If you have not yet trekked Lowland Gorillas before, then when you do not have to miss out a chance of visiting Kahuzi Biega National Park. Gorilla watching is a unique experience enjoyed only in DR Congo. You can see the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park as well as the Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park. On this art
What is the Cost of a Gorilla Permit?
Those planning to track mountain gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park, you are advised to book with one of the best local tour operators and the Congo gorilla permits costs ($400) per person for trekking and ($500) per person for habituation.
Gorilla Safari Group Size: It’s only a maximum of eight individuals per day that are allowed to trek, this helps to reduce the spreading of diseases from humans to the mountain gorillas.
Restrictions on Age: It’s only 15 years and over individuals allowed to trek
Hours of Visiting: gorilla trekking takes place during day time and it’s between 8:00qm to 7:00 pm
Time limit with gorillas: It’s strictly 1 hour allowed to spend with the mountain gorillas.
VISA AND IMMIGRATION
- Visa application form. Fully completed and signed application form.
- Original passport. The passport must be valid at least six months after the intended date of departure from the territory of Democratic Republic of the Congo and has at least two blank visa pages.
- Passport-type photograph. Include two passport style photos (2×2), with a white background, taken within the last 6 months. You may also choose to upload a photo to your order for us to print. There is a surcharge associated with this service.
- Proof of status. A copy of immigration status in the United States such as a resident card, work, or study permit.
- A copy of round trip tickets or detailed itinerary for the duration of the trip. The applicant’s name must be on itinerary.
- Yellow fever. A copy of the International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV) for yellow fever. To learn more about the yellow fever vaccination or to locate a vaccination clinic, please visit the CDC’s yellow fever resource page.
- Certified Letter of Invitation. A letter of invitation from a tourist agency or private host in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This letter must be notarized at City Hall in the DRC and legalized by the DRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If the tourist is not using either a tourist agency or private host, then, they need to provide a letter stating the purpose of the trip, the site the tourist plans to visit and the duration of the trip.
Single entry (1-month validity visa) $110
Single entry (2 months validity visa) $135
Single entry (6 months validity visa) $400
Multiple entries (1-month validity visa) $120
Multiple entries (2 months validity visa) $150
Multiple entries (3 months validity visa) $160
Multiple entries (6 months validity visa) $450
International Airline Travel: Visitors to Kahuzi Biega National Park usually fly into Kigali international airport and take the 7-hour drive to the border crossing at Rusizi 1. International flights often arrive in the late afternoon or evening. For such arrivals, we recommend spending the night in Kigali and leaving for Bukavu the following morning.
Kahuzi Biega National Park can be accessed by various ways depending on the visitors interest but the most commonly used is the Road transport and it will require a 4×4 Fleet to enable you enjoy the gorilla trekking adventure.
The roads to Kahuzi Biega national park are rough and even it needs paying toll fees to connect from one province to another.
The park can be accessed via the following routes.
- Starting from Rwanda Side on Road it takes 6 to 7 hours driving from Kigali town to the city of Cyangugu, also named Kamembe (station border of Ruzizi I). It’s the nearest town to Bukavu, after crossing the two borders, it takes an hour and half driving to reach the Park Headquarters and the nearest accommodations in the Park.
- Starting from Burundi side it takes 3 hours driving, you will have to cross Rwanda border of Ruwa then Ruzizi 1. It’s the shortest way to enter into the national Park from Burundi.
- Starting from Uganda connecting to Kahuzi Biega national Park is quite tiresome as the visitor may seek overnight stay in Musanze for the case of visitors that have crossed to Rwanda via Cyanika Border and the next day early morning take a serious drive to reach Bukavu town.
Vehicle requirements. Small Vehicles are not hired in DRC because of its rough roads. A medium 4×4 goes for $100 to $150 per day whereas comfortable Extended Land cruisers range between $200 to $250 per day. These prices do not include fuel for the car and the driver. In many cases, the price may include a driver/guide, but it’s advisable to talk to the operator before making payment. Maintenance, certification and insurance of the vehicle is the responsibility of the owner or tour operator.
luxury option, you can check out L’Orchids Safari Club. The aura you get at the gate of this lodge is the start of everything classy this lodge has to offer. This luxury lodge is located on the Lake Kivu shore which gives off the cool breeze topping the clean and quiet area. You can enjoy an evening sun downer at the shores of Lake Kivu during your stay at the Orchid safari club.
For a midrange accommodation, Bukavu has a number and you may check out the Coco Lodge Bukavu. Another option for the midrange can be the Hotel Begonais Bukavu that boosts of an expansive and beautiful garden space which is the first thing that catches the visitor’s eye on entry.
Panorama hotel is another midrange option that has been tested and verified midrange for guests looking to spend a night in the Bukavu town. Also check out the Lake Side Hotel Bukavu for a midrange option.
There are some budget hotel options in Bukavu like the Exodus Bukavu hotel that is in the center of town and ideal for guests looking to explore the town and come back for a quick night. Also Hotel Elizabeth is an ideal option for budget travellers who would want value for their money. There is a swimming pool for guests.
Budget gorilla safari accommodation $100 – $150
Mid-range gorilla safari accommodation $160 – $500
Luxury gorilla safari accommodation $ 600 – $1000
Please note: All these lodges in DRC are Bed and Breakfast
COST OF PORTER
We encourage all our clients to take porters for their gorilla trek for several reasons. First, they carry your bags, and when you are approaching gorillas, they will remain with your packed lunches and all items you might not need. Second, they will give you a push or pull during your trek in the forest. This extra effort is to enable you to achieve your dream of viewing these endangered mountain gorillas.
The other significance of taking a porter is that by doing so, you are contributing to community development since most of these porters are school dropouts or continuing students that need this money to finance their education.
Porters can be hired at $10 to $20 each, per trek depending on what is there to carry. The guide is provided for in the price of the permit so you may not need to hire one.
COST OF TIPS
Tips are an appreciation of good service rendered to you by your safari guide, gorilla trekking guide, waiters and porters. It’s not a must that you have to do this. However, as a responsible tour company, we recommend that you put some small funds aside for tipping.