Congo is one of the three families where mountain gorillas can be trekked in the world, gorilla trekking in Congo can be done in the famous Virunga national park that has eight habituated gorilla groups for tourism purposes.
The Lulengo gorilla family is dominated by a silverback known as Lulengo, this group can be trekked in the Jomba area of Virunga national park near the Congo-Rwandan boarder of Bunagana. The dominating gorilla was born in the Rugabo gorilla family.
The Lulengo gorilla family was formerly known as Musekura gorilla family but the name of the group was changed to Lulengo in loving memory of the Technical director of Virunga national park who died in a land mine.
Lulengo’s father who was Rugabo also died violently after being shot by poachers during a crisis in 1994. Lulengo gorilla family has also been noted to be in good harmony with the Mapuwa gorilla family which is very uncommon for mountain gorillas.
The other gorilla group found in Jomba area of Virunga national park is;
Mapuwa gorilla family: The Mapuwa gorilla family can also be trekked in Jomba area of Virunga national park, this gorilla family was part of the Rugendo gorilla family that broke off when Mapuwa left with some members to form his own family in 1998.
Other gorilla groups found in the Virunga national park are, Kabirizi gorilla family, Humba gorilla family, Nyakamwe gorilla family, Bageni gorilla family. Munyanga gorilla family and the Rugendo gorilla family. This can all be trekked by a number of eight people per group in a day.
Mountain gorillas can be trekked all year round but the tropical weather of Congo makes other months favorable. The best time to go for gorilla trekking in Congo is in the dry season when the park road are easily accessible and the trekking trails are in good condition and not slippery. While trekking mountain gorillas, keep in mind that the whether is unpredictable so it can rain any time its advisable to carry rain coats, hiking boots, insect repellents, garden gloves, warm clothing and so much more.
While trekking gorillas in Virunga national park, tourists can sleep in lodges such as Mikeno lodge, Kibumba tented camp, Bukima tented camp, Tchegera island tented camp and Lulimbi tented camp among the rest. Bird lovers can also carry along binoculars as there are various species of birds to be seen not forgetting several primates like the black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons. The gorilla permits in Congo cost only $400 compared to Uganda where its $600 and Rwanda which is $1500.