"Trekking for the Mountain Gorillas" Parc National de Virunga by Yogues

Parc National de Virunga Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 84 photos

I spent 4 months in Kenya in 1993, taking many trips around East Africa. One of the most exciting and amazing trips I took was to then Zaire to the Virunga National Park to visit with the Mountain Gorillas. Unfortunately, due to the civil war in neighboring Rawanda and the more recent upheavals in Zaire (DRC), I don't know how applicable my advice would be today. I do hope that someday, if not now, this trip can be safely taken again.

This picture was taken after four friends and I took a 12 hour or so bus ride from Nairobi to Kampala, Uganda (after our organized tour was cancelled), follwed by an 8 hour or so matatu (minibus) ride from Kampala to Kabale for the night, and on through Kisoro to the border of Uganda and Zaire at Bunagana Jomba, followed by a 2 hour hike up to the ranger station. We were exhausted and hungry.

I had been on a couple of safaris before this in Kenya and figured that we could buy food and water when we arrived - unfortunately for us, that was not the case. Fortunately we met a lady from New Zealand who gave us her iodine tablets so we could drink the creek water, and we met a local boy named "Andy" (we later figured out that his name wasn't really Andy but that he'd just repeated the name of one of our group when we asked him his name) who could get just about anything we wanted, as long as it was an organge Fanta or cabbage and potatoes or over-boiled spaghetti.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:An incredible experience - face to face with a Silverback
  • Cons:Hard to get to - no real place to stay
  • In a nutshell:If you can go there, do it!
  • Last visit to Parc National de Virunga: Jul 1993
  • Intro Updated Nov 18, 2005
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Reviews (5)

Comments (4)

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2006 at 9:14 PM

    Hello Russel! What an adventure! I would love to see the mountain gorillas so much. Great tips and photos. Happy birthday from Finland!

  • cosmopolit's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2005 at 12:44 PM

    cool trip notes, what a story! brings back good memories.

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2005 at 8:28 AM

    What an amazing adventure!! Great tips and photos on your Gorilla excursion. I never had the chance for that in my time there long ago, when 10 Zaires was worth US$20 !!

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2005 at 3:59 PM

    Very good tips. Haha, 100,000,000 Zairis (local currency) for accommodation sounds impressive :-)

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