Lifetime Congo gorilla safari holidays
DR Congo’s history is colorful and marked by diverse civilizations including indigenous people, lively music, French colonization and post-independence modernization. Most people confuse this country with its neighbor – Congo Brazzaville, the significant difference is that the Democratic Republic of Congo is considered more calm, stable and rapidly developing as a poignant leader in African affairs. DRC is in its tourism infancy and yet quickly becoming a bucket list country thanks to it being the epicenter of the Virunga, the last remaining mountain range homeland for Mountain Gorillas. It also boasts brilliant gorilla trekking and climbing opportunities up mountains and an active volcano 3,470 meters high. Congo is blessed with abundant physical features and minerals such as gold, copper, aluminum, zinc, and much more. Mount Nyiragongo which has a boiling lava lake in the crater, wild animals such mountain gorillas, okapi, baboons and much more, local culture mostly pygmies with the traditional dances, green tropical forest, Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the low land that harbors the unique Gorillas, Virunga national park the is a home of the remaining mountain Gorillas, lake Kivu and River Congo which is the second largest and deepest river in the world.
A Congo safari is not for the weak hearted because it’s remote, adventurous travel and while at the same time you don’t compromise on the necessary or comforts, you are certainly out of your chilling zone sometimes as the wilderness is truly wild. Arriving into Kinshasa, the capital of DR Congo you are immediately overwhelmed by vibrant streets lined with art, flower markets, cafes, fabric stalls and the smells of freshly baked baguettes. This is definitely the ‘Little Paris of Africa’ and the French control is most evident along these streets. A night here to start and end your adventure is good and important. The high point of Democratic Republic of Congo is of certainly Virunga National Park, one of Africa’s oldest national park. It is situated in the East of Congo and forms part of the second largest unified rainforest area on earth spanning over 3 million acres. The African rainforest basin offers shelter for over 1,000 bird species, 90,000 plant species, 700 fish and 400 mammal species. The thick forested landscape is characterised by networks of rivers and swamps. It is also one of the last homelands for the endangered mountain gorillas, as well as other numerous world wonders like Virunga volcanoes and Rwenzori mountain ranges.
Activities offered on DRC safaris include, birding safaris, gorilla trekking, walking safaris, cultural visits, boating, kayaking and fantastic photographic opportunities in a remote habitat that’s far away from tourist crowds. Virunga national park is a wide and extensive wild region with magnificent range of landscapes and habitat. This means this vast wilderness is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife. You can see forest elephant, leopard, rare birds, forest buffalo, giant forest hog and hippo plus of course the mountain gorillas and various monkey species. With minimal impact on the ecosystem, in D.R. Congo tourists can track mountain gorillas on foot, explore forest walking trails, kayak, boat cruise on the neighboring Lake Kivu, hike Nyiragongo mountain and so much more. There are various properties inside or on the fringes of Congo’s major national parks; either owned privately or under joint concessions. Among the accommodation facilities in Virunga national park is in the Mikeno luxury camp located on the eastern boundary of the park and a perfect starting point for trekking gorilla families located within Mikeno sector. Spilled accommodation with wraparound walkways interconnecting to the main area offer a beautiful rainforest holiday experience. You will also spot gorillas, crowned and putty nose monkeys, Mustached monkeys, forest duikers, over 416 species of butterfly, insects, the Great Blue Turaco and black-casqued wattled hornbill birds.
Another luxurious accommodation facility within Virunga is set Bukima Tented Lodge which offers its visitors with complete star decks, canvas cabins and main area all designed to be as sustainable and low environment impact as possible. Bukima camp is the best starting point for gorilla families within Bukima sector. The emphasis here is on expedition experiences like gorilla trekking, hiking mount Nyiragongo, unmatched wildlife encounters with resident mammals like forest buffaloes, hyenas, aardvark, bongo, forest elephants and more. The DRC lies on the Equator which means temperatures vary throughout the year. It is a tropical climate characterised by relatively heavy precipitation, moderately high temperatures and humidity, but majorly varies from region to region. Dry season is in the months of June to September and December to February. Air is ill-defined and humidity is lower while rainfall still occurs quite inconstantly. Ripe fruits result, easier primate sightings and different behaviors. Green season runs March to May and September to November. These relatively wet months indicate tropical rainstorms and then clear blue skies. Ripe fruits become uncommon so elephants and gorillas move distances closer to the pathways, hence easier sightings.