Virunga National Park Safari Packages: Virunga National Park located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of Africa’s oldest national parks, was founded in 1925 and has attracted a large number of tourists since its inception. In the past, the Virunga National Park Tourism Board made clients arrange safaris based on a difficult route to safeguard the safety of the guests. When the Virunga National Park reopened in February 2019 after being closed for a few months, the board noticed the need for standard packaged packages that can facilitate the management of the park’s security.
However, due to a civil war that broke out in the eastern province of the country and later spread to certain areas of the park, Virunga park authorities decided that it would be best to suspend all tours to the park in order to ensure the security of its park rangers and visitors as well.
The organized safari tours all begin at the Virunga tourism office at the Grande Barrier building on the Goma-Gisenyi border. Virunga tourism has evolved since then. The 2 day Nyiragongo trek, Mikeno Mist package where you hike Nyiragongo and view the mountain gorillas, Le Petit Virunga package where you stay in Bukima tented camp and the posh Mikeno lodge are just a few of the Virunga safari packages.
There are other different Congo safari packages available, which you can learn more about at https://www.congosafaristours.com/ and book the one that best suits your needs. These safari packages cannot be changed, but can be supplemented with an activity like as a trek up Mount Nyiragongo https://www.congosafaristours.com/le-petit-virunga-bukima-package/
What you need to know when planning your travel to Virunga national park.
If this is your first visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and you want to go on a safari in Virunga National Park, you should make a list of the needs. Please keep in mind that the conditions for entering DRCongo differ from those of neighboring Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. One important criterion to verify is your yellow fever vaccine. Make sure your yellow fever card is up to date and that you have all of your immunizations. This card should also clearly mention your full names, date of birth, and gender, which should match the information on your passport. If you do not have the yellow fever vaccine card, you will be forced to receive the vaccine upon your arrival in Goma.
A visa is also required to enter the DRCongo from Rwanda or to fly into the Goma airport. Please keep in mind that you must apply for a 14-day tourist visa at least two weeks before your arrival date because it cannot be provided on the spot. We can obtain this tourist visa for you, but if you want to stay longer than 14 days, you may upgrade to a three-month DRCongo visa for an additional fee. The Virunga tourist visa costs US$105 per person.
This tourist visa was also an idea of the Institute Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), the Congolese wildlife authority, and the Direction Generale de Migration (DGM), the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s immigration authority. This was done to make it simpler for guests to enter the park. This visa is only available if you have a safari package booked in the country, Virunga National Park Safari Packages.
This visa will allow you to visit the Virunga National Park as well as the Kahuzi Biega National Park in Bukavu. Please keep in mind that the tourist visa price is non-refundable. The DGM retains full jurisdiction to give you a tourist visa; the park only serves as a facilitator in the process. This is also a single entry visa, so make sure you’re in the nation for all transfers or you’ll have to pay for another.
Another item to keep in mind is the departure time of the security convoy for your safari package from the Grande Barrier border building. All safari programmes in Virunga National Park have specified departure schedules. For example, the Nyiragongo trek departs from the border at 7 a.m. every day, the Mikeno mist package departs at 10:30 a.m. every day, and the other packages depart on particular days throughout the week. Please contact us for further information about this.
It is also vital to note your entrance point, which will differ based on the Congo safari package you have purchased. Given that you intend to visit Kahuzi Biega National Park first, keep in mind that you will be entering from Rwanda at the Rusizi border, as mentioned on your visa.
If you’re going to the Virunga National Park, you’ll need to pass into DRCongo at the Grande Barrier, not the Petite Barrier. Only those planned for the Jomba Community Camp gorilla trek may enter Virunga National Park from Uganda. https://www.congosafaristours.com/2-days-jomba-community-gorilla-trekking-experience/
Getting to Virunga national park
National Park of Virunga Congo is a highly accessible national park, with a 20-minute road trip and a 5-hour road transfer.
You may travel to Goma International Airport on Ethiopian Airlines and then drive for about 20 minutes to the Grande Barrier border facility to check in at the Virunga tourism office.
Another alternative is to fly into Kigali International Airport and then drive 5 hours to the Grande barrier border facility to check in. Please keep in mind that your Rwanda visa will expire once you pass into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, therefore you will need to apply for another one upon arrival in Congo so that it is available by the time you leave.
If you started your safari at Kahuzi Biega national park, you may also take a boat shuttle to go to Virunga national park. A speed boat may transport you from Bukavu port to Gisenyi boat. These speed boats operate on a timetable, so if you’re interested, make a reservation in advance.
Safety in Virunga national park
A variety of precautions have been put in place to safeguard the safety of all park visitors, such as standard tour packages, which provide a structured influx of tourists to the park, making it simpler to follow and protect them.
The Virunga National Park has also established a specialized squad of security professionals to accompany tourists and their belongings from the time they check in at the tourism office until they leave the country. The Virunga National Park has liability insurance; however every tourist is urged to obtain their own in case of unanticipated events.
The park rangers are globally trained individuals, so you should feel comfortable while on your treks since they are well prepared with close protection abilities, as well as first aid and communication skills, and are also aware of evacuation protocols if necessary.
You are, however, advised to always verify and be informed of the current security situation at your intended arrival time. This information should be available through the government’s foreign relations offices.