Insight Safari Holidays takes you to Congo, for gorilla trekking, wildlife safaris and Mt. Nyiragongo climbing.
Are you a solo traveller seeking fulfilling personal experiences or a couple on a safari to Kenya? How about a group of friends or a family affair, we tailor every safari to suit your needs and preferences.
Mountain Gorilla tracking can be done in three African states namely Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Despite the fact that Uganda and Rwanda have gone imperial on taking it to another level especially because of how they are strategically located, the DRC is also striving to give a face-lift to its tourism sector.
Tracking gorillas is an out of this world inimitable experience that always finds its way to the top of many peoples bucket list. Why? Well, there is nothing as exciting as being amidst the grand apes in the core of an indestructible tropical rain forest and knowing that these animals share 98% of the human DNA.
While on your tracking journey, be sure to hike further into the impenetrable jungles to watch the gorilla families in the wild. The guides and parks rangers will lead you for they can without doubt determine the common area where these gorilla families will be. These are experts in tracking and they keep records of the gorillas for purposes of conservation and protection from poachers.
At the break of day, a drive to Bukima- a wardens post in the elevation of the Virunga National Park which is a gorilla tracking starting point slightly out of the Goma City will mark the beginning your gorilla tracking quest. Along the way be certain to see natives from the small agrarian villages waving tirelessly at any signs of modernization that they may see. This will most likely give you a glance at the different ways of life nearby.
The length of the trek is wholly dependent on the gorillas which hardly follow a clear path. You will get to understand that they wander a lot and that these itinerant gorillas voyage the jungle in families, only staying in an area long enough to clear it of food. Guides will sometimes be able to track them down in less than two hours but during other times it might take much longer.
Your first sighting might be that of mother apes holding their babies or the juvenile gorillas getting playful or even better the dominant silver backs keeping an eye out for their family! The guides are sure to do more explaining on their range of behaviors.
ABOUT THE MOUNTAIN GORILLAS
Mountain gorillas are very social, highly intelligent and great animals to observe and they live in families, the Mountain gorilla also known as the Gorilla beringei beringei exists in two population where by one population of these gorillas is found in the three parks that lie in the Virunga Volcanoes, such as the Virunga national park in the east of DR Congo, Volcanoes national park in North western Rwanda and the Mgahinga national park in south western Uganda, and another population is found in Bwindi Impenetrable National park in the South West of Uganda.
Having a gorilla trekking safari in DR Congo is something one wouldn’t want to miss in a lifetime, watching the Gorillas in the Virunga National Park. The fact that these primates live in families, each family requires a leader where by each family group is headed by a dominant silver back, there are also female gorillas that are in charge of care taking especially to the young gorillas, also there is nothing as amazing as watching the playful juvenile gorillas in the trees. Trekking starts at Bukima Patrol post, so all trekkers are supposed to be there early enough to go through the briefing and also meet their guides.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is still not yet so much explored by various people and if one is adventures this is the way to go since it doesnt provide the mountain gorillas only, but there is also an opportunity of hiking the Nyiragongo Mountain. So the time to take the safari is now!
GUIDELINES ON HOW TO PLAN YOUR DRC TRIP
RULES AND POLICIES
While in Virunga there are some policies and rules that are a must to be followed by gorilla trekkers while in the park.
-The gorilla permit costs US$400 for International Adult travelers and US$150 for Adult Congolese and this permit is valid for only one day of trekking.
WHEN TO VISIT DR CONGO
There are two rainy seasons in DRC which include from the month of March to May (Longer season) and that from October to November (short season). During the rainy seasons trekkers have difficulties in trekking, with the much rains it doesn’t mean people shouldn’t completely travel, this season has rain and sunshine so immediately after the rain the sun always comes out, and all activities always continue as planned.
Most tourists choose to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between June and September and February because in these months the rain is less, it is sunny in most areas of DRC
The busiest month in the park is December where there are many travelers, so if you are planning a visit to DR Congo book the gorilla permit in advance to avoid disappointments. Please note, that in the low season the lodges lower their rates; also this is a better way to go since the Gorilla permit is at US$200.
DRCs landscape is raised which gives it a cool climate, so where trekking is done in the jungles the land is steep and rugged so as earlier said it is a bit difficult to trek in the rainy season which is the low season, however much the rates are low, it is advisable to visit DRC in the dry seasons in months, January, February, June, July, August and September because Gorilla trekking is easier and most gorillas have shifted to feed in the low lands.