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Congo Gorilla Trekking Safari Tours

Congo safaris are among the most outstanding adventures to explore for your safaris in Africa. Congo Gorilla safaris or Gorilla tours take you on Gorilla trekking safari in Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park.

Trekking Gorillas during your Congo safari trips provides exceptional experiences worth undertaking on an African safari tour.

Travelers planning to go for a Congo Gorilla safari will encounter the endangered Mountain Gorillas and the Eastern lowland Gorillas in their natural habitat. Virunga National Park found in the Virunga Conservation Area hosts most of the Gorilla trekking safari tours.

Virunga Conservation Area also spans Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park. Together with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, the above destinations in the Virunga region are the only places to spot the endangered Mountain Gorillas in the world.

Travelers interested in watching the Lowland Gorillas during their Congo Gorilla safari can do so at Kahuzi Biega National Park.

Congo Gorilla safaris in Virunga National Park will however provide the best adventure in watching the endangered Gorillas in Africa.

It is possible to add other amazing adventures to your Gorilla trekking Congo tour/Congo Gorilla safaris to explore this beauty in Africa during your Congo safaris.

Among these Congo safaris is a Mount Nyiragongo hike to watch the world’s largest lava lake, bird watching, Chimpanzee trekking, and game viewing.

The country also provides incredible accommodation facilities ranging from luxury to midrange and budget for your Eastern Congo safaris.

Congo Gorilla safari tours are also possible all year round even though the dry season offers the best experiences because of the minimal rainfall, thus making tracks drier.

Read below to find out more about Congo Gorilla safari adventures!

2024/2025 Guide for Congo Gorilla Trekking in Virunga National Park & Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Sites for Congo Gorilla Trekking Tours | Where to See Gorillas in Congo?

For the common question “Can you see Gorillas in Congo?”, there are two destinations in the Democratic Republic of Congo to watch Gorillas as discussed below:

  1. Virunga National Park

  2. Previously called Albert National Park, it is the oldest national park in the country. It was renamed Virunga National Park in 1969 after gaining independence from Belgium.

    This oldest national park was established in 1925 and it is found in Eastern Congo bordering Uganda’s Mgahinga and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, between Lake Kivu and Lake Edward.

    The park is famous for Mountain Gorilla Congo tours but it is also a rare gem for 2 active volcanoes which are Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamurangira. It is one of the only 4 places in the world to spot Mountain Gorillas.

    Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site protects about a third of the total global population (1,063) of these Mountain Gorillas and over 196 mammal species including endangered species like Chimpanzees and the Golden Monkey.

    Other wildlife to see in the park include the Dent's Mona Monkey, Central Africa Red Colobus, Okapis, Giant Forest Hog, and beautiful birds, among others.

    Gorilla Families in Virunga National Park

    Virunga National Park has 8 Gorilla families and you can meet one of them during your Gorilla trekking safari. These Gorilla safaris in Congo’s Virunga National Park begin with a briefing at the park headquarters.

    Below are the habituated Gorilla families in Virunga National Park.

    1. The Kabirizi Family, the most visited Gorilla family
    2. Bageni Family
    3. Mapuwa Family
    4. Rugendo Family
    5. Lulengo Family
    6. Munyaga Family
    7. Humba Family
    8. Nyakamwe Family
  3. Kahuzi Biega National Park

  4. The Kahuzi Biega National Park is the best and only destination to experience the Eastern Lowland Gorilla trekking experience. This beautiful park is located on the western banks of Lake Kivu on the Rwanda border.

    It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its outstanding biodiversity, and it protects over 250 Lowland Gorillas. Three of the Gorilla groups are habituated and open for Gorilla tracking safaris in DR Congo.

    Apart from having the Lowland Gorilla trekking experience, this park is also home to about 136 animal species including

    13 primates for example the Chimpanzees. Others are Forest Genets, Bush Elephants, and Buffalos.

