Tips to help you plan your trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo,
As in all three countries that offer gorilla trekking, you must purchase a gorilla trekking permit in advance. In the DRC there are not as many tour companies as in Uganda and Rwanda, so it is better to book your gorilla permit directly through Virunga National Park. This gorilla permit costs US$400, which is cheaper than in the other two countries. The mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park can be visited at any time of year, although some paths are hard to navigate during the wet season from May to October. In this season, gorilla trekking permits are reduced to US$350 per person.
Before you travel, it is important to get a yellow fever injection, as you will not be allowed to enter the DRC without proof of this inoculation. Hepatitis A, typhoid, meningitis, and rabies injections, as well as anti-malarial are also recommended.
You must apply in advance for the required visa to enter the DRC, which costs US$100.
Always set off to the jungle with the right equipment. The jungle hike can be long and arduous, so you will need sturdy trekking shoes, wool or moisture-wicking socks, comfortable hiking clothes, rain gear, a first aid kit and a lightweight backpack that has room for plenty of water and snacks. A waterproof camera is also highly recommended since nothing ruins a good camera like a jungle downpour.
Gorilla trekking regulations in Virunga National Park
There are some strict rules and regulations that need to be followed by gorilla trackers in Virunga.
– Only a maximum of eight individuals per day are allowed to trek. This helps to reduce the spreading of diseases from humans to the mountain gorillas.
– Only those over 15 years of age are allowed to trek.
– Gorilla trekking can only take place between 8am and 7pm.
– You are only allowed to spend one hour with the mountain gorillas.
Cost of Congo Gorilla permits
Those planning to track mountain gorillas in Virunga national park, you are advised to book with one of the best local tour operators like Africa Adventure Vacation and the Congo gorilla permits costs ($400) per person.
The mountain gorillas in Virunga national park can be visited anytime during the year, however some paths are hard to navigate during the wet seasons of (May/April and November & October), in this season, Congo gorilla trekking permits are reduced to ($350) per person. Other months are okay for gorilla trekking since it’s a dry season. Mountain gorillas can also be found in Uganda where a gorilla permit is $600 in high season and $600 in low season. For Rwanda, the gorilla permit is sold at $ 1500 for both high season and Low season.
4 Tips to Help You Plan That Trip to Congo for Gorilla Tours
- Common in all three countries that offer gorilla tracking, a permit should be purchased in advance. Uganda and Rwanda have a number of tour companies unlike the DRC which is limited in this area thus it is much better if you could directly book your Gorilla tracking permit through Virunga National Park. A permit goes for US$400, a fee low-priced than that of the other two countries. Mountain gorillas can be visited anytime of the year though some paths become hard to navigate during the wet seasons of May to October.
- A yellow fever vaccination is a requirement because you won’t be allowed into the country minus proof of the inoculation. Hepatitis A, typhoid, meningitis and rabies injections not forgetting the anti-malarial are also recommended.
- An application for a visa required to enter the DRC should have been submitted in advance. This costs US$100.
- The exact gear needed while in the jungle needs to be prepared. The trek can be strenuous and equipment like the strong trekking shoes, woolly and or the moisture-impermeable socks, comfy mountaineering clothes, rainwater gear, a primary support kit and a light weight backpack with plenty of room for food and drink. A waterproof camera is also very much suggested as nothing wrecks a high-quality camera like the tropical forest’s heavy shower.
Tourist Visa to visit Congo:
- Only available online through visitvirunga.org or via a trusted tour operator
- Only valid in combination with a paid-in-full park permit or accommodation
- REQUIRES TWO WEEKS TO PROCESS AND FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE
- Single entry are valid for 14 days from day of entry
- Please bring a printed copy of your trek/accommodation and visa order confirmations with you.
- Please email a scanned copy of your passport to firstname.lastname@example.org upon completion of your visa application.
- Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is required for access into the country
- The Directorate of Immigration (DGM) reserves the right to reject a visa application
- Please cross into Goma at the “Grand Barrière” NOT at the “Petite Barrière”