Virunga National Park Wildlife Sectors: Virunga national park located in the eastern part of Congo is definitely one of the most visited tourist destinations during Congo Safari tours. Virunga is Congo’s oldest national park following its establishment in 1925. It is located 15 minutes from the town of Goma. The Virunga National Park is notable for housing the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas, together with three other national parks in Uganda: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
This park also serves as the starting point for a journey up to the world’s biggest crater lake, which sits atop the active Mount Nyiragongo. You may reach this park from Rwanda by landing into Kigali International Airport and driving to the Gisenyi-Goma border, where all excursions to Virunga National Park begin.
You may alternatively fly into the nation directly from Goma Airport on Ethiopian Airlines and drive for approximately 10 to 15 minutes to the Grande Barrier border facility to check in with the park and acquire permits for the activities you intend to conduct. After seeing Kahuzi Biega, you may also connect from the Southside from Bukavu by taking a 3 to 4 hour speed boat voyage that docks at Goma and driving a few minutes to the Grande Barrier.
The Virunga National Park has an area of 8,090 square kilometers, bordering Rwanda and south Uganda, and hence shares some of its attractions with other nations. The Virunga National Park is divided into four sectors, the most important of which is the central sector, also known as the Lulimbi sector, which extends up to Uganda’s international eastern border and includes a third of Lake Edward. This is the region of Virunga National Park where you may witness animals such as tree climbing lions in the Ishasha plains savannah vegetation.
The Ishasha plains continue into Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The Lulimbi hippos can also be seen wallowing on the south eastern shoreline or in the waters of the River Ishasha. Safari hikes in the afternoons and nights are among the activities offered in this region. This location boasts a high number of birds for bird watchers, as well as a diverse flora and wildlife. You may also spend a pleasant evening on the River Ishasha’s bank, where you can get a close-up look of the Lulimbi resident hippos.
On a good day, you could even see the savannah elephants of Virunga National Park, who come to the river to drink. You may go on an evening or morning game drive through the Ishasha plains to fully appreciate the region’s beauty and everything it has to offer. Evening bonfires and BBQ meals are other possible activities in this area of the park. The Lulimbi tented camp is where visitors to this section stay.
The southern sector runs down to Lake Kivu and includes Mount Nyiragongo, Mount Nyamulagira, and Mount Mikeno, as well as the adjacent montane forests on the mountain slopes. This is also known as the Kibumba sector, and it is one of the few places where you may trek to see the endangered mountain gorillas. The Kibumba section, which has the most activity in the park, is the most frequented and protected.
This area is home to a diverse range of bird species, including the Rwenzori Turaco, blue-headed sunbird, red-faced woodland, red-throated thrush, collared apalis, and mountain masked apalis, to name a few. The bulk of tourists to Virunga National Park stay in this region, and the Kibumba Tented Camp is one of the few well-designed and planned facilities for guests. Mountain gorilla trekking and hiking Mount Nyiragongo are among the tourism activities available in this region. Bird viewing, outdoor hikes, and visits to the Virunga’s Congo hounds are among the simpler activities available in the region.
The northern section of Virunga National Park encompasses the Semuliki river basin and the Rwenzori mountain ranges of the Rwenzori national park, which is shared by DR Congo and Uganda. Because of the region’s underdevelopment, it is not as popular as the other areas.
The eastern sector, also known as the Bukima sector, borders the Virunga National Park and is home to mountain gorillas. This area is also accessible for viewing the Virunga National Park’s mountain gorillas. This sector’s lodgings include the Bukima Tented Camp and the luxury Mikeno Lodge.
It is also where most of the park’s treks begin each morning with a briefing at Bukima ranger post, and where lunch is served after the gorilla hikes in the sector before connecting to the other lodgings if you are staying somewhere else for the night. While in the eastern sector, you may take a break from the mountain gorilla hike to visit the Senkwekwe Gorilla orphanage, which is located within the Mikeno Lodge area.
A chimp family is also being habituated for visits in the Mahura forest, which is located in the eastern part of Virunga National Park. If you are interested in visiting the Virunga park headquarters, which are located in this area near to the famed Mikeno resort, you may do so.