    Bird lovers will also encounter various birds on their Gorilla tour in Congo’s Kahuzi Beiga National Park as it is home to over 349 birds including 42 endemics for example the Albertine Owlet. Other birds in the park are the African Green Broadbill, Yellow-crested Helmet Shrike, Congo Peafowl, and Rockefeller's Sunbird, among others.

Are There Gorillas in Congo? | Does Congo Have Gorillas? | Is the Gorilla From Congo Real?

Yes, there are Gorillas in DR Congo and you can see them in Virunga National Park which has Mountain Gorillas, and Kahuzi Biega National Park which has the Eastern Lowland Gorillas.

What Gorilla Species are found in Congo?

As mentioned above, the Democratic Republic of Congo protects two Gorilla species and these are the Mountain Gorillas in Virunga National Park and the Grauer's Gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park.

Differences and Similarities between Eastern Lowland Gorillas and Mountain Gorillas

The most common similarity between these animals is that they are both primates and endangered species. Below are their major differences.

  1. Grauer's Gorillas survive in captivity while Mountain Gorillas only thrive in the wild.
  2. The Mountain Gorilla has heavier hair than Eastern low-land Gorillas to keep them warm on high altitudes of over 12,200-4,300m a.s.l.
  3. The Grauer's Gorillas weigh about 180kg thus heavier than Mountain Gorillas which are about 150kg.

What is the Largest Gorilla in the World?

The Eastern Lowland Gorilla is the largest Gorilla species compared to all the 4 sub-species. They weigh about 100 to 210kg.

Congo Gorilla Population | How Many Gorillas are Left in the Congo? | How Many Gorillas are in Congo?

The Democratic Republic of Congo has about a third of the total number of Mountain Gorillas in the world at Congo’s Virunga National Park. The other Mountain Gorilla animals in the Virunga Conservation Area are found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Bwindi Impenetrable NP, and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda.

There are also about 250 Lowland Gorillas in Congo’s Kahuzi Biega National Park.

What Country Has the Most Gorillas? | Which Country is Best for Gorilla Trekking?

About half of the Mountain Gorilla population in the world (1,063) live in Uganda’s Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks. Uganda’s Bwindi NP has about 459 Gorillas which is almost 50% of the endangered Mountain Gorillas on Earth.

This number of Mountain Gorilla animals thus makes Uganda the best country for your Africa Gorilla tours.

The other remaining population of the Mountain Gorilla animals are found in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

How Much is a Gorilla Permit in Congo? | How Much Does it Cost to See Gorillas in Congo? | How Much is Gorilla Trekking in DRC?

A Gorilla tracking permit is the cheapest among all the destinations in East Africa for Gorilla tours, which is $ 400 for foreign non-residents in both Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Parks.

On the other hand, the Uganda Gorilla trekking experience costs $ 700 while for Rwanda, it is $ 1500 for a Gorilla permit. Thus, making Gorilla tours in DR Congo the cheapest.

How Much is the Virunga Gorilla Trek?

Below is the cost for Virunga National Park Congo Gorilla permits according to nationality.

  1. Foreign Non-Residents – 400 USD
  2. Foreign Residents – 200 USD
  3. East African Citizens – 20 USD

Where and How to Book a Gorilla Trekking Permit in Congo?

There are 2 options for booking Gorilla trekking permits in DR Congo. You can either book your Gorilla tracking permits directly from the Virunga Foundation or through a reputable tour operator.

It is advisable to book your Congo Gorilla permits for Gorilla trekking at least 3 to 6 months before the Gorilla trekking day of your Congo Gorilla safari because they are limited due to high demand.

Where is the Cheapest Place to See Gorillas? Where is the Cheapest Place to See Mountain Gorillas?

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the cheapest place to see Gorillas. A Gorilla trekking permit in the Democratic Republic of Congo is at $ 400 while Uganda and Rwanda sell it at $ 700 and $ 1500 respectively.

Thus, the Gorilla tracking permit in the Democratic Republic of Congo is half price that in Uganda and Rwanda.

Therefore, Gorilla trekking in DR Congo is great for budget travelers.

Is Gorilla Trekking Worth it in Congo? | Is Gorilla Trekking Worth the Money in Congo?

