Gorillas in Congo are one of the top, if not the top tourist attraction in that quite a number of travelers travel to on Congo Tours for gorilla trekking. Mountain Gorillas are endangered apes in the world which are herbivorous mammals which have contributed a lot to the African continent, more so, having a great impact on African’s tourism. Through the revenue collected, these apes have helped in the developmental growth of East African countries i.e. Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda. Gorillas in Congo can be seen in two national parks but in different location composing a home of two types of gorillas, i.e. Eastern lowland gorillas and the Mountain Gorillas. There are Mountain Gorillas in Virunga National Park and the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. Both parks have made Congo tours to be famously known in Africa and worldwide because of these critically endangered mountain gorillas and the Eastern low land gorillas.
Virunga National Park is one of the largest parks in Africa that covers 8,090 square kilometers of its land located at the edge of Albertine Rift Valley in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is among the first protected areas in Africa which was established in 1925 as a gazetted area for wildlife. It’s on low altitude which ranges from 680 meters in the Semliki River Valley to 5109 meters in the Rwenzori Mountains bordered with Uganda and Rwanda in the east. The park boasts with more than 300 endangered mountain gorillas which are distributed in several gorillas families such as Bageni group, Rugendo group, Humba group, Kabirizi group, Mapuwa group, Munyaga group, Nyakamwe group, Lulenga group, and each family is located in a different trail heads of Virunga Conservation Forest where the possibility of seeing these great apes is high. The park is under the management of Congolese Wildlife Authority and it became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979.
Kahuzi Beiga National Park is managed by the Congolese Wildlife Authority and became a world heritage site in 1980 to protect the biodiversity of the montane rainforest and the unique great apes i.e. eastern lowland gorillas. The park is located in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo close to the busiest town of Bukavu town and it is closely bordered with Rwanda. It was created in 1970 by the European Belgian photographer which was later named the park after the two dormant Volcanoes i.e Mount Kahuzi and Mount Beiga. Kahuzi Beiga national park covers 6000 square kilometers of its low land which lies on the mountainous area and lowland terrain that inhabit to over 181 eastern low land gorillas and within here gorillas can be easily seen when it comes to Gorilla Trekking in this park. It also hosts 349 bird species, 134 mammals, 1178 species of plants and many more.
Kahuzi Beiga National Park has got 12 gorilla families where you can explore the rare Eastern low land gorillas and have a look a the to silverbacks with their strong bodies and nothing can prepare you to see to their sheer beauty and brown eyes.
Gorillas in Congo survive in the montane rain forest of Albertine rift valley with a large number of gorillas which can be easily seen by tourists. To do Gorilla trekking in Congo is the best way for the traveler to see or to encounter both mountain gorillas and low land gorillas which are the most prominent apes on the earth. There are also other activities in Congo which include gorilla habituation, chimpanzee habituation, birding, nature walks, mount Nyiragongo hiking all these great activities can be done in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla trekking in Congo begins in the morning hours at the park’s headquarters and your driver will pick you from the lodge where you spent your night from. They will take you through a short briefing and thereafter a professional tour guide accompanies you to the gorilla trail heads which can take as few as 1 – 7 hours in the wild. Once gorillas are located you are given 1 hour with them at a distance level of at least 3 – 4 metres from the gorillas. Within this one hour, you will have a chance to observe their behavior and learn more about gorillas lifestyle as you take photos to capture moments. Only 8 people can be allowed to be part of this gorilla trekking activity. Gorillas in Congo are the best that can satisfy your Congo Gorilla Tours.
Rules when visiting Gorillas in Congo
- Do not smoke, eat and drink when you are near gorillas.
- Keep a distance of at least 3 to 4 distance away from gorillas.
- Do not touch on gorillas since they are wild animals.
- Wash your hands before embarking to the forest trail heads to meet gorillas.
- Do not leave your rubbish in the forest instead go with it out the park
- Flash photography is not allowed in the forest because that light might scare way the apes.
- Do not be tempted to run away when you are ready with gorillas.
- Stay in tight group when your near gorillas.
To take part in this exciting activity, it requires you to have gorilla permits before you head to forest trails. Congo gorilla permits cost USD 400 per person per day and children below 15 years are not allowed to participate in this activity.
Some of the essentials for gorilla trekking in Congo include light gears, warm clothes, pair of binoculars, energy giving snacks, mineral water, a camera with extra batteries, sweaters, long sleeved trousers, hiking boots, rain jackets and many more.
The best time to visit Gorillas in Congo on a Congo Safari Tour is all year round but mainly in the dry seasons when the forest and land are out of water sources and that is from the months of June to September and December to February. You can still go on Congo tours in wet seasons from the months of March to May and September to November within the low seasons when the hotel rooms can are cheaper.
While you’re on Congo gorilla tours you can sleep in Beautiful Accommodation facilities ranging from luxury, mid-range, and budget. The prices are based on the location, facilities offered, amenities and such hotels and lodges in Virunga national park and Kahuzi Beiga national park include Mikeno lodge, Bukima lodge, Kibumba tented camp, Tchegere Island Tented camp, Nyiragongo summit cabin, L’orchid safaris, Hotel Begonias, Lake side Hotel Bakavu, Coco lodge, Mont Kahuzi Hotel Bakavu all these nice lodges make up a good stay during the visit on Congo tours.