Attractions in Virunga National Park-Congo safari news
Founded in 1925, Virunga National Park is Africa’s oldest national park primarily protected to conserve mountain gorillas. Situated in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the Albertine rift valley floor believed to be one of the most bio diverse areas in the continent. In the recent past years, the park has been facing political unrest and a reason for the almost eight-month closure of the park. The park management however, has tried to defy all odds and conserve these rare species in order to make it possible for tourists to see the attractions in Virunga National Park.
Virunga national park with mountain gorillas that are usually tracked on Congo Gorilla safari tours is situated in Congo adjacent to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. Virunga National Park in Congo is the most popular destination for Congo gorilla trekking safaris because of the mountain gorillas alongside Kahuzi Biega national park that is home to the lowland gorillas. Mountain gorillas and other attractions are reason for Congo safaris to the park
Mountain gorillas as a major attraction in Virunga National Park
Mountain gorillas are the key attraction within Virunga National Park. The park though believed to have the highest number of mountain gorillas in the Virunga massif has a total of 8 habituated gorilla with the rest still wild mountain gorillas. The park is open to gorilla trekking on a daily basis with a total of 8 tourists allowed to trek a single gorilla family at USD 400 per person per day. A single hour is spent in the presence of the mountain gorillas. Gorillas just like human beings live a social life, they have families and family hierarchy is followed. Each family group is led by an older male gorilla known as the silverback. This is because of the silver fur that develops on their backs as they grow older. The silverback is responsible for family protection against all forms of danger and feeding. You will enjoy this interaction on your safari.
Mount Nyiragongo hike
Mount Nyiragongo is one of Africa’s most active volcano with recent volcanic eruption activities in the 20th century. The mountain is about 3,470m high with two distinct lava benches one about 3,175m (10,417ft) and the other at 2,975m (9,760ft). Congo`s volcanic mountains-mount Nyiragongo and mount Nyamuragira, take approximately 40% of the volcanic eruptions in the history of Africa. Mount Nyiragongo in Congo houses the world’s largest lava lake. Mount Nyiragongo hike is the most popular activity aside from a Congo gorilla tour.
The chimpanzees are one of the attractions in Virunga national park. Chimpanzees live in the forest of Virunga more so in the areas of Rumangabo. A total of four tourists are allowed to spend a maximum of one hour with the chimpanzees each single day. The chimpanzees have highly been threatened by instability and that’s why their protection is very vital. Bookings for a gorilla habituation experience is done at Mikeno lodge only. In case of any illness, volunteer to stay behind since chimpanzees are highly susceptible to diseases.
The Batwa Pygmies
The Batwa pygmies are former inhabitants of the Ituri forest who lived a hunter gatherer life in harmony with the gorillas in the forest. Because of conservation purposes and need to boost Congo gorilla trekking tours the Batwa were forced to live in the foothills of the mountains. The Batwa pygmies are known to be in the foothills of Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda.
One can almost say an un changing park, though the first national park of the continent Virunga National Park is “un touched” and offers rewarding safaris.