Many reasons make Gorilla trekking expeditions in DR Congo worth the money. Below, we look at these factors.

  1. Since the Virunga National Park Gorillas do not survive in captivity, much of the money collected from the Gorilla tracking fee is used to conserve the environment.
  2. Also, locals in the Democratic Republic of Congo are supported through employment for example the park rangers and porters.
  3. Additionally, a percentage of the money from Gorilla tours is used to develop communities around national parks, for example, building schools, roads, and health centers, among others.
  4. Most importantly, the Gorilla adventure in Eastern Congo brings you to a close and personal encounter with the Gorillas in their natural environment.

How Hard is the Gorilla Trek in Congo? | How Difficult is Gorilla Trekking Congo?

Gorilla tours in Congo are a bit challenging, although it depends on your physical level of fitness or where you find the Gorillas on your Congo Gorilla safaris.

The experience will require you to hike through the challenging terrain, thick undergrowth, hills, valleys, and sometimes muddy places. This however should not discourage you from undertaking a Gorilla tour in Eastern Congo because once you meet, the primates, your excitement will make you forget all that you went through.

Additionally, there are porters that you can hire to carry your bags in case you have heavy luggage. You can also hire more porters to carry you on a Bamboo stretcher during your Gorilla trek.

Is Congo Gorilla Trekking Safe? | Is it Safe to See Gorillas in Congo? | Is Gorilla Trekking in Congo Safe?

“Is it safe to travel to Congo?” Many travelers planning Congo Gorilla safaris ask. Although Congo is known to be one of the countries facing a lot of insecurity due to the presence of rebel groups that live in its rainforests, planning with an experienced tour operator can make your Gorilla safari in Congo much safer.

Many factors make the Gorilla tours safer as seen below.

  1. Trained and professional armed rangers always escort tourists for Gorilla trekking in Congo.
  2. These armed rangers also patrol the park every day for poachers, intruders, or smugglers.
  3. Also, the Gorilla trekking tours occur only on fully habituated Gorilla families that are used to human presence.

Which Country is Safest for Gorilla Trekking? | What Country is the Safest to See Gorillas?

Uganda and Rwanda have the safest Gorilla tours currently.

Although Congo sometimes has unstable security due to the rebel groups that live in the forests, the government together with the United Nations are doing their best to bring peace to the country.

Your tour operator will advise you on the best safety measures when visiting Congo.

How Long Does Gorilla Trekking Take in Congo

Gorilla safaris take about 2 to 8 hours depending on the movement of the Gorillas in the rainforest.

Some Gorilla families live near the park headquarters thus finding them can be easier.

Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations to Follow for Your Congo Gorilla Safari

These rules and regulations are set for the conservation and protection of both the endangered Gorillas and visitors during their Gorilla trek for Gorilla safaris in Congo.

Let us look at them below.

    Gorilla Trekking Guidelines Before Departing Into the Jungle

  1. Only visitors who are 15 years and above are allowed to trek Gorillas.
  2. All human waste should be buried 30cm deep to prevent the Mountain Gorilla animals from being affected by diseases.
  3. Only 8 people are allowed to visit the Gorilla group per day to avoid stressing the animals.
  4. You are not allowed to do Gorilla tracking if you have flu, cough, or cold so it does not spread to the Gorillas.
  5. By keeping low voices going for Gorilla tracking, you are guaranteed to experience more.
Guidelines to Follow While With Gorillas
  1. Avoid littering in the park, but keep all the rubbish to be disposed of when you arrive at your lodge.
  2. You are not allowed to touch the Mountain Gorilla animals and maintain at least a 7m distance from Gorillas for safety.
  3. Eating, drinking, and smoking around the Gorillas is strictly prohibited.
  4. In case you feel like sneezing, look away and cover your face to prevent the spreading of contagious illnesses.
  5. Always follow the instructions of your ranger while for Gorilla tracking or with the Gorillas.
  6. Travelers will spend one hour with a Gorilla family upon meeting them.
  7. Flash photographs may scare the Gorillas thus it is advisable to take photos without flashes.

