What Is Virunga National Park Famous For?: Are you wondering what is Virunga National Park is famous for? Virunga national park the Africa primate haven is home to two types of gorillas. The mountain gorillas and the low land gorillas. On this park’s 8090 sq km of land rich wildlife thrives. The topography of this area is generally volcanic work with an altitude range of 680 m in Puembo River to 5109 m in Mountain Stanley.
About 6 gorilla families are currently existing in Virunga National Park namely Munyaga gorilla family, Kabirizi gorilla family, Mapuwa gorilla family, Rugendo gorilla family, Humba gorilla family, and Lulengo gorilla family.
Aside from going on a gorilla trek, this historic park also offers enjoyable primate walks with chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, De Brazaa monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, Hamlyn’s monkeys, blue monkeys, and other species.
The progress of gorilla conservation in this park has been hampered by poaching as well as the outbreak of civil wars since 1998. This is in keeping with King Albert of Belgium’s intention, which was to save the mountain gorillas from extinction. He gazetted in Virunga Park in 1925.
In addition to being a shelter for primates, this biosphere service is a favorite of many other wild animals. Among them are African buffaloes, elephants, Okapi, blue duikers, red river hogs, giant forest hogs, water chevrotains, yellow-backed duikers, and so many others.
- Gorilla Trekking
- Hiking Nyiragongo Volcanic mountain
- Chimpanzee trekking
Gorilla Trekking in Virunga National Park
One of the well-known mountain gorilla refuges that the world celebrates is Virunga National Park. Virunga National Park endured the dry conditions while guarding a variety of wildlife, along with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Volcanoes National Park.
To go gorilla trekking, a visitor must possess a Virunga National Park permit. You assemble for a briefing at Bukima Patrol on the day of the gorilla tracking. Keep in mind the regulations, which include not disturbing the gorillas, not feeding the gorillas, keeping a distance of around 8 meters from the gorillas, and many more.
To find the mountain gorillas, trek with no more than seven other people. Expect to pass through creepers, cross muddy terrain, and avoid huge buttress roots and stems. Since this is a water catchment area, you might have to cross some rivers and streams.
Remember to keep an eye out for De Brazaar’s monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, golden monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, Dent’s monkeys, and Hamlyn’s monkeys, to name a few, while on your mountain gorilla tracking excursion.
Other wild animals including okapi, elephants, duikers, aardvarks, gigantic forest hogs, African buffaloes, and others live in the forest for part of the time.
A variety of birds, including endangered Albertine endemics, can be found in this historic park. Among these are the Arch’s Robin- chart, Green Board Bill, Strange weaver, Grauer’s rush Warbler, White bellied robin-chat, African golden oriole, mountain buzzing, red sheeted, and other species that you might see.
Although your initial reaction to seeing a mountain gorilla might make you feel a little giddy, it’s best not to do so because it might make them suspicious. Be careful not to enrage mountain gorillas because they are attentive to every gesture made by their visitors.
Only one precious hour with the gorillas is permitted before you must leave. The gorillas are given enough time to feed and care for their families as a result.
In Virunga National Park, chimpanzee trekking is one of the continent’s first safari activities. It was established in 1987 by zoologist Frankfurt. One way he wanted to keep them safe from people was to do this. To follow these human relatives in the wild, you must have chimpanzee trekking equipment.
Chimpanzees reside in groups led by an Alpha Male who was democratically chosen. They are frequently referred to as human cousins in the kingdom Animalia and have approximately 98% human DNA.
Although chimpanzees typically eat only plants, in extremely dry conditions they may consume some monkey meat. Due to frequent human hunting for wild meat and trophies, monkeys in the D.R. Congo are subject to poaching.
A chimpanzee trekking permit is required to participate in this unforgettable activity. Currently, each trek to see chimpanzees costs $100 per person.
Hike Nyiragongo Volcanic mountain in Congo
One of the still-active volcanoes, Nyiragongo Volcanic mountain, is an incredible place to hike. When it last erupted in 2022, this active volcano spewed forth magma that reached a distance of almost 30 kilometers. Many people find this to be amazing, but when you climb to the top, you can feel the hot water below.
