Jomba Community Camp with Gorilla Trekking | Virunga National Park
Jomba Community Camp with Gorilla Trekking is one of the new Virunga National Park Safari Packages that travelers can book with us. There is a new campsite that has been put up for tourists who are interested in visiting the mountain gorillas of Virunga national park at a subsidized rate. The Jomba community camp gorilla tour is a combined effort of the Virunga park and the Jomba community women. This is a camp in the north most part of the gorilla sector and that can be accessed from the Bunagana border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Yes, that is correct! The Bunagana border is open to tourists.
This package is a thrilling package in so many ways that you are about to read about it. This is a 2 day package where you will spend only one night at the accommodation solely run by the women of the community. You are met by the Virunga ranger guides at the Bunagana border at 11:00 am to set out to cross from Uganda into the DRCongo. Please note the times in Uganda and DRCongo are 1 hour apart with Uganda being 1 hour ahead so keep that in mind as you make your travel times to avoid being disappointed waiting at the border too long or being left behind as you won’t be allowed to follow the group if left. You will cross on foot, no cars are allowed as per now but there will be porters to help you with your luggage at a charge if you may like. They can be a good option as they can chat you up and give you as much information as you may be interested in if you are a solo traveler and have no companion. One other highlight of this tour is your pass-through community land and get to interact with the locals in the communities, get to see them go about their day, herding their cattle, taking care of their farms and the mothers playing with the young ones as well as groom them. This experience is as authentic as could be. You will reach the camp in time for a Congolese style lunch prepared by the women in the community. This will be your opportunity to taste the local cuisines of the country. In case of any dietary requirements, it is important to communicate to your travel agent so as to put them into consideration when planning and also update the Jomba women. You will walk for about three hours from the Bunagana border until you reach the camp.
Later in the evening, you can sit at the expansive dining area that has the amazing backdrop of the 3 Virunga Mountains and enjoy a cold drink with the DRCongo fresh breeze and a number of grass thatched umbrella shades as you relax and prepare for the next day’s hike. Retire back to your tent for overnight sleep. There are mattresses and pillows provided but you are advised to carry along your sleeping bag and necessary toiletries along with warm clothes to keep warm as the camp is at a high altitude and it can get really cold in the nights. All the profits collected at the camp goes back to the Women’s Association of Jomba that is collected from the food provided, the drinks, and the money paid for the overnight in the tent.
The next morning you will have a simple breakfast of a cup of tea with an African doughnut known as “mandazi”. The ranger guides will then pick you from the camp and give you a small briefing before the gorilla trek as on what to expect, what to do and what not to do then you will set out into the forest in search of the gorillas but the time of the trek will entirely depend on where the mountain gorillas were spotted the day before so be expecting changes anytime. You may be lucky to trek a short distance while other days you might trek for a longer time. This gorilla sector has been abandoned for a while but is now open and welcoming the adventurous tourist. After meeting the gorillas and spending the long-awaited one hour in their presence, make your way back to the border and exit the country into Uganda still escorted by the Virunga park rangers.
These 8 twin tented accommodations/ rooms have a shared toilet facility of 2 long drop toilets with 2 showers of bucket showers that are put in place when there are visitors to the camp as required. Please note this is more like a bush camp and electricity supply is limited as kerosene lamps are used in the rooms for lighting. The dining area has the electricity supply though not full time so ensure to carry power banks and torches for lighting and recharging phones and charge fully all batteries before crossing to the camp.
This was an idea that was brought up by The Virunga national park and the Association of the Jomba Community-women to cater for the tourists coming in from Uganda, those with less days and on a budget but would still love to take on a gorilla trekking in Virunga national park and also to give the women another source of income. Why not support this idea at a very affordable cost. Get in touch with us and let us arrange for you this raw but authentic and affordable 2 days Virunga mountain gorilla tour from Uganda.