Gorilla Trekking Journeys in Democratic Republic of Congo

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Virunga National Park and Kahuzi-Biega National Park are the only destinations in Congo appropriate for hosting gorilla safaris protecting the rare endangered mountain gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas respectively. Though the Democratic Republic of Congo has few tour operators, a lot of tour operators are in the nearby East African countries, basically Uganda and Rwanda, which help you in the gorilla permit bookings and many other necessities for your safari to be a great one. It is to be taken note that Uganda, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo are the only three countries world-wide residing the critically endangered mountain gorillas. According to the recent census, there are almost 1000 mountain gorillas left in the whole world and are resided in the above three countries.

Gorilla trekking in Democratic Republic is not only the cheapest but also the most joyous as trekkers will get an extra-ordinary experience of gorilla trekking because they will see both the mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas, a thing which can’t be experienced in either Uganda or Rwanda. In Uganda and Rwanda trekkers will only see the mountain gorillas minus experiencing the eastern lowland gorillas but in Congo, trekkers will trek both gorillas.

Even though Uganda also boasts two gorilla-trekking national parks like Congo, (Bwindi impenetrable forests national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park), the two Parks are homes for only the mountain gorillas unlike in Congo where Virunga protects the mountain gorillas as Kahuzi-Biega inhabits the eastern lowland gorillas offering a great opportunity for trekkers to enjoy and experience both types of gorillas.

Gorilla trekking in Democratic Republic of Congo is by-far cheaper than that of Uganda and Rwanda as a Congo gorilla permit costs only US$ 400, well as a gorilla permit in Uganda and Rwanda costs US$ 600 and US$ 1500 respectively. Democratic Republic of Congo therefore gives chance to everyone, including the low-earners, to get engaged in the gorilla trekking expeditions, reason being it doesn’t require too much money like in Rwanda and Uganda in order for one to enjoy the gorilla trekking activity.

Democratic Republic of Congo roughly comprises of 240 plus mountain gorillas and as of current, the country boasts 8 habituated gorilla families/groups which are open to trekkers; Kabirizi gorilla family, Bageni gorilla family, Nyakamwe gorilla family, Mapuwa gorilla family, Lulengo gorilla family, Rugendo gorilla family, Humba gorilla family, and Munyaga gorilla family. Besides the fact that DR Congo comprises of two gorilla types, it is very clear that most of the gorilla lovers go to Congo with the main aim of seeing the rare endangered mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park.

However, for those who will want to see the eastern lowland gorillas too after experiencing the mountain gorillas in Virunga will then head to Kahuzi-Biega National Park, which is situated 270 kilometers away from Virunga. For the case of the eastern lowland gorillas, there are only few habituated gorilla families. The Park so far has 12 Gorilla groups but only four are habituated and they are only ones open to trekkers.

The habituated Gorilla groups in Kahuzi – Biega include; Chimanuka Gorilla group which is believed to be the most visited by trekkers; Mpungwe Gorilla group which is recommended to travelers seeking to enjoy double gorilla trekking in the jungle, and it is the largest Gorilla-group in the Park; Mugahuka Gorilla group which is recommended to older and conversational travelers; and lastly is the Bonani Gorilla group.

Travelers to Virunga National Park will not only experience or trek the rare endangered mountain gorillas but will also enjoy many other things such as; spectacular views to Nyamuragira volcano (one of the most active volcanoes in Africa), hiking of Nyiragongo volcano to see the largest lava lake in the world which is resided at the summits of the volcano, chimpanzee trekking, golden monkey trekking, bird watching, and game viewing; where you will spot a variety of wildlife species like African buffaloes, hippopotamuses, African bush elephants, Okapis, Topis, common warthogs, duikers, and various species of monkeys, among others, thus getting a great experience from your safari in Africa/DR Congo. The accommodations in and around Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega National Parks are so pleasing and will offer the Parks’ visitors the most comfortable stay ever.

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