Primate trekking vacation in the DRC
Description of Primate trekking vacation in the DRC
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PlanetWe are wholly committed to the protection of the Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega ecosystems and the many species that are dependent on these areas. We are also fully cognisant of the deep and persistent threats that affect Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega and the wildlife these parks support. We are one of the few operators that not only offer the chance to visit Virunga's southern sector, where most great apes are found, but also the central plains (where lion, elephant, buffalo and much more can be seen) and the Watalinga Forest, where okapi are still present, as well as the interior forest of Kahuzi-Biega. We are keen to impress upon our clients just how important Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega are for many species, including gorillas and chimpanzees. Therefore, we insist that clients conduct themselves appropriately on gorilla and chimpanzee treks. In particular, guests must never come into contact with these animals, and due to the extreme susceptibility these animals have to human-borne viruses, any guest showing symptoms of illness will not be permitted to visit any family of apes.
The environment in southern Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega is fragile. We therefore ask clients to take extreme care when visiting to limit their water usage and avoid any damage to flora and fauna. It is unfortunately necessary on some gorilla treks to remove plants that block our path, but this is kept to a minimum wherever possible.
PeopleIt is one of the most admirable aspects of the conservation work done in Virunga and Kahuzi-Biega that communities have long benefitted from ecotourism here, despite periods of protracted instability around the park. In fact, when violence has reached critical levels in the past, park management has actively protected hundreds of people and saved countless lives. We are keen to support this direct action with our visit, and we insist that all of our local partners employ Congolese people. This helps to ensure that local communities continue to see a real benefit to ecotourism, which entrenches the strong relationship between park management and local people. Guests should therefore expect that drivers, rangers, guides, cooks and housekeeping staff throughout their tour are Congolese.
We ask that clients are always polite and respectful in all dealings with local people. The Congo is a relatively under-touristed part of Africa, and with less exposure to international ecotourism, standards of service can sometimes be lower than elsewhere on the continent. We are working hard to provide this experience to local guides and rangers, but occasionally we may fall short. Provided guests approach this tour with a sense of humour and understanding, this promises to be the trip of a lifetime.
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From £6485 13 days excluding flights
Track the world’s largest gorillas in DR Congo