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Top things to do in Virunga national park

Top things to do in Virunga national park : The oldest protected park is Virunga National Park, which is situated in the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the borders with Uganda and Rwanda. The national park is located in an area of 7,800 square kilometres and is home to a variety of animal species, including elephants, buffalo, Uganda kobs, bushbucks, waterbucks, giant forest hogs, warthogs, duiker, and bush pigs; primates, including mountain gorillas and chimpanzees; red-tailed monkeys; olive baboons; grey-cheeked mangabeys; and birds, including the Double-toothed Barbet, Rwenzori turaco, Red-throated alethe, Stripe breasted tit, Narrow-tailed starling, Kivu ground thrush, Shelley’s crimsonwing and among others.

Top things to do in Virunga national park.


Gorilla trekking.

One of the main attractions in Virunga national park that draws lots of tourists to the nation is gorilla trekking. The first step in gorilla trekking safari in Virunga National Park is a briefing at the park headquarters about the rules and regulations to follow during gorilla trekking safari, after which you will be assigned a gorilla family to trek in a group of 8 members in a group with and a park guide who is familiar with the jungle’s pathways. Nine habituated gorilla families live in the park and can be trekked with on a daily basis. Mountain gorilla trekking in the park lasts anything from 30 minutes to 6 hours, and during that time you can see other animal species like red-tailed monkeys, baboons, several bird species and beautiful plants and trees. Once the mountain gorillas have been found, you will get an hour to spend with them in their natural environment. During this time, you will have the chance to examine their routines and lifestyle, see them feed, breastfeed, play, and groom young ones, as well as shoot pictures and record the videos to share with family and friends back home.

Mount Nyiragongo hike.

Another adventurous adventure you shouldn’t skip while on your safari in Virunga National Park is climbing Mount Nyiragongo. One of the eight volcanic mountains in the Virunga conservation area, Mount Nyiragongo is the largest active lava lake in the world and is located at a height of 3,470 metres above sea level. A briefing is given at the beginning location and the walk up Mount Nyiragongo begins around 9:00 am and lasts for about 5 to 6 hours. Visitors must be physically fit because climbing Mount Nyiragongo is difficult. You will pass through lower elevations, lava rocks, steep slopes, slippery stones, and harsh terrain while trekking, and once you reach the summit, you will enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding beauty, smell the bubbling lava, and spend the night there. After breakfast the following morning, you will begin the approximately 3-hour descent of the volcano. You will see breathtaking views of the park, Lake Kivu, and other volcanic mountains as you descend.

Chimpanzee trekking. 

Another safari activity in the park that has drawn a lot of visitors is chimpanzee trekking safari. During the safari activity, participants look for chimpanzees in the forest and spend an hour with them there. Because chimpanzees tend to roam around in search of food, chimpanzee trekking in Virunga National Park begins early in the morning and lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the location of the chimps. Other wildlife species, including as mammals, monkeys, and birds, can be seen while you are hiking. Once the chimpanzees have been located, you will be permitted to spend an hour with them in their natural habitat where you may observe their behaviors, take pictures and record videos, and watch them play, hunt, and fight.

Visiting Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center.

The only mountain gorilla sanctuary is located in Virunga National Park and is called the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Centre. The Virunga charity runs the orphanage, which is free to see for anyone staying at the Mikeno lodge. Six orphaned gorillas that were taken from the Virunga and Kahuzi Beige national parks after losing their parents to poachers, rebels, and pet traders now reside in Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage. A group of carers and veterinary experts are caring for the orphaned gorillas who were brought into the facility for treatment and rehabilitation. When people visit the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage, they may get up close and personal with the orphaned gorillas, see them feed, play, and build nests, and they can even feed the mountain gorillas with the help of the carers.

Top things to do in Virunga national park
Visiting Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center.

Bird watching in Virunga national park.

One of the best birding places in Democratic Republic Congo is Virunga National Park, which is home to more than 706 recorded bird species, including endemic species from the Albertine Rift, Congolese birds, and forest birds. An expert bird guide will accompany you while you go bird watching in Virunga National Park. The guide will help you identify various bird species, including Yellow-billed Barbet, Madagascar bee-eater, Olive Sunbird, White-headed wood hoopoe, Black billed turaco, Collared apalis, Thick-billed seedeater and among many others.

Best time to visit Virunga national park. 

The dry season, which lasts from June to September and December to February, is the greatest time to visit Virunga National Park, however visitors can go at any time of the year. In contrast to the rainy season when the trekking paths are muddy and slippery, making trekking challenging, the dry season has got little to no rainfall in the national park, making access roads, gorilla and chimpanzee trekking trails dry and manageable.

Where to stay in Virunga national park.

The park offers a variety of accommodation options for guests to use while on a safari in Virunga National Park that includes Bukima Tented Camp, Hotel Begonias, Exodus Bukavu, Lodge Coco, Orchids Safari Club, Tchegera Island Camp, Kibumba Tented Camp, Lulimbi Tented Camp, Mikeno Lodge, and Lakeside Hotel Bukavu that are categorized in budget, mid-range and luxury options.

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