Getting a gorilla permit in Congo, there are several websites in the intermate talking about how to acquire Congo gorilla permits, getting a permit sin Rwanda is simple either through the tour operators or directly, all you need is to follow is the right procedures required for gorilla permit bookings in Congo. A gorilla permit is an Authorised document that the traveller carries with him/ her on the day of gorilla trekking, the card allows you have access to view the gorillas in their natural habitat. Any person without the permit, will not be allowed to trek the gorillas.
Gorilla trekking age limit in any of the national parks in Africa is minimum of 15 years, any body below that age is called a child and will not be allowed to trek the gorillas in Congo, and other national parks, that is Bwindi and Mgahinga in Uganda, volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Travellers will be given maximum of one hour with gorillas from the time you meet the gorillas.
Gorilla trekking; is a process hiking the steep slopes in the dense tropical forest in search for the habituated gorilla families, habituated gorillas means that they have been trained and are used to the sight of humans so they can not run to hide whenever they see humans. You will be led by the ranger in to the forest to help locate the gorillas for you and answer all your questions.in DR.Congo, there are two national parks known for harbouring gorillas, that is the Virunga national park for mountain gorilla trekking and Kahuzi Biega national park known for harbouring eastern lowland gorillas.
Cost of gorilla trekking permit in Congo
A single gorilla trekking permits for Virunga national park, goes for $400 dollars per permit for each person trekking gorillas this price if for foreign Non residence, $150 for democratic republic of Congo citizens. To trek gorillas in to national parks in Congo that is Virunga national park for mountain gorillas and Kahuzi Biega national park for low land gorillas. Congo gorilla permits are much cheaper compared to Uganda gorilla permit at $600 per person and for Rwanda is even more expensive compared to Uganda and Rwanda, the Rwanda permits go for $1500 per person trekking. The fees for the gorilla permit in Congo, includes; park entry fees for Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park entry fees for gorilla trekking permit, services of ranger/ tour guide. One hour with the gorillas. Virunga national park, has got 8 habituated gorilla families opened for trekking which means that 64 gorilla permits are issued each day for 8 people per gorilla family. Kahuzi Biega national park, has 5 habituated gorilla families and only 8 people are allowed to trek each gorilla family every single day, therefore, Congo issues 40 gorilla permits every single day for travellers participating in gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking is give one hour with gorillas in their natural habitat, but the normal exercise can last for 30 min to half hours of the day when trekking in search of the particular gorilla family since they are wild animals, they tend to move a lot thus its not easy to locate their current location on that particular day. Therefore, it may take some time, before locating the gorillas
What is excluded in the gorilla permit?
The gorilla trekking permit in any of the national parks in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo harboring gorillas and offering gorilla trekking experience, excludes the following; accommodation and meals, tip, transport, porters fee, item of personal interest, drinks and others.
How to book a gorilla permit in Congo
Gorilla trekking permit in Congo, can be booked in two different ways, the first procedure is by contacting directly the Virunga park offices in Goma town in the democratic republic of Congo through either email or their telephones and they will advise according on hoe to proceed with your permit booking. The second alternative is through the registered tour operator for example if you contact adventure in the wild safaris , we will help check for the availability of your preferred dates of gorilla trekking then we will get back to you if there is availability on that day so that you can proceed with payments of the permits in order to confirm your bookings. Contacting a tour company is the easiest has it helps reduce on your Hussle of going through different process and you may also get delayed response when you try to contact them directly. We also help you plan for your safari in any of the east African countries by taking care of transport, accommodation and meals other activities included in the itinerary so that you will have the best of your safari in east Africa.
When booking your Congo gorilla trekking permit with the tour companies, you will nee to present the following;
- The date, month and the year of travel to east Africa and the day you will be having your gorilla trekking experience.
- We will check for the availability of permits on those dates then will get back to you with the finally answer and in case there is availability , we will request you to pay a 50% deposit for the permit so that we can secure the permits on your own behalf until when the payment is complete then finally you have confirmed your booking.
- Once you pay the money, you will send the scanned copies of your passport with all the derails required in order to process the permits for you then the permits will be secured for you until the day for your gorilla trekking when we shall collect the permits for you. Note that, Congo does not send scanned copies of permits purchased.
When to book the gorilla permits
Travellers are always advised to book their permits in advance at least 6 month before the trekking date, in order to secure the permit early since they be highly competitive and can be sold out quickly, securing your permit in advance, will help you plan well for your safari without worrying for the gorilla permit in case you haven’t yet secured. Virunga national park is visited during the peak seasons of the year that from June, July, august, December and January and February, these time there is little rainfall which in most cases interferes with gorilla trekking.
For the case of Kahuzi Biega national park, its not highly visited by the travellers and therefore, you can obtain the gorilla permits at any time even the last-minute booking. There is no pressure compared to other national parks since the region is not famous with gorilla trekking experience.
When to go for gorilla trekking in the democratic republic of Congo
These national parks are open through out the year and they are opened to travellers visiting the park at any time of the year. Gorilla trekking experience is all year round since their no day the parks are resting from operation, but however, although its visited year in year out, knowing the best month of travel is the key factor since it will enable you have the best of your safari visits in democratic republic of Congo or any of the countries in east Africa for gorilla trekking. The dry season is the best time of the month when there is little or no rainfall. By this time, the ground is not muddy and slippery which makes it easy to trek on steep slopes in search for the gorillas. Which also enables other activities offered at the back to be successful.