Extraordinary Congo Gorilla Trekking & Unleashed Secrets

Extraordinary Congo Gorilla Trekking & Unleashed Secrets. Trekking for gorillas in the Congo is one of the most compassionate ways to encounter wildlife; seeing a western lowland gorilla while on a trek can seem more like a reunion than a sighting. You may observe their daily rituals up close and personal on Congo gorilla safaris since the habituated (but still fully wild) gorillas are surprisingly tolerant of their hairless relatives.

The Bespoke African Safari Co. informed us that on our gorilla safari in the Congo, we would be on the lookout for Neptuno’s troop, so called because of their massive silverbacks; this was one of the first habituated gorilla groups in Odzala.

Congo Gorilla Trekking

Congo conjures up mental pictures of a mystery river slicing through a huge tropical forest. Everyone has fantasized about going there at some point. But much of the biggest country in the area, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is not safe to travel through. As an example, Virunga National Park was open for mountain gorilla trekking and climbs of Mount Nyiragongo for a number of years before shutting in 2020; however, reopening anytime soon is highly improbable owing to security concerns. From neighboring Rwanda, you can get better news from Kahuzi-Biega National Park, where you can easily track eastern lowland gorillas in their natural habitat.

LARGEST Gorilla Found in Congo!

Tailor-make your Congo Gorilla Trekking Safaris and Tours

Travelers finally get an opportunity to see the equatorial rainforests, Africa’s last big wildness, at the continent’s newest safari destination. The majestic galleried rainforest and teeming mud wallows of the Congo are now within easy reach and offer a high level of luxury thanks to the construction of first-rate safari lodges in and around Odzala National Park. The wildlife watching is varied and abundant, with a wide variety of colorful birds and butterflies. In the rainforest clearings, forest elephants and buffalo are the main attractions, but most people go to the Congo to do gorilla trekking.

The Republic of the Congo’s northern jungles are home to a thriving population of western lowland gorillas and provide a breathtaking display of nature’s grandeur with their diverse animals and breathtaking rainforest settings. Since gorilla treks and safaris in the Congo are still in their early stages, it is preferable to enlist the aid of travel agents if you are an adventurous traveller who has gone on many safaris. View our suggested tours of the Congo below, or consult with one of our African Travel Experts who can create a personalized plan that includes or excludes other African countries.

Congo Gorilla Tracking Experience

Congo Gorilla Trek Safari
Days: 12 | Nights: 11
The 12 Days Congo Gorilla Trekking Safari, Get off the beaten Gorilla tracks on this Lowland Gorilla Trekking Safari through the Congo and Central African Republic jungles.

Congo Gorilla Trekking

Lowland And Mountain Gorilla Trek
Days: 8 | Nights: 7
8 Days Congo and Rwanda Safari Trip includes Trekking Lowland Gorillas in the Congo’s jungles before moving on to Rwanda to pursue their larger cousins, mountain gorillas.

Sao Tome beach adventure

Congo Gorillas & Beach Holiday
Days: 11 | Nights: 10
Gorillas and Beach Safari Sao Tome & Principe Congo. Start your 11 Days Gorilla Trekking through the Jungles of the Congo before flying to the remote islands of Sao Tome for a beach Safari.

Congo Gorilla Trekking

Sitting with endangered gorillas in their own habitat and watching the intriguing family dynamics of our ancient ancestors is one of the most unique wildlife interactions. When you go gorilla trekking in the Congo, you’ll enter a lush rainforest environment where hundreds of bird species, forest elephants, and buffalos all call home.

Tourism plays an essential role in the massive conservation efforts aimed at protecting the remaining gorilla populations in the Congo, which have been severely impacted by conflict and disease. At the same time, it provides much-needed income to the local communities. Knowing that your gorilla trek is making a direct impact on the gorillas’ survival adds depth and humility to an already deep and humbling experience.

Lastly, compared to Uganda ($700) and Rwanda ($1,500), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) offers the most affordable gorilla viewing permits at $400. Also, during peak season, they won’t sell out as quickly, if at all; that just isn’t the case in DRC. Another perk of the “low season” is that permits can be as little as $200 USD. The high expense of traveling in DRC more than makes up for the savings on the permit, therefore price shouldn’t be your primary concern. Having said that, for less than the price of one permit in Rwanda, it is possible to see both the mountain and lowland populations of gorillas on a double safari in the DRC, making it a significantly more economical option for visitors.

Why Trek Gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

For those interested in seeing mountain gorillas up close, the best places to travel are Rwanda and Uganda. They are smaller, English-speaking, have been at peace for decades, have a fantastic tourist infrastructure, and speak French (the official language of the DRC). However, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is unique among gorilla viewing locations for numerous reasons.

To start, you may view both mountain and lowland gorillas on the same tour; in fact, this is the only place on Earth where you can do so, and they really live rather near to one other. Indulge your inner primate lover with a chimpanzee safari as an extra.

Second, the money from park fees and tracking permits is crucial to keep the gorillas and their habitats protected, especially since not many tourists visit the DRC. The eastern lowland gorilla population, found exclusively in the DRC, has declined by 50–75 percent during the same time period as the mountain gorilla population, which has increased by more than 50% since 1989, mostly as a result of successful conservation and tourist initiatives in Rwanda and Uganda. The park’s budget and the local economy can both benefit from tourism, which is essential if we are to turn around this troubling trend.

Lastly, compared to Uganda ($700) and Rwanda ($1,500), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) offers the most affordable gorilla viewing permits at $400. Also, during peak season, they won’t sell out as quickly, if at all; that just isn’t the case in DRC.

