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Home » Africa Gorilla Tours: Guide For Gorilla Trekking in Africa 2024 » Congo Gorilla Trekking in Virunga National Park, Trekking With Gorillas in Congo

Congo Gorilla Trekking in Virunga National Park, Trekking With Gorillas in Congo

Gorilla trekking in Congo Virunga safaris is the main reason why thousands of visitors undertake Congo safaris on top of their East African safari trips.

Congo gorilla tours are incomparable among East African countries for gorilla tours! Travelers who take Congo gorilla safaris in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have a golden opportunity to encounter Mountain gorillas as well as Eastern lowland gorillas.

Virunga National Park is the site for Mountain gorilla trekking in DR Congo. It borders national parks; Rwanda Volcanoes National Park and Mgahinga National Park of Uganda. Apart from Congo gorilla safaris in Virunga park, you shouldn’t also miss the Mount Nyiragongo hike which allows you to explore the boiling lava lake- the world’s largest lava lake.

Other major attractions and activities in DR Congo Virunga National Park include Chimpanzee trekking, nature walks, and birding expeditions.

If interested in visiting Eastern lowland gorillas, never miss exploring Kahuzi Biega National Park on your Congo safaris. Eastern lowland gorillas are incredibly gentle giants bigger than Mountain gorillas! They are worth visiting for comparison purposes!

We usually advise our clients to undertake Virunga Park Congo safaris from June to September when rainfall is minimal. In these dry months, the gorilla trek is easy to hike as the gorilla tracking trails are drier.

While planning to visit Mountain gorillas in Congo, hiking boots, rainjacket, insect repellents, camera, and sun protection gears are so vital! For notable Congo safaris, book your safari in Congo with an experienced & reliable tour operator.


Sites For Congo Gorilla Trekking Tours – Where to See Gorillas in Congo?

There are 2 great sites for the gorilla trekking experience in Congo: Virunga National Park gorilla safaris- the most prominent as well as Kahuzi Biega National Park- home of the Lowland gorillas.

Here is the detail of destinations for gorilla safaris in Congo:

  1. Virunga National Park

Also known as Albert National Park, Virunga Park is among the most famous national parks in DR Congo- commonly visited by travelers on Congo safaris/Congo wildlife safaris.

World over, Virunga National Park is famous for its gorilla safaris. It’s one of the 4 national parks in Africa (Uganda’s Mgahinga Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as well as Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park) to spot Mountain gorillas.

Although Virunga Park is known for gorilla safaris, its other great attractions are the 2 active volcanoes. The Nyamurangira and Nyiragongo active volcano which is capped with a boiling lava lake.

Further, note that Virunga Park also holds Chimpanzees as well as Golden Monkeys. Red-tailed monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Baboons, and Colobus monkeys have been spotted in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Other unique wildlife species found in this rich biodiverse park include; forest Elephants, Buffalos, Bushbucks, Spotted Hyenas, Okapis, and a rich birdlife.


Congo gorilla tours in Virunga National Park are done on 10 habituated gorilla groups and here there are:

  1. Kabirizi Gorilla Family
  2. Bageni Group
  3. Lulengo Family
  4. Rugendo Family
  5. Nyakamwe Gorilla Group
  6. Wilungula Gorilla Family
  7. Humba Group
  8. Mapuwa, and
  9. Baraka Gorilla Family
  10. Munyaga Gorilla Group

In most cases, travelers undertaking Mountain gorilla trekking safari tours in Virunga Park visit the Kabirizi family. On your Mountain gorilla adventure, you’ll watch these cool giants- Mountain gorillas amazingly grooming, feeding, and youngsters swinging in trees. You’ll be amazed by the sheer size of the Silverback gorilla.



For a rewarding experience on your Congo wildlife safaris/Congo gorilla safaris, endeavor to undertake the Nyiragongo active volcano trek.

Mount Nyiragongo is one of the prime attractions on Congo safaris. It’s an amazing active volcano hike that gives you a golden chance of brilliant sights of the lava-boiling crater lake- the world’s largest lava lake.

