Best Gorilla Safari Lodges in Congo

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There are only two gorilla trekking national parks in Democratic Republic of Congo, (Virunga national park & Kahuzi-Biega national park), and the following are some of the best lodges/camps in the above destinations:

MIKENO LODGE

Mikeno Lodge was the first accommodation to be built in Virunga National Park, opened for tourists in August 2011. The lodge boasts 12 individual bungalows, each accommodating two people with either double or twin beds. All the bungalows are designed in the same style with lava rock walls and thatched roofs. Every bungalow has its own private deck, spacious bathroom and a lounge area set around a fireplace. It is set among the trees of a virgin forest, hence having a cool weather, fantastic views, and the lodging is luxurious. Whether your stay is the starting point for a Congo gorilla safari, chimp or volcano adventure, or purely for a relaxing time-out in a peaceful location, Mikeno Lodge provides a unique experience among the wildlife and beauty of Virunga National Park.

The lodge boasts a spacious lounge and bar, and adjacent to the lounge is the dining room which provides full-course meals included in the price of your stay. Both the bar and dining area are open onto a large terrace providing the perfect location for a relaxing drink and sharing of the day’s activities. However, guests to Mikeno Lodge will also have a huge opportunity of visiting the Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage Centre, which is only a 3 minute walk from the lodge. The Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage Centre is home to four orphan mountain gorillas, (Maisha, Kaboko, Ndeze and Ndakasi), of which they are the only mountain gorillas in captivity in the world.

BUKIMA TENTED CAMP

The camp is also situated in Virunga national park and everything about Bukima Tented Camp is pretty much perfect. The camp has a magnificent location right on the edge of the forest in the rolling foothills of the Virunga Massif, and more interesting is that the camp is the starting point for all gorilla treks in the area. You cannot get a more convenient starting point for a gorilla trek anywhere than at Bukima tented camp. The camp is modest and simple yet full of charm, warmth and everything you would expect from a traditional tented camp. A cozy mess tent is the main meeting point and comes complete with safari chairs, an incredibly well-stocked bar and large dining table where hearty three-course feasts appear like clockwork for lunch and dinner. Outside, guests gather by the campfire for morning tea and eggs and in the evening to share epic gorilla-trekking tales.

The camp consists of six guestrooms of which four of them have King-sized beds well as the other two are equipped with twin beds. The bathrooms of all the rooms are en-suite and surprisingly luxurious with hot showers, flushing loos and running water. The camp was however originally built for researchers, but is now used primarily by trekkers and it is such a recommendable accommodation for all trekkers in Virunga national park due to its exceptional location for gorilla trekkers.

ORCHIDS SAFARI CLUB

The accommodation is nestled in the eastern parts of Democratic Republic of Congo at the shores of Lake Kivu. This sleek and elegantly decorated hotel offers a mixture of contemporary and traditional African styles in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. The luxurious nature around Lake Kivu enables the accommodation to welcome its guests in a fantastic and serene environment. Every day, the staff goes all out to make sure your time on the hotel’s complex is as relaxing as possible. An hour from Bukavu, along Lake Kivu, you can discover Kahuzi Biega National Park. This park is one of the last nature reserves to protect the lowland gorillas. You can approach these giants within a few meters, which is an experience of a lifetime!

All the accommodation’s bedrooms have also been entirely renovated in order to provide absolute comfort, good taste and conviviality. Guests will benefit from quality bedding and linen, as well as a charming bathroom. The hotel comprises of suites and apartments. The facilities at the hotel include; internet connection, private terrace, television in the rooms, office area, lounge area, safe, premium bedding, equipped kitchen, restaurant & bar, and spectacular views of Lake Kivu. The hotel also has all the assets to organize your seminars, meetings and receptions to the last detail.

COCO LODGE

This is a mid-range accommodation located in Kahuzi-Biega National Park boasting 8 guestrooms, which are equipped with double beds and decorated in the theme of Africa. The rooms are fitted with bathrooms or showers, toilets, and high definition (HD) television. The lodge comprises of two lounge areas with a fireplace in the upstairs lounge area, three modern bathrooms, and a modern kitchen. While at the accommodation, especially during leisure, guests can listen to some good Congolese music that is always played at the lodge.

TCHEGERA ISLAND CAMP

Tchegera Island Camp is the greatest place to be and escape the hustles of the city more so after hiking Nyiragongo or trekking the mountain gorillas, in Virunga National Park. It is partially submerged caldera found off the shores of Lake Kivu and it has some of the best views of the lake and here you can see four of the eight Virunga Volcanoes. On clear nights, Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes add to the drama by turning the night sky red with their glowing lava. The camp is an ideal place for rest and relaxation. Accommodation reservations include breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It offers spectacular views of the lake and four volcanoes. For anyone who wants to do more than put their feet up you can swim in the (crocodile-free) bay and there are kayaks available for use and the area immediately in front of camp is well protected from the elements and is typically mill-pond calm, while the open lake beyond can get quite sporty.

The camp was established in 2015 and the rooms and furnishing are still in mint condition. Tents are safari-style Menu numbers and far from flashy, but with simple dressing areas, very comfortable twin or double beds and en-suite complete with solar powered showers and flushing loos, they are well-appointed and have everything you might need. Outside, small shade-covered verandas offer fantastic vistas over the lake, making waking up in the morning an absolute delight.

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