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Best time to visit DR Congo for gorilla trekking & safaris

For starters, it’s important to note that D.R Congo is the world’s wealthiest nation. Its mineral and natural endowments make it unmatched. D.R Congo or formerly Zaire; D.R.C; the Congo; or Congo-Kinshasa, is situated in East Africa. Its neighbors include Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania in the East; Republic of South Sudan to the Northeast; Zambia in Southeast; Central African Republic in Northeast; Angola in Southwest; and South Atlantic Ocean in West.

It’s the most populated francophone country globally, with an estimated 110 million inhabitants. The country is by land area the second biggest on the continent. By global rankings in land area, it’s the 11th. Kinshasa is its capital and most populated city in Africa.

The country attained its name from the great River Congo whose presence is fairly felt entirely in the country. Another important aspect to notes is the river’s uncontested depth which makes it the deepest river in the world. Additionally, because of its size and water levels, it has the second largest discharge of water by any river, globally. The river’s name is attributed to the former Kingdom of Kongo, of the Bakongo people who lived along the River Congo, hundreds of years ago.

D.R Congo has one of the world’s highest precipitation levels, which explains the thick rainforest cover across the country. For centuries, this gave birth to the Congo rainforest, world’s second largest natural forest, after the Amazon Forest. The thick rainforests have been a sustainable ground for the unique wildlife in the country which created one of the world’s most fascinating ecosystems.

It’s of no surprise then, that only the Democratic Republic of Congo has both subspecies of gorillas i.e., mountain gorillas and Eastern lowland gorillas also known as Grauer’s gorillas. Both subspecies are located in the Eastern part of the country, which is often referred to as the Virunga Conservation Area. The two subspecies have their uniqueness such as the area of habitation, a reason for their distinct names i.e., mountain gorillas live in the mountainous areas of the country, while the Grauer’s gorillas live in the lowland areas of D.R Congo. As far as similarity goes, the gorilla is one of the biggest primate species in the world. They are conserved in restricted ecozones, but most notably in Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo.


Gorilla destinations in D.R. Congo.

Virunga National Park.

It ranks as the most bio diverse area on the Africa continent. It has almost all species of wildlife, creeping and flying. It’s located close to the Congo basin at the Eastern edge of D.R Congo. Virunga is the primary home of mountain gorillas in D.R Congo. It officially commenced as a national park in 1925 and covers about 3,120 square miles.

Virunga’s most two active volcanoes, Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo stand rumbling in this park. The mix of subspecies of gorillas in this park are open to tourists get to enjoy trekking the different gorilla families therein.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park.

This is the central home of the Eastern lowland gorillas in D.R. Congo. It commenced in 1970 as the hub of monitoring, protecting, and conserving lowland gorillas. You won’t be able to view the Eastern lowland gorillas anywhere else in the wild, except within Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Visitors travel from all points of the world just to view these rare species.

The park’s name is born out of a combination of two adjacent mountains, Mountain Kahuzi and Mountain Biega. Wildlife Conservation Society oversees activities within and outside the park. A gorilla permit to this park costs 400$ for each trekker and can be accessed through Bukavu town.

Best time to visit D.R Congo.

D.R. Congo is crossed by the Equator, with some areas lie in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, D.R Congo’s climate is in many ways distinct from its neighbors. Whereas it has 2 dry seasons, the rains are unpredictable and can sometimes shock visitors that they occasionally get busy even during the supposedly dry seasons. Regardless of that description however, the seasons between July-September/December-February, remain the best time to visit D.R Congo.

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