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Virunga National Park

3 reviews

About Virunga National Park

Country found in: Democratic Republic of Congo
Parks total area: 7800 km² (3000 mi²)
Year established: 1969
Park wildlife: 8 animals listed
Anti-malarial: Recommended

What YAS members think of Virunga National Park

Quality of wildlife:
Crowdedness*:
Quality of lodging:
Most-visited month: January
Top animal sighting: Mountain gorilla

* Crowded parks have a lower rating

Virunga National Park map

Located in the northeast corner of DR Congo, Virunga National Park is part of Virunga Conservation Area along with Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park. It was established as Albert National Park in 1925 and changed to Virunga in 1969. In 1979 it became a world heritage site.

Due to its dramatic variations in altitude, from 680 m (2231 ft) to 5,109 m (16,765 ft), moisture levels and topography, Virunga National Park possesses a very wide diversity of plants and habitats, making it the top African National Park for biological diversity.
The scenery of Virunga National Park is truly stunning. It contains several volcanic mountains such as: Karisimbi, Mikeno, Visoke, Sabinyo, Nyamuragira and Nyiragongo, with the last two still very active. A wide-range of plant species abound here, with more than 2,000 identified. It also contains more than 200 mammals and 22 primate species: the mountain gorilla, the eastern plain gorilla and the eastern chimpanzee.  For those wishing to see more than just primates, some of the largest wild animal concentrations in Africa occur along the rivers of the park. Mammals in the savannah area include: elephant, hippopotamus, buffalo, antelope, warthog, pelicans and lions.

Tragedy in Virunga National Park

The civil war in the early 1990’s in Rwanda had a devastating impact on neighboring DR Congo. It is estimated that around two million refugees moved into the Kivu province. This mass influx of people had a marked impact on the fauna and flora, with massive poaching and deforestation resulting. In 1996, the World Heritage Committee recognized that major effort would be needed for at least ten years after this tragedy to rehabilitate and restore management of the park and regain local support for its conservation. Sadly, nearly all of the gorilla tourism has ground to a halt, with a small number of tour operators still operating there.
 

When to visit Virunga National Park

Virunga is a land of extremes when it comes to many things, including weather. It is home to the most and least rainfall in the DR Congo. Although rain can be experienced at any time of year, the months with the most precipitation are March to May and September to December. The raised elevation also keeps temperatures roughly around 20 and 23C (65-73F) in the lowlands.

 

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Virunga National Park tour packages

Showing 10 of 29 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.

Tour by: Amahoro Tours

…tracking made easier… (2nights/3days)

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$2040

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Tour by: Instinct Safaris

On Our short safari ‘Earth’s Crust’, we take you directly to Mt. Nyiragongo. The 3470 meters high volcano is par...

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From

$795

per person

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Tour by: Africa Adventure Vacations

This 3 day Congo gorilla tour starts in Rwanda, you will then transfer to Virunga National park in Democratic re...

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$1600

per person

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Tour by: Pinnacle Safaris

You will visit Rwanda and Uganda the only two countries with Mountain gorillas in Africa. In Rwanda you will vis...

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$3200

per person

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Tour by: Africa Adventure Vacations

On your arrival to Kigali international airport, you will be warmly welcomed by our professional driver guide wh...

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From

$3700

per person

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Tour by: Hakuna Matata Safaris

Climb the Nyiragongo Volcano from Goma and camp for 1 night on the rim of the giant crater high above the violen...

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$400

per person

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Tour by: Instinct Safaris

Nyiragongo is one of the destinations on this trip titled ‘Volcanoes & Gorillas’. The volcano is world-famous fo...

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$1545

per person

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Tour by: Instinct Safaris

Have You ever been to the Land of a Million Hills? The Kigezi region with its numerous lakes, panoramic views, a...

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$1195

per person

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Tour by: Africa Adventure Vacations

Day 1: Arrive in Kigali international Airport and Transfer to Virunga National Park in Congo. On your arrival t...

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$2720

per person

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Showing 10 of 29 tour packages. Click here to see all tours.