This adventurous hike normally takes about 5-6 hours from Kibati Patrol Post. Most travelers spend a night at the lovely accommodation set around the rim of this lava crater lake.


Since Virunga Africa Park holds some habituated Chimpanzees, it’s possible for travelers to enjoy chimpanzee trekking in Congo on top of their Virunga National Park gorilla tour/gorilla safaris.

According to science, chimps are the most intelligent apes on Earth. They are considered the closest cousins of man- sharing over 98-99% of man’s DNA. Thus, most of their behaviors much almost like those of humans.

During chimpanzee trekking, you’ll enter into the jungle and search for these incredible apes. On encountering them, expect to watch them wonderfully feeding, grooming, playing, and swinging in trees, to mention but a few.

If lucky, on the chimp trek, you can encounter other animal species such as forest hogs, forest Elephants, Buffalos, Bushbucks, Monkeys, and beautiful bird species.

We advise our clients to undertake chimpanzee trekking before the Mountain gorilla trekking tour in Virunga Park.


Senkwekwe Gorilla Sanctuary is just close to Virunga Park Headquarters. It’s the only sanctuary for Mountain gorillas in the world.

Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center is home to over 6 orphaned Mountain gorillas. Most of these endangered gorillas were brought for rehabilitation after losing their parents to poachers & rebel groups. Even, there are those rescued from the pet trade.

On your visit to this center, you’ll join a group of caretakers and veterinary doctors who take care of these endangered Mountain gorillas. Visitors will watch gorillas playing, and feeding and you can take part in feeding them for a remarkable encounter.

Travelers staying at Mikeno Lodge visit this sanctuary freely.

This area is mostly visited after gorilla trekking safaris in Congo Virunga National Park.


On your gorilla tour safari in Virunga National Park- a UNESCO world heritage site in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, undertaking nature walks is the best way of exploring this great biodiverse protected area.

Congo Virunga National Park features numerous trails for forest walks and this activity is done in a company of armed park rangers.

During the nature walks, you’ll encounter numerous wildlife species such as Central Africa Red Colobus, a stunning landscape of Lake Kivu as well as Nyiragongo views, etc.

Taking nature walks on clear days offers you great views of the snow-capped views of the Rwenzori Mountains.

Just like chimpanzee trekking tours, nature walks are mostly done before Congo gorilla safaris in Virunga Park.


Birds are also key attractions in Virunga National Park. About 706 bird species have been recorded in this great park. Out of these, 17 are Albertine Rift endemics while others are savannah birds, forest, and Congo bird species.

On your birding tour in Virunga Park, expect to spot, Yellow-Billed Barbets, Paradise Fly Catchers, Rwenzori Turacos, Regal Sunbirds, Madagascar Bee-eaters, Specked Mouse Birds, White Naked Ravens, Grey-throated Barbets, Olive Pigeons, and Strange Weavers.

Birding expeditions are also done before Congo gorilla safaris in Virunga Park.

  1. Kahuzi Biega National Park

Kahuzi Biega National Park– 600,000 ha land area is another wonderful site for gorilla trekking tours in Congo. Among African countries, Kahuzi Biega National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is the only site to visit Eastern lowland gorillas.

Not only is Kahuzi Biega Park known for Eastern lowland gorillas, but it also holds more unique wildlife species; 137 animal species, 350 birds, and lovely vegetation.

In this park, you’ll enjoy also dazzling views of the 2 volcanoes (Mount Kahuzi & Mount Biega) in the heart of Kahuzi Beiga National Park.

Notable Activities in Kahuzi Biega National Park


Trekking Eastern lowland gorillas is the main activity on your Congo safari in Kahuzi Beiga National Park.

Travelers can combine Mountain gorilla trekking safaris in Virunga National Park with Eastern lowland gorilla safaris in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Its aim is to find out the difference between Eastern lowland gorillas and Mountain gorillas.

