Centred around Lake Edward, this vast UNESCO-protected region encompasses snow-capped mountains and still active volcanoes – none more dramatic than the broiling orange lava lake of Nyiragongo – and an incredibly biodiverse patchwork of forests, savannah and marshland.
Its most famous residents are its mountain gorillas, for whom the park was originally founded to protect, and trekking to see them here is a truly special experience. The park also contains more bird, mammal and reptile species than any protected area on the African continent, including chimpanzee, savannah and forest elephants, okapi, Congo lion, buffalo and even a small population of eastern lowland gorilla.
Despite a troubled recent history in the region, Virunga is a place for intrepid wildlife lovers who want to make a real impact with their travel. Without the relative crowds of neighbouring Rwanda, you can generally expect to see gorillas accompanied by your own personal guide and dedicated ranger team. Combined with a small selection of intimate lodges, an incredible opportunity for adventure with overnight hikes up volcanoes, chimp trekking and a chance to meet some of the most committed conservationists in Africa, and it becomes a uniquely compelling destination.
With first-hand travel experience, we can arrange safe, privately guided tours of Virunga National Park for an African safari like no other. The DRC’s political climate is constantly changing and your Travel designer will talk you through safety considerations and options for your trip.
What to do
- Gorilla trekking
- Spend a night at the summit of Nyiragongo Volcano
- Chimpanzee trekking
- Bird watching