Gorilla trekking is one of the top activities that attract most of the tourists to Democratic Republic of Congo annually. The most popular gorillas in Congo are the mountain gorillas which can be trekked from VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, in eastern Congo, though the country is also a home to the eastern lowland gorillas which are found in KAHUZI-BIEGA NATIONAL PARK, still in the eastern parts of Congo.
The mountain gorillas can only be found in two destinations, namely; BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK in south-western Uganda, and in the VIRUNGA MASSIF, which includes three national parks (Virunga national park in Congo, Volcanoes national park in north-western Rwanda, and Mgahinga national park in south-western Uganda).
In all the three countries hosting mountain gorilla safaris in Congo quite cheaper than the other two countries since its gorilla permit can be got at a cost of only US$ 400. On the other side, the Uganda and Rwanda gorilla permits cost US$ 600 and US$ 1500 respectively, thus Congo gorilla safaris being more affordable.
Apart from Democratic Republic of Congo which has both the eastern lowland gorillas and the mountain gorillas, Rwanda and Uganda reside only the mountain gorillas hence gorilla trekking in Congo being more enjoyful because you will have an opportunity to experience both gorilla types and thus getting out of Congo with superb memorable escapades.
Gorilla trekking, in all gorilla trekking national parks, is done in groups of eight (8) individuals and it is only one hour that trekkers are given to spend with the gorillas and enjoy this lifetime experience.
During the tracking of gorillas, trekkers are advised to minimize their voices, not to litter in the Park, not to smoke and eat from the Park, not to use flashlight cameras while taking photographs of the gorillas, and while viewing the gorillas still trekkers are emphasized to keep a certain distance of at least 7 meters away from the primates.
The activity of gorilla trekking takes place between 08am to 7pm where guests will first be briefed before going in for the trekking and therefore all trekkers are expected to reach the Park headquarters before 08am in order to attend the briefings and meet their park rangers.
Though trekkers spend only one hour with the gorillas, the experience achieved from that one hour is of a lifetime and there are many interesting and unbelievable behaviors that you will enjoy from the gorillas. In need of experiencing the gorilla safari expeditions in Congo, you are reminded to book for your safari in advance such that you don’t get disappointments and for proper organizations.
Your permit can be got and purchased for you if you contact one of Africa’s most reliable and best tour agencies such as the ECO TOURS CONGO. All of the above mentioned tour agencies will ensure that you get the most fascinating and successful safari in Africa if at all you contacted one of them.
Virunga comprises of over 200 mountain gorillas and there are 8 habituated gorilla families that guests will enjoy during the trekking, all trekked in the Bukima sector. Gorilla trekking in the DR Congo includes hiking deep into the mountain jungles to observe a gorilla family in the wild. Trekkers will be led by guides and national park rangers who keep records of the gorillas for conservation purposes and help protect them from poachers. They can determine the general area where a gorilla family will be and are skilled in tracking them.
Tchegera islands camp is an appropriate base for the gorilla trekkers in Virunga national park. The camp is of course one of its kind, this magnificent tented camp sits on the exposed ridge of a collapsed volcanic caldera in the middle of Lake Kivu. The handful of safari-style Meru tents sit directly on the black sandy shores, with small verandas under canvas. From here you can sit back and enjoy the splendid views or watch birds and butterflies amongst the trees, which offer shade and privacy. Inside the tents are simple, spacious and clean with flushing loos, bucket showers and power from a generator.
Like most safari camps, communal meals are served in the main mess tent – a light and airy canvas room, surrounded by wooden decking, beyond which lies the beach. In the night, the camp turns into its own, as hurricane lamps add atmosphere. A campfire on the beach is the perfect place to watch the glow of the Nyiragongo volcano in the distance, under a full moon reflected in the lake. Around 15 minutes boat ride from the harbor of Goma, croissant-shaped Tchegera Island sits smack bang in the middle of Lake Kivu, a collapsed volcanic caldera which is now partly submerged in shimmering blue water.
Return your heart rate to normal with a few days here after gorilla trekking in the Virunga because the island is a real haven of tranquility and with nothing but the eight tents of Tchegera Island Camp, you can expect peaceful nights and the most wonderful kind of silence in the stunning natural surroundings.
This tiny horseshoe-shaped island may not seem like a prime attraction compared to the forested hills of Virunga National Park to the north, but Tchegera’s relatively isolated location in the waters of Lake Kivu make it an ideal place to escape to after making your way through the bustling lakeside cities of Goma or Bukavu.