Congo Gorilla Safari is the most interesting thing one can engage in and it creates an unforgettable experience for a lifetime, this involves moving into the forests and hiking deep into the mountains to see gorillas. For Congo Gorilla Trekking to be enjoyable, tourists are led by the skilled park rangers and guides that are so much informed about the history of the park, where to track gorillas from, the surrounding areas and are in charge of record-keeping and protection of gorillas from poachers.
What To Expect As You Plan For Congo Gorilla Safari?
- Gorilla Tracking Congo takes some time and this depends on the people tracking, where the gorilla families are. The weather, and the terrain among others. The tracking time varies from 1 hour to approximately 5 hours based on the above factors.
- Expect long, tiresome and uncomfortable flights, and the drives on bumpy roads as you head to the Virunga National park. This will give you an unforgettable experience in Africa
- During the hike make sure you follow the guide, some paths on the slopes are steep and also those in the forests are hard to navigate so there will be a need to hold yourself on branches, and tree roots, and also if you can use a walking stick then do so, like earlier said you need to have plenty of water. Congo Gorilla Trekking can be so tiresome but when you meet the gorillas it is yet another amazing experience.
- As you enter the jungle searching for gorillas, finding them playing and the mothers feeding the young ones will be another great experience, this is something you don’t just see every day. The guides will help in clearing the bushes just in case you don’t see gorillas well, there is the freedom to take as many photos as you want as guides tell you more about the behaviours of these amazing features.
- Another thing to expect is that Gorillas charge they are still wild animals even though their DNA is just close to that of humans. So just in case, you look at the gorilla in its eyes, when he charges never run, just stand still and submit and show it respect by lowering your head.
What To Pack During Congo Gorilla Safari?
Remember – you are hiking in the wild, so make sure to have the proper equipment to enjoy the Congo Gorilla Safari experience fully.
- Hiking Boots – It is possible to trek in sneakers, but hiking boots are best especially if it rains.
- Long Pants – Do not wear shorts, unless you like having weeds scratch you.
- Best Camera You Own – When else will you be this close to silverback gorillas. Be prepared and invest in a high-quality camera.
- Poncho – Just in case it rains, especially if you are going during the rainy season
- Selfie Stick – Who doesn’t want a gorilla selfie?!
- Cash for tips – Make sure to tip your guide!
How To Get There During Congo Gorilla Safari?
The park can be accessed in many ways, but this is based on the tourist’s interest, it can be by road, air, and water.
You can access the Virunga National park by air by either landing in DRC at Goma the acting international airport but most tourists prefer using the Kigali international airport, so if one uses Kigali airport they are advised to have a sleepover in any lodge or hotel in Kigali since most flights reach in the afternoon and evenings, so early in the morning have a 4-hour drive to the Gisenyi/Goma boarder.
It is 32km from Goma to the park, so the simplest way to reach the Virunga national park is by organizing with tour operators in Congo who offer Gorilla trekking safaris.
If a tourist is in Bukavu, they can access the Virunga National Park on the water by using ferries from Bukavu on Lake Kivu to Goma, while on the ferry there is also a nice view of the Idjwi Island. There is also an opportunity for special hires such as the speed boats which take around 3 hours and the other public boats around 5 hours to reach Goma, where you are transferred in a good 4×4 vehicle.
Best Time To See Gorillas In Congo
Rain is an essential part of the precious ecosystem in the Congo Basin’s equatorial rainforest, planet Earth’s ‘green lungs’. This is why its seasons can be aptly described as wet, wetter and wettest.
Congo Gorilla Tours is easier during the ‘low rainfall’ season that runs from June to September, and the ‘gentle rainfall’ season from December to February. July to August is considered the least wet and coolest time of the year.
Congo Gorilla Trekking Permits
The cost of a permit for trekking gorillas in Congo is $350 USD per person and is included in the price of your tour package.
Congo Gorilla Safari Traveller Types: Best For…
Congo is a truly remote, ‘get away from the crowds’ destination that is ideal for intrepid travellers and experienced visitors to Africa who love the continent and have ticked off all the other major destinations.
Start Planning Your Congo Gorilla Safari Adventure?
Whichever destination you choose, it pays to prepare well for your Congo Gorilla Safari. Hiking through mountainous rainforest can be muddy work. It can be hot and humid with occasional short downpours too, so appropriate clothing, sturdy hiking boots, and gear like trekking poles and gaiters all add up to a more comfortable trek. Congo Safari is a bucket-list experience precisely because it isn’t easy to get close to gorillas in the wild but, when you do, you’ll be more than thrilled. And Saso Uganda Safaris can help you get there…
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TOP DR CONGO SAFARI FAQS
Before entering Uganda, Rwanda, or DR Congo, you need to obtain a visa. In the case of Uganda, tourist visas can be bought in advance via the embassy or consulate in your country or can be purchased at the airport upon arrival. Passport photos are not required. A single entry tourist visa costs US $100 per person for a stay of up to 90 days. For Rwanda, a visa can be gotten in advance through the embassy or consulate in your country.
In Uganda and Rwanda, ATM cards and credit cards can be mostly used without any hassle. While Visa credit cards are by far the most convenient way to withdraw cash, MasterCards can be used at Barclay’s Bank, for example. Outside of Kampala and Kigali, ATM machines are scarce. Upcountry, ATMs can be found in larger towns. Your Instinct Safaris guide is further advised to temporarily help cover expenses in Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo in case you cannot withdraw cash at a given moment. We do not recommend trying to obtain cash in DR Congo at this time. Instead, we recommend bringing cash (either Uganda Shillings, Rwandan Francs, or US Dollars). Travelers cheques are not recommended in the countries we serve.
The topography of Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo covers a wide panel of terrains. Along with this array of landscapes comes a range of climates specific to these regions. All three countries are situated at a relatively high altitude compared to other east African countries. When going on safari with us, it can therefore be important to plan ahead and to know just when to encounter the best trekking and wildlife viewing conditions. While mountain gorilla tracking is recommended throughout the year and rain can come down on any day, our recommendations for the best travel times only apply to wildlife viewing and safari on the flatter plains in Uganda and Rwanda.
As mentioned before, Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo encompass a wide range of geographical features and a number of different climates. In any case, make sure to bring durable walking shoes or boots, sun glasses, and sun screen. Do not forget to pack insect repellent to fight off mosquitoes in the evenings, rain gear, and your camera. As far as clothing goes, go for comfortable boots, preferably two pairs. Shorts and long trousers and regular T-shirts or buttoned shirts are a good choice. Especially around Bwindi National Park and the Virunga volcanoes, mornings and evenings can be rather cold (down to 5 °C). Please make sure to bring appropriate clothing.