilla trekking in D.R. Congo are still limited, the conservation of these still endangered primates must go on midst instability. Some part of the funds accrued all year round are given to the local community to enable them manage their projects.
How Much Is a Chimpanzee Trekking Permits In Virunga National park
The chimpanzee permits for Virunga National park cost $100 per person per trek. You must be in good health condition because the chimpanzees are susceptible to human infections. They easily catch communicable infections like flu, Covid 19, cough and others. Volunteer to stay behind in order not to spread such virus that would in the long run lead to massive deaths of chimpanzees and other primates.
What Is The Age Limit for Doing Gorilla Trekking In Virunga National Park
Children and adults 15 years and above are the only permitted candidates for gorilla trekking in Virunga National park. This applies to even other neighbors that host the mountain gorillas that is Uganda and Rwanda .
Mountain gorilla first glance may stimulate some adrenaline at times which may not comply with a young child below this year. Hiking to get to the mountain gorillas requires you to use some energy at times which is tiring to a tourists below this age. Mountain gorillas are provocative at times which may not go well with a child below this age.
In or der to avoid a gorilla trekking stampede in the forest which may also affect other gorilla trekking families under trekking, children below 15 years of age are left out.
What Is The Age Limit For Chimpanzee Trekking in Virunga National park
12 years and above is the age limit for chimpanzee trekking. They chimpanzees are quite cheekier than mountain gorillas. They are faster in movement too but not frightening in physical appearance. The chimpanzees here are some of the oldest habituated chimpanzees in Africa.
What To Pack For Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Virunga National Park
- A pair of binoculars to capture a clearer view of fur ranging primates like chimpanzees that climb trees during severe rainy seasons.
- Tracking boots comfortable enough to help you hike steep slopes
- Safari Long sleeved shirt and trouser in colors like Khaki since you have to walk in a muddy jungle that can make you dirty.
- Sun glasses to protect your eyes from flying insects that move in the jungle.
- Energy treats to munch on especially when you get hungry before locating the mountain gorillas.
- Insect repellant since the jungle has stinging insects that may feast on you.
- A poncho or warmers for warmth as the forest is always cold throughout the day.
- Foldable water bottle for keeping drinking water
- Light back pack to protect your belongings from getting wet and scattered in the forest.
- Another full charged battery to exchange with when one runs low
- A Camera for keeping memories of your gorilla safari or chimpanzee trekking experience in Africa
Contact us for more information about Virunga National Park.