Are you one of the people that find it difficult to book a Congo safari? Then you have a lot you miss out! The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the blessed Africa safari countries in the world. It is a hidden unique Africa tour gem that offers one of the best fascinating Africa gorilla trekking safaris. It is the only unique destination that is home to the 2 wonderful species of gorillas in the world; lowland gorillas and the mountain gorillas.
Congo gorilla tours are therefore the popular safari to Congo activity though there’s a debate on whether they should book a Mountain Gorilla trekking tour Congo or Lowland Gorilla trekking safari tour in Congo. These species of gorillas are found in different parks because of their behaviour. Mountain Gorilla trekking is undertaken at Virunga National Park where’s lowland gorilla trekking is undertaken at Kahuzi Biega National Park. Travellers often ask; “which is the best gorilla trekking experience, is it the mountain or lowland gorillas?”. Both gorilla species are fun to track because they both give you a unique trekking experience.
Can I trek both gorilla species? Yes! Why not. It is possible to trek both guerilla groups. Congo gorilla trekking safaris to Virunga National Park Congo and Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo which will help you choose which trek is better between Mountain or Lowland Gorilla Trekking;
Lowland Gorilla Trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Lowland Gorillas are found in Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and a favourite place for Congo gorilla trekking tours for tourists who wouldn’t love to hike. The altitude of Kahuzi Biega National Park rises from 600m above sea level which is lower than Virunga, therefore, a favourite destination for clients who wouldn’t be able to hike.
To trek a gorilla family in Congo, a traveller needs a Congo gorilla trekking permit. A Congo gorilla safari permit costs USD 400 per person per trek which is far less than both the price for a Uganda or Rwanda gorilla safari permits.
Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Virunga National Park
The most popular Congo safari activity in Virunga National Park. In the park are six habituated gorilla families available for gorilla trekking safaris in Congo. Kabirizi is the largest family in the national park with approximately 32 members including 10 babies, 4 sub-adults, I black back, 11 adults, five juveniles and 1 silverback named kabirizi. The other gorilla families in the national park are Rugendo, Munyaga, Humba, Mapuwa and Lulengo families. Congo gorilla trekking safaris is an all year round activity and a total of 8 tourists are allowed to trek a single gorilla family each day. Mountain Gorilla trekking starts at 8:00 am each morning and takes about 6 hours though only a maximum of 1 hour in the presence of the gentle giants. Virunga National Parks rises to an altitude of 2,230ft offering a great hiking challenge to trekkers in the park.
The advantage of trekking gorillas in Virunga National Park is that it is adjacent to the border with Rwanda and Uganda and therefore accessible. The country is politically unstable and could not be very safe to traverse all through to Kahuzi Biega National Park.
Best Time for Gorilla trekking safaris in Congo
Ever before many Congo safari tourists have gathered what is needed to safari Congo, they always ask what the best time for Congo gorilla trekking safaris. Congo gorilla safaris are an all year round activity however, just like any other activity there is always a recommendable time for Congo tours to the gorilla homeland. Here is a guide of the on the yearly calendar about the weather and climate of Congo that will help you determine what the best time for Congo gorilla trekking safaris is;
January – February. These are usually fairly dry months of the year in Congo. This time is considered the short dry season of the country and a good time for Congo gorilla safari tours. However, it can easily rain at any time during this season though the chances are low and the rains are low/light.
March, April and May. The months of March, April and May form the rainy season of Congo. Many refer to this as the low season and not recommended for travellers to tour Congo in this period. However, this does not mean that the park is completely closed or trekking cannot be done. If it’s when you have the time for a safari, then no reason to worry because, at this time, the park is open and in most cases, Congo gorilla tour permits are discounted. Accommodation in Virunga National Park or in Kahuzi Biega National Park is in most cases discounted too. Therefore, this is a good time for a Congo safari tour for budget travellers; you save and yet have the same great experience of spending a full hour in the presence of the elusive giants
June, July and August. These months are considered the best time for Congo gorilla trekking safaris since this is known as the dry season in the country. The advantage of taking a safari to Congo at this time is that many travellers are in the country, the forest of either Virunga National Park or Kahuzi Biega National Park is drier and therefore, it’s easier to trek gorillas. The grass is also shorter and therefore photography is easier to do.
September – October are also still one of the best time for Congo gorilla trekking safaris since the rains are low. This season is also great if you are planning to tailor in a Uganda tour,wildlife safari in Uganda or safari to Rwanda because the rains are less in the other countries too. This time is also ideal for a Tanzania safari for a hike to Mount Kilimanjaro.
November experiences light rains but still, gorilla trekking in Congo is possible. By mid-December, it’s eased off to light showers and one best time for Congo gorilla trekking safari tours. However, this season is a Christmas season and the need for Congo tour permits is high therefore you need to book early.
In summary, therefore, the best time for Congo gorilla trekking safaris is during the months of June-October and mid-December – February. These months depend on all of your personal schedules but gorilla safari Congo tours are open all year round.
Looking for a suitable mountain gorilla trekking alternative, a Uganda safari or Rwanda safari is the easiest way of trekking Mountain Gorillas outside Congo. Many travellers also always tailor their tour in Congo to a Uganda gorilla safari or gorilla safari Rwanda tailored as a double-tracking safari in more than one destination.
Congo gorilla safari packages
2 Days Congo gorilla safari to Virunga National Park
3 Days Congo gorilla safari
3 Days Lowland gorilla trekking safari
4 Days Congo gorilla safari & Nyiragongo hike
5 Days Congo gorilla safari
6 Days Congo gorilla & hiking safari
7 Days Congo wildlife safari