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DR Congo Open for Gorilla Tracking

DR Congo Open for Gorilla Tracking


The first steps were taken Jan 2004 on the Congo side of the Virunga Mountains, to once again enter into the lucrative tourist market for gorilla tracking. During the Congo wars to expel the late dictator Mobutu and the subsequent power struggles, and partly caused by Hutu militias responsible for the Rwanda genocide in 1994, which camped in these areas before being displaced by Rwandan and Ugandan troops, no tracking was possible due to the absence of security. The old tourist camps are now being restored and tourists can once more track gorillas in all three countries bordering their natural habitat.

Securing a permit to trek at Djomba/Rumangabo(Bukima) has opened up additional permits for backpackers and tour operators alike. Permit availablity can only be checked when in Kisoro. There are 4 groups that visitors trek at sites in Djomba (Ruhgendo and Rugabo) and Bukima (Quitonda and Mapua).

Trekking fees have been established at US$500- per permit in line with Uganda and Rwanda as of July 1st 2007. You will incur US$30- for the DRC entry visa and US$100- (shared) for the return transport Bunagana to Djomba plus an additional Ushs60,000- (shared) return for transport Kisoro – Bunagana. You will need to purchase a re-entry visa on your return to Uganda single entry US$50- or 7 day transit US$15-. Visitor accommodation facilities at Djomba are limited to the Frankfurt Zoological Society hostel at US$20- per person per night. It is usual for visitors to travel to and from Djomba on the day of trekking. Individuals should visit the Virunga Hotel for assistance in arranging visits to the Gorilla’s in the DRC.

In Kisoro Uganda the Virunga Hotel (tel. 0486 430109) and Rugigana Valley Campsite (tel. 0772 647600) can assist in obtaining permits for tracking in Rwanda and now in the DRC.

With regard to the security situation on the ground in DR Congo local knowledge from fellow travelers in Kisoro will probably be your best source of information.
It is usual to travel to Rwanda only on the morning of your tracking date. Both the Virunga Hotel and Rugigana offer a package of permit and transport.

Gorilla Permit- US$500-

Transport- US$100- (this can be shared by several individuals travelling together for tracking in Rwanda)
You will also incur costs of US$30- for a Rwanda visa (if you need one and most do) issued at the border and a US$15- Uganda transit visa on your return.

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