Home » How to get your Congo Gorilla Trekking permit
The popular Congo safaris activity is gorilla trekking and for this tours to Virunga National Park which has recently been re-opened are the favorite to many tourists. To have a Congo gorilla trekking experience a tourist needs a permit. A Congo gorilla trekking permit is a card issued by the Virunga National Park Authority as a pass or an allowance to trek gorillas to any tourist above the age of 15 years spending a maximum of 1 hour in the presence of the gentle giants.
Congo Gorilla Trekking permit Costs
To trek a gorilla in Congo, non-nationals are required to pay USD 400 per person per trek.
Congolese residents pay USD 150 for Congo gorilla trekking permit per person, per trek.
USD 200 is paid for a single permit by Southern African Development Community nationals.
The Congo gorilla trekking safari permit price is the lowest in the world. In the low season, permits can go for up to USD200 for non-nationals.
How to get a Congo Gorilla Trekking Permit
Booking your permit prior is essential and this can best be done through a tour operator in Congo. A tour operator is more familiar with the system and can help with all the necessary bookings. The tour operator also offers all the other necessary information and updates about the park.
Requirements for a gorilla trekking safari in Congo.
Before setting off for your safari, its very crucial to ensure that all the requirements to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo (where Virunga is found), Rwanda (where the closest airport is found) and Uganda (you may cross via Uganda) are secured. Here is what you should proof check before setting off;
Yellow fever immunization certificate
A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required if you are to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. You get the vaccination back in your home country at least 10 days before departure and it should be signed and stamped which after you must carry along for your safari.
The yellow fever vaccination certificate should show your full names, date of birth and sex as it does appear on your passport
A Congo safari Visa
Before you get in for a Congo safari, you need a Congo Visa that should be processed early. The Institute Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), the Congolese wildlife authority, has an agreement with Direction Générale de Migration (DGM), the Congolese immigration service, to facilitate obtaining 2-week, single entry tourist visas for people visiting Virunga National Park. The tourist visas purchased through Virunga National Park are non-refundable. To qualify for a Congo tourist visa, you must first purchase a safari package.
How to get into Congo for safari
For tourists planning to travel to Congo, you can get into the country by either air or road. If you are flying directly into Congo that means you have to use Ethiopian Airlines however the airline goes to Goma once a week and returns in Seven days. If your safari is not taking this long then the neighboring Kigali International Airport in Rwanda is the best option since the Airport has daily fights and is 379km to Virunga National Park.
If you are arriving into DRC using a safari vehicle for instance connecting from Rwanda or from a Uganda wildlife safari, the entry point for visitors to Virunga national Park is through the city of Goma at the Grand Barriere border crossing.
Transportation within Virunga National Park is mandatory to be by the official Virunga transport starting and ending at the Goma Tourism Office. Your safari guide will ensure you arrive on time.
A visit to Virunga National Park is one that is rewarding and less costly. You can connect to Congo for gorilla trekking after a wildlife safari in Rwanda or any other safari in Uganda. Adjacent to the park you could also opt to go gorilla trekking in the neighboring Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda or Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.