Things To Do In Virunga National Park

Things to do in Virunga national park

What To Do In The Virungas

Virunga National Park is situated in Eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo in the Albertine Rift Valley. Virunga national park was the first park to be established in Africa to protect the endangered mountain gorillas living in the forests of the Virunga massif in 1925 as Albert national park. It covers an area of approximately 8,090 km2. In 1979 Virunga was declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
The fragment of Virunga’s bountiful mixed ecological community includes volcanic mountains, block mountains, the Albertine rift, rain forests, open grasslands, craters and crater lakes, woodlands, marsh and wetland vegetation among others. The park is a habitant to different mammals such as buffaloes, bushbucks, giant forest hogs, elephants, waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, primates like Chimpanzees, Mountain gorillas, olive baboons, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys and various species of birds such as brown throated wattle eye, thick billed canary, black tailed godwit, blue headed sunbird etc.

Mountain gorilla trekking

One of the main attractions in Virunga national park that draws lots of tourists to the nation is gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park is carried out in the morning, starting with a briefing at the park headquarters, after which you will be assigned a gorilla family to hike with and a park guide who is familiar with the jungle’s pathways. Mountain gorilla trekking in the park lasts from 30 minutes to 6 hours, and during that time you can see other animal species like red-tailed monkeys, baboons, and several bird species. Once the mountain gorillas have been found, you will have an hour to spend with them in their natural environment. During this time, you will have the chance to observe their habits and lifestyle, watch them breastfeed, relax, play, and prepare young ones etc. and you can take pictures with them.

Chimpanzee tracking

Another activity in the park that has drawn a lot of visitors is chimpanzee trekking. Chimpanzees tend to roam around in search of food. Chimpanzee trekking in Virunga National Park begins early in the morning after the briefing and lasts for around 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the location of the chimps. Several wildlife species, including as mammals, monkeys, and birds, can be seen while trekking. After the chimpanzees are located, you are permitted to spend an hour with them in their natural habitat where you can observe their behaviors and watch them play, hunt, feed, fight etc.

Nyiragongo hikes

On your trip to Virunga national park, you shouldn’t skip hiking Mount Nyiragongo. It is one of the 8 volcanic mountains in the Virunga conservation area and the biggest active lava lake in the world located at a height of 3,470 meters above sea level. A briefing is given at the beginning and the hike 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, slippery stones, lava rocks, steep slopes, 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 sloping down of the volcano. You will see breathtaking views of the park, Lake Kivu, and other volcanic mountains as you slop.

Birding in Virunga National Park

One of the best birding places in the DR Congo is the Virunga National Park, which is home to over 706 documented 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 the Virunga National Park. The guide will help you identify various bird species, including the mountain wagtail, red knobbed coot, African paradise flycatcher, white thighed hornbill, brown throated wattle eye, blue headed sunbird, blue crested flycatcher, cinnamon breasted bunting, mourning collared dove, black winged stilt, white fronted plover, blue headed sunbird, red backed shrike, striped kingfisher, willow warbler etc.

Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage tour

There’s one mountain gorilla sanctuary in Virunga National Park Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center. The Virunga charity runs the orphanage, which is free for visitors staying at the Mikeno lodge. Six orphaned gorillas that were taken from the Virunga and Kahuzi Biega national parks after losing their parents to poachers, rebels, and pet traders now reside in the Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage. A group of caregivers and veterinary professionals are caring for the orphaned gorillas who were brought into the facility for rehabilitation and medical treatment. When people visit the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage, they may get up close and personal with the orphaned gorillas, watch them feed, play, and build nests, and they can even feed the mountain gorillas with the help of the caregivers.

Nature walks

Virunga National Park is a majorly tropical rain forest with dense vegetation, woodland, grassland and swamp. tourists visiting Virunga national park can take nature walk in the morning and witness the awe inspiring and magnificent charmer of the environment and the entire wilderness. A designated trail guides tourist to un revealed secluded spot with un thinkable and incredible sightings and distinctive sound from wilderness.

Popular Safaris

  • 10 Days Kibale Forest Chimp Trek
  • 15 Days Kibale Primates Safari
  • 20 Days Unique Primates Of Kibale
  • 8 Days Chimps & Red Tail Monkey
  • 7 Days Kibale Birding In The Forest
  • 25 Days Colobus Monkey Kibale

All About Kibale

  • History Of The Park
  • Things To Do
  • Places To See
  • Getting There