Expeditions for Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Beiga Park are similar to mountain gorilla trekking Congo safaris!

In the accompany of trackers and armed park rangers, you’ll enter into the jungle to look for these divine cool giants.

During this amazing adventure in Kahuzi Biega Park, you’ll encounter mothers nursing their young ones, as well as youngsters feeding and playing in trees. The sights of the mighty Silverback taking care of its family are extraordinary.

About 250 Eastern lowland gorillas have been recorded in Kahuzi Biega National Park and 5 groups are open for Congo gorilla safaris.


On top of your gorilla tour safari in Congo Kahuzi Biega National Park, it’s possible to undertake hiking safaris also. Normally, these scenic volcano hikes are done before the Congo gorilla trekking tour in Kahuzi Biega Park.

There are 2 volcanoes for hiking expeditions in Kahuzi Biega National Park; Mount Kahuzi & Mount Beiga.

While on the hike to the summit of any, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Kivu, gorgeous vegetation, and neighboring communities.

Along the hiking trail, you can encounter amazing game animals for instance, forest Elephants, Buffalos, Bongo, Giant Forest hogs, Owl-faced monkeys, Central African Red Colobus, and many birds, etc.


While on your Congo gorilla trekking safari trip in Kahuzi Biega National Park, Lwiro Conservation Center is a great attraction and a must-visit.

Found close to Kahuzi Biega park headquarters, Lwiro Center takes care of over 126 Chimps and 117 Monkeys- totaling 16 species. All these were victims of poaching and pet trade.

Notable primates found at Lwiro Conservation Center include:

  • Chimpanzees
  • African Red Colobus Monkeys
  • Red-tailed Monkeys
  • Patas
  • Black-crested Mangabeys
  • Blue Monkeys
  • Baboons
  • L’hoest Monkeys
  • Brazza Monkeys, etc.

On your visit to this center, you’ll volunteer to feed several primates and also learn about their amazing behaviors.

Travelers can visit this great conservation site after a gorilla trekking experience in Kahuzi Biega Park.

  1. Nature walks
  2. Bird watching

Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations in Congo Virunga National Park

All visitors undertaking Mountain gorilla trekking safari tours in Virunga National Park or Kahuzi Biega National Park must follow these guidelines.

Also, they apply in other national parks such as Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park as well as Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Gorilla trekking rules in Congo include:

  1. Visitors below 15 years are not allowed to go for the gorilla trek in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  2. A group of 8 people is allowed to undertake a gorilla trek during the Congo gorilla safari. It’s the same in Volcanoes National Park.
  3. Travelers with contagious diseases must not undertake a gorilla trek
  4. While on the gorilla trek, you must follow rangers’ instructions
  5. It’s illegal to make noise on the gorilla tracking trail- always speak in a low voice
  6. Littering in the park is illegal while on the tracking trail- You must keep your rubbish till you find a dust bin to put it in.
  7. It’s illegal to smoke, drink, or eat in the presence of Mountain gorillas
  8. Never touch Mountain gorillas- there are wild animals although habituated
  9. Visitors must always keep a 7-10m distance in the presence of Mountain gorillas
  10. You’re limited to one hour in the presence of Mountain gorillas
  11. It’s illegal to use flash cameras while taking photos of Mountain gorillas. Flashlight stresses these cool giants.

How Much Is Gorilla Trekking in DRC? | How Much Does It Cost to See Gorillas in Congo? | How Much Does It Cost to Trek With Gorillas?

Do you ever wonder how much it costs to trek gorillas in Virunga National Park? Congo gorilla permits/Congo gorilla tracking permit costs:

  • Non-Residents: $400
  • East African Citizens: $200

Congo gorilla permits are the cheapest in East Africa in comparison with that of Rwanda Volcanoes National Park and Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. In Rwanda, a gorilla permit costs $1500 while that of Uganda is at $700.

Congo gorilla permit is half the price of Uganda’s and very cheap compared to that of Rwanda.

