Top Things to do in Virunga National Park

Top Things to do in Virunga National Park

The Virunga national Park is the oldest park in Africa gazette in 1925 with a sole purpose of protecting the endangered mountain gorillas. It covers an area of about 7800km2 and is part of the large Virunga Conservation area which includes Mgahinga, in Uganda and Volcanoes national Park. Tourism in this park has been hit hard by civil unrest but since 2013 the park has been growing tremendously and the park brags of about 10% of the Vegetation endemic to the region. Some of this vegetation is what facilitates the habituation of some wildlife species like the gorillas.

Mountain gorilla tracking

This is the most famous thing to do in the Virunga National Park. The gorillas are endangered and can only be found in this park, Volcanoes national Park in Rwanda and Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks in Uganda. There are about 6 gorilla families habituated for trekking in the Democratic republic of Congo, the largest being Kabirizi that has 32 family members. The other gorilla families in the national park are Rugendo, Munyaga, Humba, Mapuwa and Lulengo families.

Chimpanzee Trekking & Habituation

Chimpanzees are another interesting primate to track. The activity is as old as 1987 in the Democratic republic of Congo but has always been hindered by the unfavorable political climate of the area that has been chronic for a long time. But since 2012 when the country was declared safe, there has been massive growth in tourism and habituation of chimpanzees in particular. You can do chimp habituation in the DRC at just USD100 and have more time to interact with these special creatures.

Guided Nature Treks

The Virunga has great vegetation and good landscape and the fact that it is located in the tropical area gives it a favorable climate to contain and facilitate the survival of a lot of animals and plants. This makes a nature walk in Virunga national park in the DRC worth it. There about 20,000 hippotamuses living at the banks of Lake Edward. There are other animals like buffalos, elephants, a lot of primates like monkeys kobs specifically the Thomas kobs and a lot of other water animals and birds.

Hike Mount Nyiragongo

The Nyiragongo is the next best attraction in the Virunga after the gorillas. It’s the most active volcano in Africa with the largest lava lake in the world.  The lake stretches a diameter of about 1.2km. This mountain has erupted about 34 times since 1888 and the volcanic activity is still going on although it is now limited to the lake.

Landscape viewing

Virunga is one of the best sites in eastern Africa for landscape viewing dew to its terrine. It has volcanic mountains that can help you see the afro montane vegetation in the neighboring countries of Uganda and Rwanda. There is also the afro alpine vegetation within the Park and the dense vegetated forests. More still, travelers see the eroded valleys spotted in the ishango and Sinda regions.

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