How Much Does a Gorilla Safari Cost in Congo? | How Much is a Gorilla Tour in Congo?

There is no definite cost for a Congo Gorilla trekking safari but different factors will determine the cost of your Gorilla tour in Rwanda as seen below

  1. The accommodation class you are to stay in for your Congo safaris
  2. Number of days to spend on your Congo Gorilla tour
  3. The type of Congo safari vehicle to use for your Congo safaris as you go tracking Gorillas
  4. Whether it is a group or solo travel
  5. Other activities to add to your Congo Gorilla tour like game viewing or nature walks

Best Time to Visit Congo Gorillas | What are the Best Months for Safari in Congo? | Which Month is Best for Gorilla Trekking Tours in Congo?

Gorilla safaris in Congo are good all year round. However, the dry months from around June to August and December to February are the best for viewing Congo Gorillas.

This is because of the drier trails unlike in the dry season when trails are usually muddy and slippery thus hard to pass through during your Gorilla safari in Congo.

However, the wet season has an abundance of food for the Gorillas thus making them stay at a closer range, making them easy to find Other Things to Do in Congo on Top of Your Gorilla Safari

Many visitors add the following Congo safari activities to their Gorilla safari vacation in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

  1. DRC Volcano Tour | Undertaking Mount Nyiragongo Hike
  2. Mount Nyiragongo is among the major attractions in Virunga National Park and an active volcano with the largest lava lake in the world.

    The mountain erupted about 34 times between 1882 to 2021 but attracts thousands of visitors a year for a thrilling Nyiragongo mountain hike. Hiking the volcanic mountains costs about $ 30, excluding other expenses like hiring porters and it is among the best activities for your Gorilla safari in Congo.

  3. Chimpanzee Trekking Tours in Congo
  4. Chimpanzee trekking is also one of the great activities to do in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Chimpanzee trekking activity allows you close encounters with our close relatives and you can do it in Virunga National Park.

    During the trek, you may meet other animals for example the Golden Monkey, Forest Elephants, and Okapis, among others.

  5. Bird Watching in Virunga National Park
  6. A bird-watching tour during your safari in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the best experiences, as the country holds over 1,188 bird species and is thus one of the countries with the highest bird checklists in Africa.

    Some of the most common birds in Congo include the Congo Serpent-Eagle, White-bellied Kingfisher, Red-billed dwarf Hornbill, White-thighed Hornbills, Bronze-Napped Pigeon, Piping Hornbills and Black-casqued Hornbills.

Packing List for Congo Safari | What to Pack for a Safari in Congo

Pack the most necessary items and equipment to help provide exceptional experiences during your tour

Below are the important things to carry for your Congo Gorilla safaris

  1. A camera: Enables you to capture memorable moments during your Congo Gorilla safaris.
  2. Rain Jacket/Poncho: In case it rains during nature walks as you enjoy your Congo gorilla safaris.
  3. Strong & comfortable hiking boots: For an easier Gorilla trek during your Congo safari.
  4. Long-sleeved shirts and trousers: These will protect you from cuts, insect bites, or weather during your Gorilla trek.
  5. Insect repellents: This is important to repel insects while for your Congo Gorilla safaris.
  6. Garden gloves: Will protect your hands from plants while for your Gorilla trek.
  7. A backpack: To keep all your belongings safe as you are tracking Gorillas
  8. Sunglasses, sunscreens, and a sunhat: These are important for your Gorilla safari in Congo to protect you from the sunlight rays, especially in the dry season.
  9. Drinking water: Helps to keep you hydrated during nature walks or a Gorilla trek.
  10. Packed lunch: Snacks are also important to give you energy.
Congo Safari Outfit | What to Wear on a Congo Safari?

Packing comfortable eco-friendly clothes provide the best experience for your Gorilla tours in Congo. Khaki, Brown, Grey, and Green are highly recommended.

