Congo Gorilla Tours Frequently Asked Questions
Congo gorilla tours are part of the popular Africa gorilla trekking activities and therefore to know more about the destination, there are frequently asked questions. These have to do with where to go gorilla trekking in Congo, best time, safety, permit costs and many more.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the last wild frontiers remaining in Africa and home to part of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. With the largest expanse of true rainforests coupled with limited human intervention, it is a pristine Africa tour destination. Congo is found in Central Africa. Here is important information on the frequently asked questions about Congo gorilla tours.
- Which Gorillas are in Congo?
Congo is the only country in the world with two gorilla sub species with both mountain gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas.
The mountain gorillas are found in Virunga National Park which is found within the Virunga Mountains of which Mgahinga Gorilla National Park of Uganda and the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda are also part. Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the continent’s most biologically diverse protected area.
About 1063 mountain gorillas are estimated to be existent in the world with Virunga having part of this population. In Virunga’s southern sector around Bukima, there are currently eight gorilla families and four solitary males. The gorilla families are habituated which means they are accustomed to human presence and safe for tourists to visit during Congo gorilla safaris.
Eastern Lowland gorillas are found in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park. These live in a lower altitude and can easily be trekked without hiking difficulties as it is with mountain gorillas. Kahuzi-Biega is a tropical rainforest with two outstanding volcanoes which are Kahuzi and Biega. The park is located in Bukavu town in the eastern side of Congo close to the border with Rwanda and south of Lake Kivu. Maiko National Park also hosts eastern lowland gorillas.
Western lowland gorillas are the smallest of the four gorilla subspecies. Their exact number is not known because they inhabit some of the densest and remote rainforests including in isolated swamps and remote swampy forests of Congo.
- How much is a Congo gorilla Permit?
To trek gorillas in Congo, an individual requires to get a gorilla trekking permit. Congo gorilla trekking permit price is at US$ 400 for each person. The Congo gorilla trekking permit price is way much less than that of Uganda and Rwanda. The gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is at US$ 700 whereas that of Rwanda is at US$ 1500. The gorilla trekking permit in Congo has a cheaper cost in Africa.
- How can I get to Congo for gorilla trekking?
To get to Congo for gorilla trekking, it is easier to connect from the neighboring country of Rwanda. This is because Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport has daily commercial flights as compared to Goma Airport in Congo that doesn’t have daily flights from many countries of the world. However, if planned tourists can book their flights directly to Congo. From Rwanda tourists are driven by safari vehicle to Congo. Each tourist requires a Congo tourist visa to get into the country and this should be booked as early as possible.
- Is Gorilla trekking in Congo safe?
Congo has been known to have political unrests which worry intending travelers on visiting the country. However, efforts have been made to keep the country safe for tourists and therefore can be visited all year round.
Situated in a region which has been deeply impacted by the effects of war and armed conflict for over 20 years, Virunga is protected by a dedicated team of over 700 rangers. All national parks are protected and strict measures set to ensure safety of those on Congo gorilla trekking tours as well as the gorillas and wildlife in the parks.
- What is the minimum age limit for gorilla trekking in Congo?
To trek gorillas in Congo, an individual must be 15 years or more and purchased a gorilla trekking permit. To be allowed to have any gorilla trekking experience, a person should have made 15 years and more. This is because, the persons of this age are thought to be able to understand and adhere to the set guidelines that govern gorilla trekking.
- What is the best time for Congo gorilla tours?
The best time to go gorilla trekking in Congo is during the country’s two dry seasons which are January and February and from June to September. Months of June, July, August, September, January and February are the best times to go gorilla trekking. It is during these months that the amount of rain has reduced and the skies are clear most of the time.
Jewel safaris plans Congo gorilla tours that range from 2 days Eastern Lowland or Mountain Gorilla Treks to multiple day tours combining volcanic mountain hiking and cultural adventures. We also plan Rwanda gorilla tours and Uganda gorilla safaris. These trips can be customized for any kind of traveler for short or long gorilla tours. Beyond gorilla trekking check out our Kenya safari or Tanzania safari tours for the very best African game drive experiences.