Virunga Guide

VIRUNGA.net is your guide to the greater Virunga Region. Plan your safari to the Virungas with extensive information on things to see, adventure activities, making reservations for gorilla permits, gorilla tours, hotels and safari lodging. We offer extensive information on each park, best time to go, maps, guides, travel tips and much more. Whether you are a seasoned traveller or a first time visitor, you are in exactly the right place.

The aim of the Virunga guide is to Inform, Inspire, Excite and Equip you as you plan your next big adventure to the Virunga Region. Whether you are looking to mountain gorilla trekking, volcano hiking or any other adventure, our resourceful information will help you in planning a memorable safari!

Find information on the protected areas (PAs) of the Virunga Volcanoes in three countries; Volcanoes National Park (VNP) in Rwanda, Virunga National Park (ViNP) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (MGNP) of Uganda.

About Virunga

What Does Virunga Mean?
The name “Virunga” is an English version of the Kinyarwanda word ibirunga. Ibirunga means “volcanoes” in the native Rwandan language.

Things to See

The Virunga Mountains are an extraordinary place to visit. There are lots of things to see in the Virungas and these include;

Virunga Mountains

The Virunga region has a chain of eight major volcanoes. These ranges are located along the northern border of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda.

Mountain Gorillas

The Mountain Gorillas of the Virunga Volcanoes inhabit an area that is shared between three countries, the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda.  The mountain gorillas in these parks keep on migrating from one park to another in search of fruiting trees and leaves. Read More

Places to Go

There are three protected areas in the Virunga. All these three national parks host incredible wildlife including the mountain gorillas a rare specie only endemic to three countries in the world. These parks are;

  • Volcanoes National park in Rwanda,
  • Virunga National park in DR Congo and
  • Mgahinga National park in Uganda

These three parks are located in the Virunga ranges which cover the three countries.

Why Do Gorillas Migrate in the Virunga?
A study by Vedder (1984) in Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda indicated that,  within each of the dietary seasons (October-November and December-September), gorillas responded to decreases in food abundance by expanding their range and travelling further as well as by altering their diet. Solitary male Mountain Gorillas travel further and expand their home range, and Mountain Gorilla home ranges typically overlap extensively (Watts, 1994). Watts (1998) found that they used areas less than or equal to 25 km2 and that annual home range size and core area size varied considerably both between groups and across years. Food and male mating competition influence home-range use and core area selection and size.

Virunga Mountains

The Virunga region has a chain of eight major volcanoes. These ranges are located along the northern border of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. Six of these volcanoes are dormant while two are still active.

List of mountains in the Virunga Mountain Range

  • Mount Karisimbi (4,507) located in Rwanda / DRC
  • Mount Mikeno (4,437) located in DRC
  • Mount Muhabura (4,127) located in both Rwanda / Uganda
  • Mount Bisoke (3,711) Rwanda /  DRC
  • Mount Sabyinyo (3674m asl) located in Rwanda / Uganda / DRC
  • Mount Gahinga (3474) located in Rwanda /  Uganda
  • Mount Nyiragongo (3,470) located in DRC
  • Mount Nyamuragira (3,058) located in DRC

Top Things to Do

There are lots of things to do in the Virunga. Here are the most popular adventure activities that can be enjoyed on a tour.

Gorilla Trekking

Hiking

Golden Monkey Tracking

Bird Watching

Nature

Explore the Virunga

Can You Visit Virunga?

What is the best time to go?

Is Virunga Safe?

Park Entrance Fees & Permits

Gorilla Trekking

Is it safe to go gorilla trekking in the Virunga?

What is the best time to go gorilla trekking?

How to book gorilla permits?