SENKWEKWE GORILLA ORPHANAGE CENTER
Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center is one of the tourist attraction that thrill in Virunga national park and it came up in order to protect the 2 orphans Ndeze and Ndakasi that were part of the Rugendo gorilla family whose several family members were murdered including the Senkwekwe silverback. These gorillas were murdered in 2007 by poachers and this saw the introduction of an online campaign that raised funds to help in constructing an orphanage center called Senkwekwe to help in protecting the surviving members from poachers. This center was established in 2010.
Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center is situated closer to the Virunga national park headquarters at Rumangabo thus easily visited by tourists that are residing at Mikeno lodge, the best luxury lodge in Virunga national park.
Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center is the only Gorilla orphanage in the entire world thus a visit to spend time with these primates is such a rewarding and memorable experience.
Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center has a great team of workers including the well trained care takers that ensure the wellbeing of these gorillas, the doctor that is always monitoring these gorillas and treating them in case of any illness, and many other staff member. While on a visit to this orphanage, you will spent time watching the gorillas as they play, feed and as well learn their different behaviors as you take those memorable photographs.
A safari to Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage is very rewarding as it offers an opportunity to watch these primates closely unlike in the wild where the gorillas keep roaming the forest and one has to really toil in the jungle to have a glance at them.
Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center is not only a home to Ndeze and Ndakasi, but also harbors other gorillas including those rescued from Bukavu and Kahuzi Beiga National park. Other Gorillas to find here Matabishi, Koboko and Yalala among others.
An adventure to visit Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center is booked at Mikeno lodge thus all tourists who wish to visit this orphanage are always advised to book their stay at Mikeno lodge. Other accommodation where one can stay while planning a visit to Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center include Ihusi hotel in Goma, and Bukima tented camp in Virunga national park among others.
Planning your Congo safari to visit Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center, keep in mind that Virunga national park has many other stunning tourist activities to enjoy and these include;
Mountain gorilla trekking: Apart from viewing the gorillas in an orphanage, the park as well offers the breath taking gorilla trekking safari where tourists are allowed to penetrate into the forest in search of the gorilla families that have been habituated for trekking in their natural habitats. A permit to trek these gorillas costs $400 per person during high season and $200 during low season. Surprisingly the permits to trek similar gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda costs abit higher. For instance a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda’s Mgahinga gorilla national park and Bwindi impenetrable national park costs $700 while that of Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park is $1500 per person. This makes Congo the cheapest destination for Gorilla trekking safari.
Volcano hiking: Apart from gorilla encounter at Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage Center, Virunga national park yet offers the best volcano hiking safaris especially to the World’s most active volcano Mount Nyiragongo which last erupted in May 2021 leading to death of people, others displaced and lots of property destroyed. A hike to Mount Nyiragongo costs $346 and this cost includes I night at the summit of Nyiragongo watching the lava lake, dinner and Breakfast, group transportation and rangers though it excludes the porter hire fees. 2 days are enough to enjoy Mount Nyiragongo hike in Virunga national park.
Chimpanzee habituation/ Trekking: Virunga national park is a well the only destination in Democratic Republic of Congo where one is in position to encounter with the Chimpanzees in their natural habitats. Unlike other destination, Chimpanzee trekking in Virunga national park is limited to only 4 persons and it starts as early as 4:30am in the morning where the rangers lead the tourist into the jungle to find the chimpanzees in their natural habitats.
Hiking and nature walk: Virunga national park has several hiking trails where tourists can engage in guided walks to different attractions. Tourists fallows different trails in the forest with an opportunity to spot primates like Gorillas, Chimpanzees, several mammals like Elephants, Antelopes, Buffaloes, Hippos and many more without forgetting a variety of birdlife.
Birding in virunga national park: With more than 700 species of birds, Virunga national park is one of the top birding destinations in Democratic Republic of Congo with most of the bird species thrilling in the forested part of the park. Look out for some birds like Rwenzori batis, sun birds, weaver birds, Chestnut throated Apalis, Double – toothed barbet, Mountain Greenbul and many more.