Another perk of the “low season” is that permits can be as little as $200 USD. The high expense of traveling in DRC more than makes up for the savings on the permit, therefore price shouldn’t be your primary concern. Having said that, for less than the price of one permit in Rwanda, it is possible to see both the mountain and lowland populations of gorillas on a double safari in the DRC, making it a significantly more economical option for visitors.

Gorilla Trekking in the Congo (DRC) – Kahuzi Biega National Park

Kahuzi-Biega National Park: Gorilla Trekking in Congo

Which of the Gorilla Species Will you Encounter in the Congo

You may follow mountain gorillas in eastern DRC, in addition to the western lowland and eastern lowland gorillas that live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mountain gorillas

The majority of tracking efforts focus on mountain gorillas. They range across the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda, and live on the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes, which border the country to the east. From 620 in 1989 to little over 1,000 in 2018, the mountain gorilla population has increased dramatically, making it a conservation success story. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) downgraded the mountain gorillas from critically endangered to endangered as of November 2018, thanks to successful population growth. They spend most of their time on the ground, which means you might get up close and personal with them when you watch them sleep, play, and graze.

Eastern lowland gorillas

Just west of the Virunga Volcanoes, in the swamps and woods, reside the eastern lowland gorillas. The mountain gorilla, sometimes called the Grauer’s gorilla, is the tallest of the four gorilla species; adult males can reach a height of 1.85 meters, or more than six feet. Although they occasionally forage high in the canopy, you can observe them more easily if you are close to the ground because they spend more time in the trees than their mountain counterparts.

The continuous fighting in the eastern DRC has made it very difficult to monitor the population of eastern lowland gorillas and learn anything about their habits. Their population was estimated at 17,000 in the mid-1990s; recent estimates put the number of remaining in these woodlands anywhere from 25% to 50%. Because of these dangers, the eastern lowland gorilla is in grave danger of extinction.

Western lowland gorillas

Among gorilla species, western lowland gorillas are the most abundant; nevertheless, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they are found exclusively in the country’s extreme west, near the Atlantic coast. Not only in the Central African Republic, but also in the Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, and Gabon, are they tracable elsewhere. There is a dire situation for the western lowland gorilla.

Two new mountain gorillas born in DRC Congo’s Virunga park

Eastern Lowland Gorillas

Western Lowland Gorillas, Ngaga, Odzala, Congo

What Can you Expect When Gorilla Trekking in the Congo

One of the most daring adventures in Africa is the trek to see the western lowland gorillas, which involves fording rivers, crossing long grasses, and navigating swampy terrain. You have transformed from an outsider looking in to an integral element of nature. Paying attention to the enchanting scent of the forest, the crunch of your feet as you explore, and the awe-inspiring scenery around you.

Wear your most comfortable shoes for a trip that can last anywhere from an hour to five hours, depending on the locations of the families. Along the trip, your knowledgeable and enthusiastic professional guide and tracker will keep you captivated with their stories and insights.

Fascinating facts about the habitat, including its flora, fauna, insects, and unique fruits, as well as intriguing insights into the lives of these amazing creatures, will be revealed to you. Forest elephants, chimpanzees, and mangabeys (forest living monkeys) are among the other possible animals you could encounter.

What Happens when you Come Across Western Lowland Gorillas

To prevent the transmission of disease, you will be required to wear a mask once you have traversed the terrain and encountered a group of gorillas. Gorillas are just as vulnerable to disease as humans are, and the same illnesses that may kill humans can also kill gorillas. For the same reason, you should always maintain a polite distance of seven meters (23 feet) when you’re near them.

Spending up to an hour in the company of western lowland gorillas requires you to be mindful of proper camera etiquette, which includes not using flash and keeping your hands to yourself, in order to ensure the gorillas’ comfort.

Wild animal encounters always carry some degree of danger, but your guide and tracker will keep you out of harm’s way and will do all in their power to ensure that your experience is memorable and exciting. An energizing dose of Africa will course through your veins after this hour of profound observation.

Can I extend my East African safari with a trip to Congo (DRC)?

Most individuals don’t go to the DRC just for the day. On the contrary, it is an ideal complement to a traditional safari in Tanzania or Kenya. Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is easily accessible by plane. From there, you have the option to fly or arrange for a ride to Kamembe, which is also called Cyangugu, and is located on the shore of Lake Kivu, adjoining the Congolese port city of Bukavu. From Kamembe, you can choose between day trips to Kahuzi-Biega for gorilla trekking or overnight stays in Bukavu or nearby the park, depending on the operator.

It is possible to combine a gorilla trek in the Congo (DRC) with a longer vacation in Rwanda, where you may spend a few nights at Akagera National Park—home of the Big Five—and go chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe National Park (between Kamembe and Bukavu). While the animal populations in Akagera aren’t on par with those in East Africa’s most well-known reserves, this lesser-known spot is beautiful and worthwhile all the same.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda, Congo and Rwanda with our safari expert

Ready to Plan your Gorilla Trekking in the Congo Experience?

An African safari expert from our team has been on a gorilla trekking trip in the Congo. To arrange your fantastic African journey, contact them:

Is a DR Congo safari safe

It has been several years since Kahuzi-Biega was deemed safe to visit. Attracting tourists from Rwanda, the park has taken precautions to ensure that a day or overnight return trip is easy and safe. But, as of this writing, Virunga National Park, like the rest of the DRC, cannot be considered safe due to the country’s lengthy history of political instability. You should contact your tour operator before making a reservation anywhere, including in Kahuzi-Biega, because the security situation is subject to change.

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