The best attire however for a tour are long-sleeved clothes or trousers that cover your whole body. Additionally, wear strong and comfortable sturdy shoes for easy Gorilla trekking, a hat/cap, or sunglasses to protect you from the tropical heat of the sun.

Top Tourist Attractions in Congo | What to See in Congo on a Safari?

Discover the beautiful major attractions in the Democratic Republic of Congo as you explore the country. We list some of them below.

  1. Primates of Congo
  2. Congo has over 49 species of primates, the highest number in Africa. Common ones are Gorillas, Bonobos, Baboons, Common Chimpanzees, Blue Monkeys, Mantled Guereza, Golden Monkeys, and Angola Colobus, among others.

  3. Game Animals of Congo
  4. Discover some of the unique wildlife species in Congo including the Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Okapis, Hippos, Dent’s Mona Monkey, Crocodiles, and different Antelope species that you can majorly spot at the Garamba National Park.

  5. Birds in Congo
  6. Congo is one of the African countries with the highest bird checklist is over 1,188 species of birds, thus a rich tourist attraction in the country. Some of the most sought-after birds include White-Thighed Hornbills, African Fish Eagle, Congo Serpent-Eagle, African Paradise Flycatcher, and Woodland Kingfisher, among others.

    Other common attractions in Congo include the volcanic mountains (Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamuragira, waterfalls (Boyoma Falls, Zongo Falls, and Livingstone waterfalls), rivers (River Congo, Lukaya River), and lakes (Lake Kivu), among others.

Places in Congo to Visit | Best Destinations in Congo to Visit on Your Safari?

The following are some of the best places to visit during your tour of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  1. Virunga National Park
  2. Virunga National Park is famously known for Mountain Gorillas but other attractions in the park include Chimpanzees, Mount Nyiragongo an active volcano, birds, and the Batwa people.

    Therefore, visiting this tourist attraction will allow you various Congo safari activities, for example, Gorilla trekking, Chimpanzee trekking, bird watching, hiking Mount Nyiragongo, nature walks, etc.

  3. Kahuzi Beiga National Park
  4. This home of the Eastern Lowland Gorillas will grant you unforgettable Lowland Gorilla tours and birding experiences during your trip.

  5. Odzala National Park
  6. Odzala National Park protects the Western Lowland Gorilla, thus also promoting Western Lowland Gorilla trekking. However, other wild animals to watch in Odzala National Park include the Black Crested Mangabeys, Crested Mona Monkeys, Central African Red Colobus, and De Brazza's Monkeys, among others.

  7. Salonga National Park
  8. Salonga National Park located along the Congo River basin is well known for its flora and fauna for example the Bonobos and it also has a large population of Forest Elephants.

  9. Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage
  10. This Gorilla sanctuary near the Virunga National Park headquarters, is also home to the Mountain Gorillas with about 7 which were rescued from poachers.

Which is the Best Safari Park in Congo?

Virunga National Park is considered the best Congo safari park, harbouring important tourist attractions for example the Mountain Gorillas and various Virunga Volcanoes.

What Wildlife is in the Republic of the Congo?

The Democratic Republic of Congo has numerous wildlife species as the country holds many natural habitats. Below are the different wildlife species in DR Congo.

Primates for example Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Golden Monkey species, and Bonobos which live on the South of River Congo.

Mountain Gorillas and Golden Monkeys can also be seen in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga Park in Uganda.

Other wildlife species in Congo include the rich flora and animals for example Elephants, Leopards, Lions, White Rhinos, Giraffes, Okapis, Antelopes, Spotted Hyenas,87 and various bird species.

What is Congo Famous for?

Although the country boasts various safaris, Congo is most famous for Mountain Gorilla tours in Virunga National Park and Lowland Gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park.

Uganda’s Bwindi and Mgahinga Parks plus Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda are also home to Gorillas.

Is Congo Good for Tourists | Why Do Tourists Visit the Congo? | What is special about the Congo?

The Democratic Republic of Congo ranks as a great place for an East African safari.

