Top Gorilla Safari Lodges in Virunga National Park

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Planning for African gorilla safaris in DRC Congo? There are so many gorilla safari lodges that one can stay on this amazing experience in the Virunga slopes. Among the lodges found here include the Luxury, Mid-range and the budget and some are listed below as you can see.

Virunga Safari Lodge:

It is about seven kilometres past Kinoni and 36 from the National Park. The location, on 
a peak between Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo, magnificent inland seas untouched by tourism, is spellbinding. The five – kilometre road up to the lodge is badly rutted and the rain has caused mudslides; children appear as if from nowhere to wave and call out as we make slow but steady progress up the mountain. The road may be in poor condition, but it is an impressive feat of engineering, at times carved into the sheer mountainside. Its referred to as the top of the world.

The top of the world is a much civilized place with beautiful, landscaped grounds almost constantly enveloped in mist. The main lodge, with its bar, dining room and wide, wraparound verandas, is built of stone like some fortified castle; from it there are commanding views of five of the national park’s volcanoes, impertinent-looking peaks lined up in a grand procession. In the early morning, voices rise up from the hazy valleys below as villagers prepare to work their plots of land before the heat becomes too fierce. Up here on the top of the world, it is always cool and pleasant.

My room is one of only eight self-contained bandas (cottages), with hand-carved wooden windows and private verandas. With no electricity (there is solar power in the evenings), television or radio, and poor mobile-phone reception, it quickly becomes a calm sanctuary from the rest of the world.

Everyone staying at the lodge (the average is two or three nights) is here to see the mountain 
gorillas, which adds a sense of shared purpose to dinner at the candle-lit, communal table. Most 
of the guests are American, the youngest a honeymoon couple from Texas, the eldest a wonderful woman in her late eighties from Florida. For all of us, this is a trip of a lifetime, for many the realisation of a lifelong dream.

Mikeno lodge:

Mikeno Lodge is a luxurious lodge tucked into a forested hillside at Virunga National Park Headquarters and the perfect base for visiting mountain gorillas or climbing a volcano. The lodge is perfectly situated between three major attractions in Virunga National Park, and is only one and a half hours from Goma.  There is an abundance of bird life, as well as resident blue monkeys, colobus monkeys, and baboons. Chimpanzees are also frequent visitors to the area. Whether your stay is the starting point for gorilla, volcano, and chimp adventures, or purely for a relaxing time-out in a peaceful location, Mikeno Lodge provides an exceptional experience among the wildlife and beauty of Virunga National Park.

Mikeno Lodge offers twelve unique bungalows, each have stunning views into the surrounding forest. Fashioned with lava stone, mahogany and thatch the bungalows are nestled amidst the thick forest greenery and reaching trees. Comprised of a comfortable lounging area and fireplace to ward off the crisp evening air, the spacious bungalows enjoy en-suite bathrooms with stone carved baths and curved stone showers. The decor merges Congolese ethnicity and classic simplicity with patterned rugs, soft tones and sleek wooden furniture; whilst the private deck allows guests to enjoy the performance of the Blue and Colobus monkeys in the forest. Enjoyed beneath the thatched boma at the main lodge, dining is delicious and flavour some.

Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelters:

Each of the twelve summit shelters contains two single beds on which visitors can put their sleeping bags. Although these shelters aren’t plush, they offer a welcome escape from the elements. The cost of staying in a summit shelter is included in the permit fee.

Nyiragongo is a beautiful strato – volcano that features the world’s largest lava lake. The volcano’s forested lower slopes are home to a variety of animals, including chimpanzees, monkeys, and bush buck. Nyiragongo’s summit rim is largely devoid of vegetation and is frequently dusted with snow. From the rim, visitors can peer down into a churning lava lake and see and hear hot gases exploding up though a mosaic of molten lava. Although predictable and therefore safe for tourists, Nyiragongo is greatly feared during eruptions. Because of the high silica content of its lava, Nyiragongo’s lava flows are extremely fluid. During the 2002 eruption, some of Nyiragongo’s lava flows were clocked at 100 km/hr (62 mph) and reached all the way to Lake Kivu.

The Lulimbi Tented Camp:

Lulimbi is located in the heart of Virunga and is home to a large percentage of the park’s elephants and hippos. Buffalo, warthogs, giant forest hogs, topi, Ugandan Kob, crocodiles, and a wide variety of bird life also abound.

The Lulimbi Tented Camp is nestled into the shoreline of the Ishasha River, which winds through Virunga’s vast Savannah plains. Lulimbi is the first such camp in this area of the park and was created for two main reasons: to showcase Virunga’s spectacular Savannah wildlife and to give visitors the chance to actively participate in conservation.

The nature experience in Lulimbi starts at the steps of one’s tent. Hippos wallow away their days in the Ishasha River, which is just meters away. Nearby, elephants can be seen wandering slowly through the bush. This gorgeous nature scene is closely watched by Virunga’s rangers, who welcome the participation of guests on their monitoring patrols. Under the guidance of the rangers, guest will participate in wildlife counts, visual health checks of the various species, and learn about the history of the park and the challenges the future presents.

There are also much more lodges though not detailed but the offer stunning stay during your visit to the Virunga and they include the Tchegera Tented Camp that is situated at the shores of Lake Kivu in DRC Congo, the Bukima Tented Camp that is found at the starting point of the Congo gorilla trek and it is said that stay at this camp you can spot gorillas walking around and the new opened Kibumba Tented Camp and this cater for the budget travelers visiting the Virunga National Park.

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