It’s wise to book your Mountain gorilla permit in advance as they are limited. This applies whether on Congo safaris or Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris in Volcanoes National Park.

Is Gorilla Trekking Worth the Money? | Is It Worth It to Go Gorilla Trekking

Several travelers wonder why gorilla trekking is expensive! Note that, all gorilla tours including Congo gorilla safaris and Rwanda gorilla safaris in Volcanoes National Park are worth the money.

A big portion of the revenue collected as travelers explore Virunga National Park, for example, is returned to the conservation of Mountain gorillas. It’s used in paying park rangers and developing communities around gorilla parks.

Also, remember that gorilla tracking is an extraordinary safari experience incomparable to any safari on the African continent including wildlife safari tours.

Best Time to Go Gorilla Trekking in Congo- What Are the Best Months for Safari in Congo?

December-February and June-early September is considered the best time to undertake gorilla trekking safaris in Congo Virunga Park and Kahuzi Biega Park.

Usually, in these dry months less rainfall is received in these national parks and the trails for gorilla tracking are drier.

This is the best time to undertake a gorilla tour in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park and chimp tours in Nyungwe Forest National Park.

How Much Does a Gorilla Safari Cost in Congo? | How Much Does It Cost to Visit Gorillas? | How Much Does It Cost to Go Gorilla Trekking in Congo?

There is no fixed price for gorilla tour safari trips in Congo as it’s affected by several factors.

Among these include:

  1. Duration of your trip

Long Congo gorilla safari trips are relatively more expensive than short trips. This is because they call for expenditure on accommodation and meals.

  1. Accommodation type you wish to use

While on your gorilla tour in Congo, opting to use luxury facilities rather than budget lodges raises your trip cost.

  1. Number of people on your Congo gorilla safari

A big tour group increases the expenditure on your gorilla trekking tour. For instance, it calls for extra accommodation, meals as well as Congo gorilla permits.

On the other hand, a big tour group allows cost sharing on accommodation, transportation, guide fees,

  1. Transport means you wish to use

When you opt to use luxury transport means i.e. chartered domestic flights this raises your gorilla tour safari in Congo.

  1. Season

Taking your gorilla tour safaris in Congo during a low season (rainy season) is cheaper than it would be in the peak season. During the low season, some lodges give out discounts.

  1. Number of activities you wish to undertake

Many activities raise the cost of your Congo gorilla safari adventures. Each activity holds a fee!

Note:  A 3-day Congo gorilla safari trip can cost over 1200 USD.

How to See the Mountain Gorillas on a Budget | Ways to Enjoy Budget Congo Gorilla Safari Tours in Virunga National Park

This doesn’t only apply to Congo gorilla trekking safaris, but it can also work for travelers on Rwanda gorilla tours in Volcanoes National Park.

Here is how to travel on your Congo safaris on a budget:

  • Travel in low season

During this time- (rainy season), some lodges give out discounts to travelers undertaking Congo safari tours.

  • Use more of budget lodges

Of course, budget lodges are cheaper than luxury facilities. Therefore, always opt to use more budget safari lodges on your DR Congo gorilla trekking safari.

  • Travel in a group

Traveling as a group on your Congo safari tours allows you to share trip costs including transportation and accommodation.

  • Avoid using chartered flights

If looking for budget Congo safari trips, just travel only by a safari vehicle.

  • Don’t go for extra activities.

Extra activities on your Congo safaris/Congo gorilla safaris increase your trip cost. So always ask your DR Congo tour operator to guide you on the best alternative.

  • Use local tour operators in the Democratic Republic of Congo

As you come for your budget Congo safaris, it’s better to use a local tour operator than an international travel agent. In most cases, international safari companies sell their Congo safari packages expensively.

  •  Take short trips

Short gorilla trekking tours in Congo are cheaper than long trips. So, if you have a tight budget, choose short trips on your Congo safaris.

Getting to Virunga National Park- How to Get to Virunga National Park?

There are several ways to get to Virunga National Park however, most travelers first fly to Rwanda Kigali International Airport.