Below are the top reasons why you should visit Congo today.
  1. Congo is among the few destinations in the world to trek Mountain Gorillas. The other places are Uganda in Bwindi & Mgahinga and Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park.
  2. Congo is also the only place to spot the Eastern Lowland Gorillas.
  3. The country is a birder’s have protecting some of the rarest bird species.
  4. Additionally, discover the unique wildlife species of the country, for example, Okapis, Gorillas, and Bonobos, which are all some of the most rare species in Africa.

  5. Apart from Gorilla tours, Congo also organises some of the most adventurous activities in Africa for example hiking Nyiragongo an active volcano, and exploring River Congo, among others.
  6. Is There a Safari in Congo? | Does Congo Have Safaris?

    There are many exhilarating Congo safari tours you should undertake on your vacation in Africa. The best safaris include Gorilla tours, Volcano hiking adventures, Chimpanzee trekking tours, and bird-watching tours, among others.

Congo Hotels | Safari Lodges in Congo

During your Congo safaris, there are different options for accommodation ranging from budget, midrange, and luxury. You can thus choose the most favorable according to your budget.

Below is a list of these lodges
  1. Top Luxury Lodges in Congo
    1. Mikeno Lodge
    2. Bukima Lodge
    3. L’Orchis Safari Club
    4. Lac Kivu Lodge
  2. Popular Midrange Lodges in Congo
    1. Coco Lodge Bukavu
    2. Hotel Begonais Bukavu
    3. Panorama Hotel
    4. Lake Side Hotel Bukavu
  3. Recommended Budget Lodges in Congo
    1. Kibumba Tented Camp and Lodge
    2. Exodus Bukavu
    3. Hotel Begonias Bukavu
    4. Hotel Elizabeth

How Much Does it Cost to Go on a Safari in Congo? | How Much Does it Cost to Go to the Congo Safari?

Different factors determine the cost of a safari in Congo and below, we look at some of them.
  1. Class of accommodation to stay in during your Congo safaris
  2. Number of days to spend on the safari trip
  3. Type of safari vehicle to use on the tour
  4. Number of people traveling for the tour
  5. Additional activities to add to the Gorilla safari

Best Congo Tour Operators to Travel With For Your Safari

Discover and contact the Congo tour operators you should book your gorilla tour/ Congo safari Gorilla tour with:

  1. Prime Safaris and Tours Ltd
  2. Wild Gorilla Safaris
  3. Africa Safaris Tours
  4. Congo Gorilla Safaris Tours

Best Congo Holiday Packages

If you are looking for the best Congo tour packages or Congo Gorilla safaris, below are the best Mountain Gorilla tours in Congo:

  1. 7 Days Congo Tour
  2. This is one of the most commonly booked Congo Gorilla safaris, allowing you to visit the Mountain Gorillas and the Eastern Lowland Gorillas. Likewise, the adventure will allow you a Nyiragongo hike. This Congo safari also includes a visit to Rwanda at Volcanoes National Park.

    Other safari packages in Congo include the following;
  3. 3 days Nyiragongo hike adventure
  4. 5 days of Gorilla tracking in Congo & Nyiragongo hiking
  5. 10 days primate safari in Uganda (Kibale and Bwindi), Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park) and Congo safaris (Virunga Park)
  6. 12 Days Uganda Rwanda and Congo safaris – Wildlife safari, Gorilla tracking, and Chimp trekking adventure.
  7. 17 days Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo safari – Nyungwe Forest National Park, Volcanoes National Park, Kigali City, Virunga National Park, Queen Elizabeth NP, Bwindi Impenetrable NP, Lake Bunyonyi

In conclusion, Congo Gorilla safaris provide incredible adventures to meet the Mountain Gorillas and the Eastern Lowland Gorillas. The Gorilla trekking safari tours will take you to Virunga National Park. while visiting the Eastern Lowland Gorillas will lead you to Kahuzi Biega National Park for your Congo safaris. You can also add a Nyiragongo hike to this adventure to explore the largest lava lake in the world. If you are planning for Congo safaris, inquire and book with us your Gorilla trekking experience in Congo and other adventures today!

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