4 Days Virunga & Nyiragongo Hiking safari include three unforgettable nights in the popular Virunga National Park (two at the Tented Camp and one on Nyiragongo Volcano summit). This safari allows visitors to hike Mount Nyiragongo-one of the most active Volcanoes on Earth as well as trek the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. […]
Discover Congo’s iconic safari destinations, jaw-dropping sceneries, bustling Cities, exhilarating mammals, plethora of bird species and lush rainforests through Congo Safaris.
Situated within the Central African region and officially known as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this stunning safari destination boasts of a 40-kilometer coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. Extending for a whopping 2,345,410 square kilometers (905,568 square miles), DRC is the second largest country in the African Continent. It has for so long been ignored by travelers due to the continuous political instabilities hence making it one of the untouched and raw safari destinations in the Word.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to some of the largest Protected Areas in Africa, magical landscapes that provide dramatic contrasts-jaw-dropping melting pot of cultures, habitat diversity, wide range of animal species and generally untamed African wilderness. The country is also an unbeaten destination for gorilla trekkers (for mountain and lowland gorillas), culinary tours, adrenalin-packed activities, honeymoon getaways and wildlife research projects.
Visitors to Africa can delve into the rich history of the Democratic Republic of Congo to retrace the steps of Great men (like Patrice Lumumba) who helped to carve the beautiful country that we get to explore. If you are just yearning for an introduction into the natural wonders of Africa, the warmth and hospitality of the Congolese people will welcome you with widely open arms.
Kinshasa is the largest and Capital City of this country and is situated on the Congo River, approximately 500 kilometers from its mouth. The country became independent from Belgium in 1960, although still remained the Republic of Zaire between 1971 and 1997. It was from the suggestion by then leader-Gen. Mobutu Sese Seko for a name change that the country was given a more indigenous name. The name Congo dates backs to the Colonial era when European Explorers associated it with the Kongo Kingdom close to the mouth of the River.
However after the downfall of Mobutu in 1997, this country retained its original name of “Democratic Republic of Congo”, but immediately suffered a devastating civil war that ceased in 2003 much as it still progressed through the Eastern side of this country.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is bordered by Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda to the East, South Sudan and Central African Republic to the North, Angola to the southwest, Zambia to the southeast as well as the Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Angolan enclave of Cabinda and the short Atlantic Coastline to the west.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is endowed with numerous unique attractions that you will not find in other places of the World. These include;
Mount Nyiragongo is one of the active Volcanoes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, having erupted at least 35 times since 1882, with the most recent in 2021. This Volcano also features the World’s largest Lava Lake hence making it one of the unmissable places for Congo Safaris.
Eastern lowland gorillas (largest gorilla species) are only found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and are commonly trekked from Kahuzi-Biega National Park within the East of the country.
The Congo River boasts of the second largest River basin in the World (after Amazon River) with an area of over 3.4 million square kilometers. The River basin is teeming with life and comprises of a mosaic of wetlands, Rivers, flooded forests, tropical rainforests and savannah.
The World’s only Sanctuary for orphaned Mountain gorillas is only found in Rumangabo, Headquarters of Virunga National Park in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla Safaris in the Democratic Republic of Congo are extraordinarily unforgettable as this is the only country where both mountain and lowland gorillas can be trekked. Surprisingly, both gorilla species live close to each other within the Eastern part of the country, hence making it possible to see them in a single Gorilla safari.
Given the fact that few gorilla trekkers make it to the Democratic Republic of Congo, participants are offered authentic experiences away from the crowds. Additionally, this country is so far the cheapest destination for gorilla safaris with permits going for only $400 compared to $700 in Uganda and $1500 in Rwanda. These permits are sometimes discounted to as less as $200 in the low season and if price is the main factor to choosing a gorilla trekking destination, DRC is therefore the best place to come face to face with not just one gorilla specie but two in a single trip.
Mountain gorillas are trekked from the mountain slopes of Virunga National Park with 8 groups habituated hence 64 permits available per day. The Eastern lowland gorillas are found within the lowland forests and swamplands west of the Virunga Volcanoes, in Kahuzi-Biega National Park with only 6 habituated groups hence 48 permits are available each day.
When you talk of wildlife, the Democratic Republic of Congo is second to none. This large country shelters a wide array of wildlife species including over 400 mammal species, with the outstanding endemic ones such as the Congo Peacock, Okapi, Bonobo and the Eastern lowland gorillas. There are also several monkey species, forest and bush elephants, African wild dogs, stripped and spotted hyenas, cheetahs, jackals as well as giraffes and Rhinos on the plateaus although lions are rare. Several snake species such as the African rock pythons, Puff adders, cobras and green mambas among others can also be seen in the different areas of the country.
There are also over 400 fish species, including a number of freshwater varieties such as mudskippers, Nile Perch, sunfish, Tiger fish, Catfish and many others in addition to giant crocodiles live in the Congo River. There are over 100 bird species
Majority of the country’s attractions are protected within National Parks that include Salonga National Park, Virunga, Kahuzi-Biega, Mangroves, Rwenzori Mountains, Lomami, Upemba, Garamba, Odzala-Kokoua, Kundelungu, Maiko and Nouabale Ndoki National Parks among others. Wildlife Reserves such as Okapi Wildlife Reserve can also be explored during Congo Safaris.
There are so many interesting things (tourist activities) you can do in the Democratic Republic of Congo but our focus will be on the top ones that include;
Mount Nyiragongo is a spectacular sight soaring above Goma City and the surrounding Virunga National Park, sending plumes of smoke into the sky. The Hike to the peak of this active Volcano is one of the unmissable adventures during Congo safaris and for travellers ready to embark on the 5-6 hours’ climb are rewarded with the Volcano’s active Lava Lake.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the only place in the World where both lowland and mountain gorillas can be encountered. Mountain gorillas are trekked in Virunga National Park, the oldest National Park in Africa while the Eastern lowland gorillas can be trekked from Kahuzi-Biega National Park at only $400 per person per trek.
This country boasts of several beautiful waterfalls that include Lofoi, Zongo, Boyoma (formerly Stanley falls), Inga as well as Livingstone and some of them have rapids that are perfect for whitewater rafting among other water sports.
One and half hours’ drive west of Kinshasa, beyond the City’s noise is Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary, haven to orphaned Bonobos-our closest cousins than even chimpanzees. These endangered primates are only found in DRC with trails maneuvering through densely forested enclosures where the playful Bonobos can be found.
Get a chance to discover the melting pot and history of the Democratic Republic of Congo through a tour of Kinshasa City where landmarks, Museums and bustling markets. Your local guide will tell stories behind each visited tourist site including Laurent Kabila’s Mausoleum (Tomb), the National Museum of Congo, place of Independence and many others.
Other must-do things in DRC include relaxing at Tchegera Island, hike the Rwenzori Mountains and experience Kinshasa Nightlife.
There are many accommodation facilities within the top Safari destinations or nearby Towns ranging from budget to luxury. These are in form of Safari Lodges, Tented Camps and Hotels within Goma, Bukavu and Bukima among others in addition to the outskirts of the National Parks.
The months of June to September as well as December to February are the best time to visit the Jungles of Democratic Republic of Congo because less rain is experienced. However, this country is generally open all year round for visitors.
At Traveltime, we have wonderful relationships and connections, which enable us to give you the best prices - guaranteed.
Our overwhelming love and passion for Africa makes us want to share our first-hand knowledge with you, so join us for tailor-made itineraries and magical moments.
Come share our passion for Africa's people and wildlife through Traveltime's conservation and community upliftment projects.