The ranger guide gives a briefing before the hike to Nyiragongo Volcanic mountain departs from Kibati Petro. Get ready with your hiking supplies. When climbing Nyiragongo Volcanic mountain, bring lightweight supplies that will last you at least one night. It’s a load off your shoulders to hire a porter to assist you with carrying your luggage.
View the beautiful canopy you leave behind as you walk forward, as well as the surrounding lush greenery. Trek for roughly six hours at your own speed, paying attention to the ranger guide’s advice. Bring your lunch from home, some snacks for energy, and dinner, which is ready when you get there.
From the top, a basic facility is waiting for you for the night. The greatest place to sleep if you want to experience what it’s like to be inside of an active volcano is on the floor, where you can hear the furious sounds of magma from the volcano.
Standing on top of the mountain at the edge of the caldera, one can see a sharper picture of the boiling lava as night falls. The stunning but ferocious lava mixture is clearly visible. Any person would want to add this once-in-a-lifetime experience to their bucket list of things to do while on an African safari.
How To Book Gorilla Trekking Permits for Virunga National Park
In order to reserve a gorilla trekking permit for the Virunga National Park, arrive first. Currently, a permit for the Virunga National Park costs $450 per person each hike. All Institute Congolais Pour La Conservation (ICCN) and the Virunga Foundation for Mountain Gorillas serve as the governing bodies for gorilla permits in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Kahuzi Beiga with Institute Congolais Pour La Conservation is the governing body for lowland gorillas.
The conservation of these still-endangered primates must continue despite insecurity, despite the fact that the money from gorilla trekking in the D.R. Congo is still scarce. To help the local community manage its projects, a portion of the money amassed throughout the year is distributed to them.
How Much Is a Chimpanzee Trekking Permits in Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park charges $100 for each hike with chimpanzee trekking permits. The chimpanzees are susceptible to human illnesses; therefore, you must be in excellent health. They are more susceptible to contracting contagious diseases like the flu, Covid 19, and cough. Volunteer to remain behind to prevent the spread of a virus that could eventually result in the mass extinction of chimpanzees and other primates.
What Is the Age Limit for Doing Gorilla Trekking in Virunga National Park
Only those who are at least 15 years old and children are eligible to trek gorillas in Virunga National Park. This also holds true for Rwanda and Uganda, two additional neighbors that are home to mountain gorillas.
Mountain gorillas can occasionally cause some adrenaline to be released, which may not agree with a young child under this year. For a tourist under the age of 18, the hike to the mountain gorillas can be physically demanding at times. Mountain gorillas are provocative at times which may not go well with a child below this age.
Children under the age of 15 are excluded in order to prevent a stampede during gorilla trekking in the wild, which could potentially damage other gorilla trekking families.
What Is the Age Limit for Chimpanzee Trekking in Virunga National Park
The minimum age requirement to go chimpanzee trekking is 12. Compared to mountain gorillas, chimpanzees are much cheekier. Although their physical look is not alarming, they move faster. Some of Africa’s oldest chimpanzees that have been domesticated can be found here.
What To Pack for Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Virunga National Park
- A set of binoculars to get a better look at fur-bearing primates like chimpanzees who climb trees in times of heavy rain.
- Tracking boots that are comfortable enough for sloping terrain
- Safari Given that you must go through a muddy jungle and risk getting soiled, you should choose a long-sleeved shirt and pants in colors like Khaki.
- Sunglasses to shield your eyes from flying, jungle-moving insects.
- Especially when you get hungry before finding the mountain gorillas, energy snacks to munch on are a good idea.
- insect repellent, as stinging insects in the jungle might feast on you.
- A poncho or warmers for warmth as the forest is always cold throughout the day.
- Foldable water bottle for keeping drinking water
- Light back pack to protect your belongings from getting wet and scattered in the forest.
- Another full charged battery to exchange with when one runs low
- A Camera for keeping memories of your gorilla safari or chimpanzee trekking experience in Africa
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