From Kigali airport, you’ll be picked up by your tour guide in a safari vehicle and then drive to the Gisenyi Goma border where you’ll cross into the Democratic Republic of Congo. This drive can take about 4-5 hours drive.

Top Gorilla Trekking Companies in Congo

When coming for gorilla trekking safari tours in Congo, it’s always ideal that you book your trip with an experienced and reliable Congo tour company.

Below, we have brought you the best tour companies to book with your Congo safaris:

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

Popular Congo Gorilla Tour Safaris

We have several Congo safaris/Congo safari tours and all of them can be tailored to suit your safari needs and interests.

These are the best Congo gorilla safari packages: 

Packing List for Congo Gorilla Trekking Tours- What to Pack for Congo Gorilla Trekking Safari?

As you plan to visit Congo gorillas, there are some essential items you must have for a successful Congo gorilla trekking safari trip. These are also helpful on your Rwanda gorilla tours in Volcanoes National Park.

The following are vital on your Congo safaris/ Congo wildlife safaris.

  1. A camera having good storage space- helps while taking photos on your Congo gorilla safari tour. For instance, on a gorilla tracking trail as you visit Congo gorillas.
  2. Insect repellents– ideal while on a gorilla trek. Safeguards your skin from biting insects.
  3. Comfortable walking boots– these are helpful while tracking gorillas in Virunga National Park. There are also ideal in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park
  4. A backpack– will keep your items like insect repellents, bottled water, and rain jacket safe while on the gorilla trek/Congo wildlife safari.
  5. Sun protection gear such as sunscreens, sunglasses, and sunscreens. These are ideal in case you visit Congo gorillas in dry months.
  6. Bottled water to refresh you during the gorilla trek. Bottled water is also ideal on the Volcanoes National Park gorilla trek.
  7. Garden gloves to keep your hands safe during the gorilla trek in Virunga Park as you touch tree branches.
  8. Rain poncho just in case rainfall finds you along the Mountain gorilla trek in Virunga National Park
  9. Long-sleeved shirts & trousers- so helpful in case of biting insects while tracking gorillas
  10. Energy-giving snacks

More FAQs About Virunga National Park Congo Gorilla Tours

  1. Where Is Virunga National Park Located?

Holding 2 active volcanoes within the Albertine Rift Valley, Virunga Park is found in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on the border of Rwanda and Uganda.

  1. What Is Virunga National Park Known For?

Virunga National Park is famously known for Congo gorilla safari tours. This great Park- Virunga National Park is one of the few areas you can visit Mountain gorillas on Earth.

Other countries to visit Mountain gorillas include Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Park and Mgahinga as well as Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

  1. How Many Gorillas Are Left in The Congo? | How Many Gorillas Are In Congo?

Out of the estimated 1,063 Mountain gorillas living in protected gorilla national parks, 1/3 live in Virunga Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The other population dwells in Rwanda Volcanoes National Park and within Uganda’s Bwindi and Mgahinga parks.

  1. How Long Does Gorilla Trekking Take in Congo?

The gorilla trek in Congo normally takes about 2-8 hours! This time depends on the movement of the endangered Mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. There are some gorilla groups known to feed closer and they can be spotted within a 30-minute trek.

When coming for Congo safaris/Congo wildlife safaris, it’s ideal to book your gorilla tracking permit in advance gorilla permits are limited.

  1. Is It Safe to See Gorillas in Congo? | Is Gorilla Trekking in DRC Safe? | Is Congo Gorilla Trekking Safe?

This a common query we get most from our clients intending to undertake gorilla trekking safari tours in Congo! However, note that gorilla trekking safaris in Congo are truly safe regardless of the political instabilities in DR Congo sometimes.

While on your gorilla safaris in Virunga Park, you’ll be accompanied by armed park rangers with their enormous AK-47s. These people ensure that you’re safe in the park.

Note that, no tourist has ever been killed in Virunga National Park- (the oldest national park in Africa) while trekking with gorillas on Congo gorilla safaris. Also, keep in mind that, Virunga Park management always closes the park if they sense that visitors will be in danger.

