Silverback Gorilla Photography in DR Congo, Are you a photographer or filmmaker and you are interested in Silverback Gorilla Photography in DR Congo, photographing silverback gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a remarkable and unique experience, as the DRC is home to some of the last remaining wild populations of Mountain and Eastern Lowland Gorilla species. However, it’s essential to approach this opportunity with great care and respect for the gorillas and their natural habitat. Here are some steps and tips for Silverback Gorilla Photography in DR Congo:
You’ll need to obtain permits and permissions to visit and photograph gorillas in the DRC. This usually involves securing a gorilla trekking permit from the appropriate national park or conservation authority. Ensure you meet all the requirements and obtain the necessary approvals in advance.
Local guides are essential for your safety and the well-being of the gorillas. They are knowledgeable about the gorillas’ behavior and can help you find them while minimizing disturbances.
Use a good quality camera and lens for wildlife photography. A telephoto lens with a long focal length (200mm or more) is highly recommended for capturing gorillas from a safe distance without disturbing them.
Gorillas are wild animals, and it’s crucial to respect their space and behavior. Keep a safe distance from them to avoid causing stress or aggression. Follow your guide’s instructions closely.
Gorillas are sensitive to noise and sudden movements. Keep your voice down and avoid loud noises or sudden gestures. Speak softly when communicating with your fellow photographers.
Avoid using flash photography, as it can disturb the gorillas. Capture natural and candid moments without interfering with their daily activities.
Gorillas may not always be visible, and their movements can be unpredictable. Be prepared for extended periods of waiting and observing.
Gorillas are susceptible to human diseases, and even minor illnesses can be deadly to them. If you are unwell, postpone your visit to protect the gorillas.
Familiarize yourself with all the rules and regulations of the national park or reserve you are visiting. This includes guidelines on group size, visitation hours, and other specific rules to protect the gorillas and their habitat.
Consider donating to or supporting organizations that work towards the conservation of gorillas and their habitats. Your visit fees often contribute to these efforts.
Remember that the primary goal of gorilla trekking and Silverback Gorilla Photography in DR Congo is to contribute to their conservation and raise awareness about these endangered animals. It’s essential to prioritize their well-being and the preservation of their natural environment over capturing the perfect photograph.
A gorilla permit in Virunga National Park costs $400 per person per trek for the high season months of Mid-December to mid-march then June to October and then $200 for the low season months of mid-march to mid-May and then mid-October to mid-December every year. A gorilla permit in Kahuzi Beiga National Park costs $400 for foreign nonresidents, $200 for East African residents, and $20 for national residents. Getting gorilla permits in Congo can be done directly by booking them through Virunga National Park or a trusted tour operator like Eco Adventure Safaris.
Safe places for Silverback Gorilla Photography in DR Congo include Virunga National Park for mountain gorilla trekking or Kahuzi Beiga National Park for Low Land Gorilla trekking.
Virunga National Park is one of the most diverse tropical rain forests and the oldest national park in Africa mostly famous for mountain gorilla trekking in DR Congo, among other activities done here include Nyiragongo volcano hike, bird watching, Nature walks, Chimpanzee tracking and Habituation. It should be noted that three countries have mountain gorillas in the whole world.
These countries include Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is home to mountain gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park host gorillas in Uganda, and Virunga National Park in Congo shelters mountain gorillas. All these national parks are close to each other in what is termed as the Virunga massif.
Established in 1970, Kahuzi Beiga National Park saw its inaugural Lowland Gorilla trekking experience in 1973. Renowned for its high-ranking status in Lowland gorilla trekking, the park was designated to preserve the Grauer’s gorilla species, the largest among the four gorilla subspecies globally.
Exclusive to Kahuzi Biega National Park, Eastern Lowland gorilla trekking offers a unique opportunity. Situated in Congo, approximately 30 kilometers from Bukavu town, the park is accessible by both road and air.
The park, with 12 gorilla families, only allows trekking for two habituated families named Chimanuka and Mugaruka, each named after a dominant silverback. Chimanuka, particularly popular among visitors, boasts one of the world’s largest gorilla families, comprising over 36 individuals.
In DR Congo, gorilla trekking occurs in Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Beiga National Park. Similar to gorilla trekking experiences in Uganda and Rwanda, obtaining a gorilla permit is necessary to trek the lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park and the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park. Safari Vacations and Travel Services provides relevant gorilla permit booking information for Congo to enable you to plan your gorilla safari well. You don’t have to hassle booking your gorilla permit if you choose from our Congo gorilla tours.
