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virunga national park

Virunga National Park Congo

Virunga National Park also called Parc National des Virunga was established as a National park in 1925 to protect and conserve the endangered species of Mountain Gorillas. The park covers an area of 7800 sq kilometers (3000 sq kilometers) consisting of forests, Savannah, lava plains, erosion valleys, swamps, active volcanoes with glaciated peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains.

Virunga National Park is strategically situated eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo along the border of Uganda and Rwanda. There are various wildlife animals like the endangered species of Mountain Gorillas, lions, colonies of hippopotami, savannah elephants, chimpanzees, okapi, bird species that inhabit the park and settles within the massifs of the Rwenzori and Virunga Mountains.

The Rwenzori mountains also called the Mountains of the Moon due to their permanently snow capped peaks with more than 5000 meters (16,400 ft) are found in the north. The snow that melts continuously is regarded to be the primary source of the magnificent River Nile.

In the middle of the park is the Ishasha river valley that acts as a habitat to restored hippo, Lake Edward with very many species of fish and birds as well as the Rwindi plains that inhabit populations of buffalo, warthogs, topi, elephants. In the south are the endangered species of Mountain Gorillas that inhabit the Mikeno Volcano (4380m/14,557 ft) border that is covered by thick forest vegetation that inhabits chimpanzee and various monkeys.

Activities to Do in the Park

Gorilla Trekking

This is the most prominent safari activity taken here due to the various Mountain Gorilla groups that can be tracked by travelers around the world. The Gorilla Trekking Permit costs US $400 per person interested and the process begins at the park headquarters after being briefed on the Dos and Don’ts around the Gorillas. You will transfer in groups of 6-8 individuals with a skilled guide from one place to another in the forest searching for them for a period of 2-6 hours and when you meet them, you will take various photos to keep for memories.

Hiking Mt. Nyiragongo Volcano

Travelers can hike to the top of this amazing strato volcano an experience that is so remarkable and exceptional. The volcano elevates to about 3,470 meters with a crater that is 2 kms wide with a lava lake which is 600 m. Hiking to the top of the volcano will take about 6 hours and you will transfer with skilled ranger guides each of them with guns to ensure your protection from any harm i.e one leads the group where as the other will follow you behind. You will reach late evening then have an opportunity to view red hot lava spewing into thin sky then after, transfer back into your shelter to relax and rest until the next day.

Birding watching

Virunga National Park inhabits numerous species of birds that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. For all birders around the world looking to experience remarkable birding safari Tours in Africa should transfer to Virunga National park Congo to experience the best encounters. The bird species that can be watched here include; Narrow-tailed Starling, Grey-throated Barbet, Double-toothed Barbet, Yellow-billed Barbet, Madagascar Bee-eater, Congo Serpent Pigeon.

Visiting Sekwenkwe Gorilla Orphanage

Transfer to the Sekwenkwe Gorilla orphanage which was constructed to take care of orphaned Gorillas obtained from various regions around the DR Congo. These are saved from being killed, illegally traded and poached for meat and settled into the orphanage. Most of the Gorillas brought are infants and are given new families in which they are habituated to be approached and experienced by human travelers from all over the globe.