Virunga National Park can be one of the safest parks in the world.

  1. Is It Safe to Gorilla Trek In DRC? – Is It Safe to Visit Virunga National Park?

It’s safe to undertake gorilla safaris in Virunga National Park. All gorilla tour safaris in Congo are safe as this adventure is done in the accompany of armed rangers and only on habituated Mountain gorillas- used to people.

Also, on your gorilla trek in Virunga Park Democratic Republic of Congo, there are guidelines you must follow. For instance, never feed Mountain gorillas and always keep a 7-10m safe distance while in the presence of Mountain gorillas as they are wild animals although habituated.

  1. Which Country is Safest for Gorilla Trekking?

Even though gorilla tours in Congo are safe, Uganda gorilla safaris as well as Rwanda gorilla tours in Volcanoes National Park are considered to be safer. Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) is prone to political instability, and this affects the follow of tourists in this country.

  1. What Country Has the Most Gorillas? | Which Country Is Best for Gorilla Trekking?

Bwindi Impenetrable Park in Uganda holds over 459 Mountain gorillas, and this is almost half of the 1,063 Mountain gorillas on Earth.

Rwanda Volcanoes National Park holds the highest population of the 604 Mountain gorillas living in Virunga Conservation Area which spans 3 national parks: Virunga National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Mgahinga Park.

  1. How Hard Is the Gorilla Trek in Congo?

Gorilla safaris in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) are fairly challenging but this depends on the person’s fitness level. All gorilla safaris in Congo involve going through a thick forest, valleys, swamps, and hills.

Upon spotting the endangered Mountain gorillas, you’ll forget all the hardships you have gone through in searching for these gentle giants.

It’s better while planning to undertake gorilla tours in Congo to try raising your body fitness level. However, also note that their porters to help you along you’re the gorilla tracking trail.

  1. What Are the Major Attractions in Virunga National Park?

Mountain gorillas are the prime attractions in Virunga Park. Therefore, most travelers who visit it are interested in gorilla safaris. The other must not miss attraction is Mount Nyiragongo.

  1. Why Visit Virunga National Park- Mountain Gorilla Tracking?

Several travelers who explore Virunga Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo are interested in gorilla-tracking safaris. If you have time, you can go further go for the Nyiragongo Volcano hike to enjoy the incredible sights of the amazing boiling lava lake on the summit.

  1. What Is There to Do in Congo After Gorilla Trekking?

Congo safari tours go beyond gorilla tracking expeditions. In most cases, adventurous travelers on gorilla tour safaris in the Democratic Republic of Congo can go further to enjoy the Nyiragongo Volcano hike.

Bird watching, nature walks, and a boat cruise on Lake Kivu can be supplemented as you are tracking gorillas in Congo.

  1. Can I Extend My East African Safari with a Safari in DR Congo?

Yeah, it’s possible for you to supplement your East African safari trip with gorilla tracking tours in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For example, you can combine Uganda wildlife safaris with a trip for gorilla tracking in Congo. Your tour operator is there to guide you!

  1. DRC Travel Requirements- What to Know About Border Crossing to the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

As you plan to visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are some travel documents you must have, and these include:

  • A valid yellow fever vaccination card is a prime border crossing document in most countries of Africa.
  • Valid passport- It must be valid for 6 months from your arrival date in Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Visa for Democratic Republic of the Congo- You must obtain your visa before traveling.

The above applies in most countries of Africa including Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania as well as South Africa Cape Town.

Gorilla tours in Congo are unmatched to any gorilla destination in East Africa! Unlike in other destinations, travelers on gorilla trekking safaris in Congo have a chance to spot the endangered Mountain gorillas and the enormous Eastern lowland gorillas.

On top of your gorilla tracking tours in Congo, adventurous travelers will further explore the Nyiragongo active volcano- one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Scenic nature walks, birding tours, and Lake Kivu boat cruise among others await you.