Chimp habituation and tracking experience
Despite Gorilla trekking and the famous Nyiragongo volcano hike, Chimpanzee habituation and tracking experience is another ultimate experience welcoming all travelers to Congo which is a must do to any one heading towards the country for any primate vacation.
Chimpanzees are considered to be so shy primates and with Congo’s Virunga National Park’s Chimpanzee habituation/tracking experience, your true primate encounter with the chimpanzees is a forever everlasting memory.
Chimp Habituation experience is a process of nurturing chimpanzees to become used to Human beings and other environment. This process is always done for two years before they are released for tracking by the visitors to the park. Chimpanzee tracking and habituation is done each day at any date in Tongo forest near the National Park headquarters of Virunga based in Rumangabo Region.
Chimp habituation starts early at 6:00am with a maximum number of 4 members per group per family to be habituated in that particular day. First, The trackers will depart to the forest in search for the right location of the group after which the remaining guides will guide the group towards the habituation spot. On the groups encounter, more hours are spent with the chimpanzees, studying their behaviors as the guides give more information about the habituated family.
A total of only three chimp families are currently being habituated at Tongo forest, and visitors who would wish to track or habituate chimpanzees are subjected to spending a night at Mikeno Lodge before the actual date of tracking because the roads are very rough and dusty not forgetting that the process that starts at 6:00am remains the major determinant of the reason behind the overnight stay at the lodge hence easy time management.
How much should I pay for chimp habituation/tracking permits?
A must have! Chimpanzee habituation just like gorilla trekking also requires a permit as it is the only key to access chimpanzees, although it’s the cheapest among all permits to purchase, that is to say, you have to pay $100 USD per individual per day.
Refunding the chimp permits for chimp habituation and tracking experience.
Cheap as they are , chimp permits can also be refunded just as it is with gorilla permits. This can only be possible under certain circumstances such as Human disease attacks including fever, cold, diarrhea, persistent sore throat, among others. These can easily be transmitted to the chimps since they are susceptible to human respiratory diseases and other common ailments. Matters like this should be brought at hand before the actual time of tracking, so that arrangements can quickly be made to refund your money.
Chimp Habituation experience season
As a visitor, it is your decision to choose the perfect time to enjoy chimp habituating experience to the fullest. Chimp Habituation/tracking experience is done all year round regardless of the season, although most vacationists prefer the peak seasons due to less down pour, with a clear sky, whereas others would rather take the low season to avoid over crowding at the park and other discounts offered by certain lodges and permits as well.
Other documents to be included
A valid passport;
Travelling means you have to do a lot of paper work in that you have to come handy with a valid passport. All visitors should visit the country with clear intentions, and with genuine reasons why they are visiting the country, means of support, purpose of the visit, and duration of stay and accommodation statements.
Congo tourist visa;
A Congo tourist visa is an official government document that authorizes you to temporarily stay in Congo for a given period of time. The Congo tourist visa is only issued only at the provision of either Nyiragongo hiking permit or gorilla trekking permit. All this becomes possible when earlier bookings are made prior to two weeks before the actual date of travel, since visa processing takes a maximum of seven days to be processed.
Yellow fever card. Yellow fever vaccination is a must do before travelling to any country and this card is issued with all the other documents for verification before crossing the border to Congo.