Hiking Virunga Mountains
Hiking Virunga Mountains is one of the best experiences a traveler will have when they visit Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda since the mountains are in the three countries. The Virunga Mountains are shared by three countries that are Uganda, Rwanda and the democratic republic of Congo where they can be found in three national parks that is Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the democratic republic of Congo. There are eight virunga mountains that are located in the East African Albertine rift valley where you will find the chain of the Virunga Mountains. During your African safari, you can decide to visit the different national parks or all of them and participate in the ultimate virunga mountains hike in order to have an interesting experience during your safaris in the different countries where you can find the different virunga mountains.
Below are some of the reasons why you should consider visiting the Virunga Mountains;
The lava lake
Once you visit Congo, in order to access mountain Mikeno, mount Nyamuragira and Mount Nyiragongo, you will have to hike the different mountains but one of the memorable hikes during the Virunga mountains hike is the Nyiragongo hike where you will hike one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Mount Nyiragongo is an active volcano whose activity can be seen during the hike to its summit where tourists will find the world’s largest lava lake which is eye-catching with its bright red boiling lava that can be seen and the rumbling that can be heard underneath the earth’s crust. At the summit, there is a viewing point where you will have the most spectacular views of the lava lake. You can also take pictures at the viewing point where you will take the pictures of the lake to keep as a souvenir which is quite memorable.
During the virunga mountains hike, you can get to participate in gorilla trekking by visiting the different gorilla families that can be found along the different virunga mountains in the National Parks. In the different national parks, the price of gorilla trekking is different for instance in mgahinga national park which is one of the two parks where gorilla trekking in Uganda can be carried out, the price of a gorilla permit in Uganda is 600USD but it will be 700USD come 1ST July 2020. In virunga national park, the price of gorilla trekking in Congo is 400USD and in Volcanoes National Park, the price of a gorilla trekking permit is 1500USD. But where you decide to hike the Virunga Mountains you will have a great time as you get to see the different views within the different parks
The Virunga Mountains are the only habitats in the world where you can find the golden monkeys, therefore, participate in the virunga mountains hike to get to know more about the black and gold monkey species. Golden monkey trekking will involve tourists in hiking virunga mountains in order to visit the different golden monkeys where you will get to spend an hour with the monkey species which will give you time to know more about them like their feeding intervals, how they take care of young ones if you get lucky and visit a troop with the young ones which will be an interesting activity once carried out.
Senkwenkwe gorilla Orphanage
You will have a chance to visit the Senkwenkwe gorilla orphanage where you will get to visit the orphan gorillas where you will get to care for them for a day. The Senkwenkwe gorilla orphanage can be accessed in virunga national park on the lower slopes of Mount Mikeno. The Senkwenkwe gorilla orphanage just like the Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary was established to provide refuge to the orphaned gorillas whose parents were killed as a result of poaching in virunga national park. While in virunga national park you can visit the gorilla orphanage where you will be a caretaker of the gorillas for the day, you will get to pet them by feeding them, cleaning their rooms which is quite thrilling adventure once carried out.
During hiking Virunga Mountains in Virunga national park, tourists can also participate in chimpanzee trekking on mount Mikeno where you will have a chance to spend time with the habituated chimpanzee troops in the park. Chimpanzee trekking in the park involves tourists hiking to the different habituated troops in the park, you will get to know more about the chimpanzees like their diet where you can see them eating leaves, small insects, fruits in the park, you will also see a number of interesting features about the chimpanzees which will make your safari memorable.