Gazetted in 1925, Virunga National Park was definitely the first of Africa’s extraordinary National Parks. Surprisingly, it is still one of the less-known and rarely explored Protected Areas in the Continent, possibly because of the conflicts that characterize the Eastern side of Democratic Republic of Congo every now and then. There is still a reason why visitors make trips to this 7800-square kilometer Park in the Eastern corner of the country.
Well, it probably might have to do with the 218 mammal species that include 22 species of primates and the 706 bird species. This is one of the few places on Earth offering trekking tours for the endangered Mountain gorillas and of the many places you can undertake these adventures, Virunga is the cheapest because gorilla permits cost only $400 per person and this introduces travellers to 8 habituated Gorilla Groups.
Before your excitement fades after seeing the gorillas, don’t forget that there are also the Eastern Chimpanzees to look-out for. The reason for many visitors making trips to Virunga National Park might also have to do with the awe-inspiring Mount Nyiragongo, the World’s largest Lava Lake and one of the existing active Volcanoes that can be climbed during African safaris.
Sometimes tours of Virunga National Park have something to do with the fact that it shelters the World’s only Mountain Gorilla Orphanage, known as “Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage”, where numerous young gorillas are kept after being rescued from poachers or illegal animal traffickers.