When it comes to natural resources, the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the richest African safari destinations. Home to three different species of mountain gorillas, it is a great destination when it comes to gorilla trekking. The political instabilities have made the DR Congo to be a less visited destination but for those who have decided to travel to this amazing destination have been treated to amazing adventures. The Eastern part of the country features her naturalness and authentic flavour in its range of encounters including mountain gorilla trekking in the Virunga Mountains, lowland gorilla tracking in the Kahuzi Biega National Park, hikes to the active Nyiragongo Mountains etc.
Why Explore DR Congo?
The DR Congo is a home to the mountain gorillas that are protected in the volatile Virunga National Park, a region where several oil companies would like to drill oil. The Virunga is also affected by on and off civil conflicts leading to closure of the park. The Virunga lies in the North Kivu Province Area of Goma and it is easily accessible from Gisenyi in Rwanda. Though there is Goma Airport, most visitors to the park travel by road and link to the park by car.
The Eastern Lowland Gorillas are protected in the Kahuzi Biega National Park. It is located in Bukavu within the South Kivu Province of DR Congo. This is also a unique destination given that it is the only destination in the world where one can see the lowland gorillas in the wild.
The DRC is also striving to give a face-lift to its tourism sector. Congo gorilla trek & Nyiragongo hike 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.
Gorilla Trekking in the Virungas
While on your Congo Gorilla Trek, 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 warden’s 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 behaviours.
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 DRC 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 doesn’t 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!