Despite the past civil wars and unrests, that disrupted Congo safaris, the country is undeniably a hidden treasure. The less visits to Congo has kept the country fresh and her tourism attractions out of the crowd which make it make one of the unique experience, the congo safaris. Presently, peace has been restored in Democratic Republic of Congo and tourism is done successfully. The country is naturally gifted with natural forests, beautiful sceneries, lakes, rivers and hospitable people all, which make your stay an experience for a lifetime, moreover, the forests are a home to a variety of wildlife such as the mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas, bonobos, and various bird species among others. The key reasons to consider a Congo safaris include among others:
Congo is one of the few countries, which host the inhabited mountain gorillas in the tropical rain forests of Virunga national park. The country is believed to houses quarter of the world’s mountain gorillas while the remaining population reside in Rwanda and Uganda. During the Congo Safaris, Gorilla trekking is the focus for most travelers to Congo. Moreover, nine-gorilla families namely, Rugendo, Munyaga, Mapuwa, Lulengo, Kabirizi, Baraka, Nyakamwe and Humba have been habituated for trekking. Each gorilla family is allocated to a group of eight people and an interaction lasts for an hour. Interestingly, during the Congo safaris gorilla trekking permit is sold at a relatively low rate 400usd compared to 600usd in Uganda and 1500usd in Rwanda. Budget travelers can therefore take advantage of this and experience this memorable experience at a low rate. The less visits to Virunga National Park are an opportunity for travelers to interact with the mountain gorillas out of the crowd.
Second to mountain gorillas, volcano hiking is a must do on your Congo safaris. The country is a home to two active volcanoes namely Nyiragongo volcano and Nyamuragira volcano both situated in the heart of the Virunga national park. Mont Nyiragongo is the most hiked volcano whose summit of the volcano is a home to the word’s largest lava lake moreover, the views from the top during the day are surely beautiful.
What to expect?
During the Congo Safaris, travelers are allowed to stand at the edge of the lava and steer at the boiling lava in the lake with fumes of bubbling gas. The frames of fire are clearly seen at night hence requiring travelers to stay overnight at the summit to witness this memorable experience.
Despite the exciting experience, climbing to the summit is strenuous and travelers must be physically fit. Wear decent walking boots, gardening gloves, hire porters and walking sticks to ease movements. Hiking begins with a simple briefing at the starting point in which travelers ate introduced to the rules and regulations in the hiking process. Whereas the temperatures making it too hot in the hiking, the condition at the summit is a different story. It really gets cold at the top associated with wind blowing. Travelers are therefore required to carry warm sweaters and jackets, warm trousers, extra socks, thermals, hats and stockings.
Not only is DRC a home to mountain gorillas but also to the critically endangered eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park. Lowland gorillas are the largest gorilla specie, which is, differentiated from other species by a short muzzle, large hands and stocky body, this should definitely be included in your next Congo Safaris. An encounter with eastern lowland gorillas is absolutely an experience of its kind due to the endangerness of these gorilla species in that less than 3800 individuals survive in the whole world.
The Bonobos are our closest living relatives, with more than 99% identical DNA, are protected in a special preserve outside Kinshasa. Founded by Claudine Andre in 1994, Lola ya Bonobo is the world’s only sanctuary for orphaned bonobos.
What to expect?
Once you arrive at the Park, which is surrounded by the rainforest and has a lake inside, you will proceed to the trail that goes around it. If lucky enough, staff scientists or researchers will give you an introduction to the life of the bonobos in the wild and in the sanctuary. Sometimes they can be busy, feeding little baby bonobos or helping with daily needs of the sanctuary. You will be able to see several families, living on the territory, which highly resembles their natural habitat deep in the north of Congolese jungle during your mesmerizing Congo safaris.