We will check for you availability of gorilla permits for your requested dates, book and purchase them for you once you have made payment, and book all services on your behalf. Usually, you have to obtain a gorilla permit several months in advance. We always advise at least 5 months in advance or before your visit given there are only 2 groups available for trek in Kahuzi Biega National Park. While booking a gorilla tour, always pay your gorilla permit fee in advance to enable us to acquire it for you.
East African Residents-USD200
National Citizens of Congo-USD20
In Virunga National Park, Congo, tourists engage in gorilla trekking as a daily activity. A gorilla permit, priced at USD 400 per person per trek, applies during the high season months of mid-December to mid-March and June to October. During the low season months of mid-March to mid-May and mid-October to mid-December, the permit costs USD 200 per person per trek.
As Safari vacations and travel services, we do provide all-inclusive gorilla tour packages for all visitors with no hidden costs. The most essential and priority cost is the gorilla permit price that you will incur to secure your trek in Virunga National Park. All our tour packages range from budget safaris to Luxury safaris and you can opt to do any as we tailor your trip together according to your interest.
We do have Gorilla tour packages that start in Kigali for the DR Congo Mountain gorilla safari from Kigali. A 2-day Trip from Kigali costs USD1100 per person in a group of two inclusive of Gorilla permits and as a budget option, transportation, accommodation, Meals, and guide services are inclusive as well.
Congo, situated in the tropics, experiences a tropical climate throughout the year. Both Virunga and Kahuzi Beiga National Parks share this weather pattern, making them susceptible to uncertain rains at any time. The ideal months for gorilla trekking in Congo are during the dry season, which falls in December, January, February, June, July, August, and September. In these months, the trails are drier and more easily navigable. The vegetation is not fully grown, enhancing the clarity and ease of gorilla sightings. On the other hand, slightly wet months such as March, April, May, October, and November are less favored by travelers. During these periods, the fully grown vegetation and slippery trails make gorilla trekking more challenging and, therefore, less preferable.
For tourists interested in visiting Congo for gorilla trekking Virunga National Park has a special gorilla trekking offer during the wet season which is low season, during this time the gorilla permit costs USD200 per person per trek during the months from Mid-March to May and Mid-October to Mid-December (15th March to 15th May and 15th October to 15th December every year).
Accommodations in Virunga National Park. This ranges from budget to mid-range to luxury. Budget options include Bukima Tented Camp and Kibumba Tented Camp among others fares range from 90-100 dollars a night per person, mid-range options include Tchegera Island Camp and Lulimbi Tented Camp among others fares range from 100-200 dollars a night per person and then Luxury options include Mikeno Lodge fares range from 200-400 dollars a night per person. You let us know the best option that works for you and we will for availability and book you according.
Accommodation in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. This ranges from budget to mid-range to luxury. Budget options include Hotel Begonias Bukavu, Exodus Bukavu, and Lake Side Hotel Bukavu among others fares range from 90-100 dollars a night per person, mid-range options include Coco Lodge Bukavu among others fares range from 100-200 dollars a night per person and then Luxury options include L’Orchids Safari Club fares range from 200-400 dollars a night per person. You let us know the best option that works for you and we will for availability and book you according.
Gorilla trekking in Congo in Kahuzi Beiga National Park and Virunga National Park which are both located in the Eastern Part of Congo. You will fly to Kigali International Airport and then connect to Gisenyi town; from Gisenyi town, you will cross the Rwanda-Congo border to Goma town in DR Congo then drive towards the park headquarters of Kahuzi Beiga National Park and Virunga National Park from where you will do start the gorilla trek from, it is approximately a 2 hours’ drive from Gisenyi town to reach the park headquarters.
In conclusion, Safari Vacations and Travel Services is a Local tour operator based in Uganda with its head offices in Entebbe. Moreover, Safari Vacations and Travel Services is run and owned by a Ugandan native, we specialize in life-changing experiences and sustainable tours and holidays to all East African countries. We are members of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators and are registered by the Uganda Tourism Board. We have a good and long working relationship with Uganda Wildlife Authority making it easy to book your gorilla permits and gorilla trekking safari. Safari Vacations and Travel Services is highly reviewed on Trip Advisor as well