Safety of Virunga region
HOW SAFE IS VIRUNGA REGION FOR GORILLA TREKKING?
Virunga region is composed of part of Rwanda, part of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Parks in Virunga region include Mgahinga National Park (Uganda), Virunga National park (DR. Congo) and Volcanoes national Park (Rwanda). It should be noted that, Gorilla trekking is the major tourist activity in Virunga region however, due to political instability, DR. Congo tourism rags behind.
Gorilla tourism in Democratic Republic of Congo is uncertain because of seasonal rebel attacks. In the past year, Virunga national park was declared a danger zone and not safe for tourism however, today (2016), tourism has resumed in this region and tourists move freely in Virunga National park.
Though Gorilla trekking resumed in Virunga National park, traveler hoping to go there should try as much as possible to seek constant security alerts before going to Democratic Republic of Congo because, situation can worsen any time!!
Risk though, Gorilla trekking in Virunga National park is amazing because it rewards the view of the boiling smoke coming out of the the active Nyiragongo Moountain and Nyamuragira Mountain- both mountains are active and exhibit signs of future eruption.
Gorilla trekking in DR. Congo takes place on the slopes of Virunga Mountains: Mt. Mikeno, Mt. Nyiragongo and Mt. Nyamuragira.
From Goma city, Virunga National park is situated approximately 14 kms – Goma city is situated at the boarder of Rwanda and Congo. Therefore, trekkers can easy leave the country after trekking Gorilla – drive to Kigali International Airport for your scheduled flights.
As far as security is concerned, Rwanda is safe for Gorilla trekking –you can trek Gorillas in Volcanoes National park at any date of the year due maximum security. The fact that the country is safe, Visitors can even leave Kigali at around 4:30 am – transfer to the park – trek Gorillas and then return to Kigali.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park rewards visitors the view of the mighty Virunga ranges including Mt. Karisimbi- the highest among all ranges in Virunga region. Other mountains you can view while in Volcanoes national park include sabyinyo Mountain, Bisoke mountain, Muhabura Mountain among others.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is also supplemented with Golden Monkey trekking, Dian Fossey Tomb tour, Mountaineering, Iby’wacu cultural tour among other.
Like Rwanda, security in Uganda is also guaranteed – the country is peaceful under control of Uganda people’s Defense Force alongside other security agencies. Therefore, Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga National park is recommended by tour operators.
Note: Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo are neighboring countries and you easily cross to any country of your choice for Gorilla trekking or you can decide to trek Gorillas in all the three countries.
Currently, the highest costs for Gorilla permits in Democratic Republic of Congo cost US$ 400 each, Rwanda gorilla permit at US$ 750 and Uganda Gorilla permit at US$ 600.
To a large extend, Virunga region is worth Mountain Gorilla trekking experience and you can make choice of where to Go Gorilla trekking.