Best Time to Visit Virunga National Park
Best Time to Visit Virunga National Park is that time of the year when most travelers find it easy and interesting to visit the park because of many factors. When one talks about gorilla trekking in Congo or Hiking the most fascinating crater lake Africa, the first thing that strikes their mind is Virunga National Park which is widely known for protecting and gorilla habituation in Democratic Republic of Congo and the famous Nyiragongo crater lake.
Virunga National Park is one of the oldest national parks located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Albertine rift valley and is located in the Virunga Conservation Area that is shared with two other countries that is to say Uganda and Rwanda and covers an area about 7,800 km2. Virunga National Park is a United Nations Educational, Scientific Conservational Organization (UNESCO) world heritage site that consists of a diverse ecosystem and offers protection to wildlife such as the endangered mountain gorillas. Today it is a home for a number of wildlife such as the chimpanzees, golden monkeys, the different eye-catching bird species that make pleasant and relaxing sounds in the dense tropic forests, buffalos, forest elephants, and reptiles.
Activities in Virunga National Park
Additionally, Virunga National Park features a great number of tourism activities that tourists will be guaranteed of getting once they step into the country. Some of the activities in Virunga National Park include the famous mountain gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking in the Tongo forests, bird watching in the tropical forests, monkey trekking, hiking Mount Nyiragongo to view the crater, nature walks, and game drives. To have all this adventurous experience, You have to know or get information about the weather of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Visiting Virunga National Park (Best Time to Visit Virunga National Park)
The Democratic Republic of Congo as a country straddles the equator experiencing both hot and warm climatic conditions, and the eastern part of DRC consists of dense forests that enable the place get frequent rains throughout the year. The most popular time to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo (Best Time to Visit Virunga National Park)is during the months of July through to September and by far the driest months of the year.
The low season in the Democratic Republic of Congo usually starts in the month of November which is by far the wettest month of the year. Travelers can still visit Virunga National Park but you have to be prepared with all the weather gear. When you choose to travel during the months of October or November or March to May, many of the lodges offer fantastic rates because of the low number of guests that travel to Virunga National Park. Nyiragongo volcanoes can be visited all year round but keep in mind that there are unpredictable weather conditions such as regular rains during certain months making it totally impossible for hiking because of the wet muddy trails in Virunga National Park.
Additionally, the Democratic Republic of Congo has got a raised topography and this means that the climate is cool, however, if you want to go for gorilla trekking, you are advised to travel in the dry or high season. This is because during these months of June to September and February the gorillas usually move down to feed in the low altitudes of Virunga National Park.
How to get to Virunga National Park
There are numerous ways to get to Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Visitors mainly use road, air and water transport to reach Virunga National Park and based on their preferences, they all come with different costs and implications.
Using road transport to Virunga National Park: If you prefer to pass via Rwanda, it takes about four hours driving from Kigali to the city of Gisenyi and on crossing the border it takes around one and a half hours to reach the Virunga National headquarters in bukima while using the route from Uganda is also possible and travelers need to stay overnight in Kisoro district in southwest of Uganda and cross to the Democratic Republic of Congo through Bunagana border the following day.
Using air transport: There are direct flights from Ethiopia to Goma and it is once every week. Those who are able to use air transport land at Goma International Airport. From there Virunga National Park is about 32 km west of Goma and visitors mainly hire a car.
Using water as a means of transport: Visitors that want to visit Virunga mainly use this means of transport because the distance is short and you can use either speed boats that take around 2-3 hours and the slow boats take around 3-4 hours to drive on the waters of Lake Kivu.
Accommodations facilities that are in or near Virunga National Park
Many visitors prefer getting close to Virunga National Park because this saves them the burden of looking for the national park on the following days. Virunga National Park has some of the best lodges in the area and ranges from upmarket/ luxury, mid-range and basic accommodation facilities.
Kibumba Tented Camp: Kibumba Tented Camp is within the park and features 18 tents and a good spot for those that are to go for gorilla trekking and hiking in Mount Nyiragongo. The lodge offers tents filled with all necessities plus amazing food at its restaurant and bar. It also has a comfortable bed and the guests are able to relax at the lodge and share their experience in Virunga National Park.
Bukima Tented Camp: he camp is located near the Virunga National Park boundary and features classy and luxurious suite facilities. The site gives guests a spectacular view of Mount Mikeno whose peak goes up to the gorilla division and the red glow given off by the lava lake at Mount Nyiragongo.
Mikeno Lodge: The lodge has about 12 rooms at the lodge each with a unique setting and nears the spot where those travelers are to start hiking Mount Nyiragongo. The lodge offers an excellent restaurant that offers indoor or outdoor dining, with complimentary breakfast and additional meals. The lodge is also surrounded by a forest and guests are able to listen to pleasant sounds of the different species of birds.
Lulimbi Tented Camp: Lulimbi Tented Camp is located in the eastern part of Virunga National Park in the Ishasha sector and it is dominated by the savannah plains. The campsite enables guests to have great insights on the wildlife in the southern sector of Virunga National Park like the elephants, buffalos, warthogs during the game drive.
Other lodges to try out when you visit Virunga National Park are such as Orchids Safari Club, Lodge coco, hotel Begonias, Exodus Bukavu, lakeside Hotel Bukavu, Mount Kahuzi Hotel, Tchegera Island Camp, and Mount Nyiragongo summit shelter.
Conclusion: All in all, Virunga National Park can is open throughout the whole year and visitors can come either in the high season or low season. All you have to do is get all the information needed so that you make your African safari a memorable and adventurous one.