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Virunga National Park & Gorilla Trekking – The Congo

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virunga national park

The Virunga National Park is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth.  It also contains two active volcanos, but unfortunately it is under constant threat, mainly due to the poachers who are after the Gorillas in the area.  Thanks to the wonderful work of the rangers and wardens in the area there has been a significant improvement and hopefully more is to come!

How to Get There?

It is not the closest place to get to, the nearest airport is Kigali and a taxi ride is roughly 3 hours to the border crossing.  Thankfully these taxis are nowhere near as expensive as we face and will set you back around £75.  Once there, there is a large choice of lodges in the area and the park has its own transportation services between them and the areas you will want to visit.

When is the Best Time to Visit?

Anytime really weather wise, but be sure to check local government offices for any alerts that may be around.  This area of the world has some conflict and we advise you to use your own judgement with the aid of an informed government body.  Don’t let this warning deter you from going though altogether, many people go and say it is well worth it to experience what it has to offer.

What is there to do there?

There are 3 main trekking tours available, the first of which is to see the mountain gorillas.  This is the most popular trek and people say it has changed their lives once they visit.  As gorillas are so similar to ourselves, people look upon them with admiration as they tend to their young in the most sensitive ways.  You are allowed to spend time with them (up to 1 hour) but there is a strict set of rules in place so as to avoid disturbing them beyond what they will find comfortable.  They are social creatures as well!

The next tour is to see the Chimpanzees, this one is for people who do not wish to come in contact with the wildlife and for that reason is a much cheaper price.  Lastly there is the volcano tour!  This one is definitely for the sightseers!  Trekking up an active volcano is such an experience you will never forget!  You get to head up to the rim of the volcanos and see the hot gasses exploding up through the lava!  Pictures never do justice of actually being there!

Please be advised, with the animal treks, if you feel unwell in the slightest, CANCEL your tour as they are very susceptible to human illness and can cause harm to them.

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