How to Get To Virunga National Park
How to get to Virunga National Park is one of the most important things to know and note by travellers intending to visit Virunga National Park for a Congo tour, especially for a Congo gorilla trekking safari and the amazing Nyiragongo Volcano hike to see the world’s largest boiling Lava Lake. It is very important for a traveller to make sure to have all the necessary documents to be able to enter the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the most important being a valid passport and valid visa as well as a Yellow fever vaccination card: without which entry into the Congo is blocked.
Virunga National Park is a vast forested area with 8 volcanic mountains that are both active and dormant. Located in Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Virunga National Park makes part of the Virunga Massif Area that encompasses Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The park hosts a number of flora and fauna and its wild nature due to the fact that it is highly untapped and unexploited has travellers from world over flocking to visit despite the on and off insurgencies. Travellers most a times travel to marvel at the giant but gentle apes: the mountain gorillas that are endangered and can be found only in the Virunga Massif Area and the beautiful Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Hiking the Nyiragongo volcano to absorb the mesmerising beauty of the boiling lava lake that is the largest in the world is another top most activity that travellers strive to take part in.
Ready to visit but wondering about how to get to Virunga? The park can be reached easily with a number of options to choose from. The one option that is most opted for by a lot of travellers is flying into Kigali International Airport in Rwanda. With a number of available international carriers like KLM, KQ among others flying in and out of Kigali International Airport, travellers are assured of finding the befitting flight from their point of origin to Kigali Rwanda and then be transferred to Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which is only 4-5 hours away. Getting to Virunga National Park requires keeping time for there are specific timings that are followed. Depending on your Congo safari package with a start in Virunga National Park for example, one ought to make sure that they are in Kigali by 8 in the morning to give them enough time to transfer to the park in time to catch the envoy that transfers the travellers to the park safely. Most a times, however, travellers fly into Kigali in Rwanda and get to spend the first day there with a number of activities to do and to relax as well from the long flight. From Rwanda, travellers drive for 4-5 hours and connect to the border point of Gisenyi-Goma that is the Grande Barrier, only 15kms away from Virunga National Park.
While in Uganda and wondering on how to get to Virunga in the Congo, travellers can use the Bunagana border of Uganda and Congo. This option is most suitable for travellers who are exploring the western region of Uganda, more so Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on a gorilla trekking safari.
The other option that travellers wondering on how to get to Virunga can choose is flying directly in the Goma International Airport in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is the Ethiopian Airlines that is the main international carrier and operates daily flights that travellers can make use of. This option is undoubtedly the fastest way to get to Virunga National Park, and recommended for travellers with limited time at their disposable.
For travellers that are visiting Kahuzi Biega National Park for the famous lowland gorillas and intend to combine Virunga National Park, daily boat transfer between Bukavu and Goma are available and take roughly 3 hours. Travellers with time can opt for the 7-hour ferry ride instead of the 3 hour boat ride and start their mountain gorilla adventure in Virunga the next day.
Irrespective of the option you take to be able to access Virunga, all travellers convene at the Grande Barrier border post building for registration with the Virunga tourism office. For travellers doing gorilla trekking and the Nyiragongo hike, both the Congo gorilla trekking permits and the Nyiragongo hiking permits are received from here, upon, of course, prior purchase and booking that can be done by a trusted tour operator. From Goma, travellers are escorted by a security convoy to the park and upon their return. This is all done in the bid to safe guard the travellers and their property from malicious people that hide in the vast Virunga National Park.
It is very important to schedule your flight to correspond with the dates and times of the various packages sold in Virunga National Park given that specific packages are developed and sold on specific dates with set departure times. Make use of a highly knowledgeable and reputable tour operator to help you plan a perfect Congo safari to explore and see among others, the endangered mountain gorillas. Worries on how to get to Virunga should also be left for your tour operator given that you will be provided with the most suitable information in regards to your getting to Africa, given a skilled, knowledgeable and professional tour guide with the most suitable tour vehicle for your utmost comfort and safety.