Jomba Community Camp and Mountain Gorilla Trek
Jomba Community Camp and Mountain Gorilla Trek is a new Congo gorilla journey that has been introduced by the Virunga Foundation to travelers interested to do gorilla experience in Congo, after visiting the apes in Bwindi Forest National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda. Virunga National Park and the Women’s Association of Jomba have teamed up together to bring you an authentic Congolese Mountain Gorilla trekking experience in Jomba, the northernmost part of the gorilla sector that borders with Uganda.
Virunga National Park rangers will oversee the Congo gorilla treks and the walks to and from Jomba Community Camp whilst the ladies will oversee the running of the camp. All the revenues for the camp such as accommodation, food and drinks will go directly to the women’s association.
Set in the surroundings of Jomba Ranger post, the camp consists of 8 twin tents which are sold by bed. There is a common toilet block with bucket showers that need to be ordered as and when people want them. Mattresses and pillows are provided but a warm sleeping bag and towel are required to bring with you. Please remember that the camp is at altitude and can be very chilly.
A scattering of small paillottes surround the main dining area with sweeping views of three volcanoes of the Virunga Massif, where people can enjoy a cold beer after the walk from Bunagana. In the evening, sit by the fire in the dining room and tuck into some traditional Congolese food freshly made by the women.
Meeting in Bunagana at 11.00 am DRC time (be aware that Uganda is 1 hour ahead) – Virunga Rangers will meet you and you will then start your walk to Jomba Community Camp. Porters are available to hire to carry your luggage to the camp and will remain with you until you return to Bunagana. The walk to the camp is through the community land and people will have a chance to watch the community go through their daily lives of farming, tending their livestock and the children playing. The walk will be approximately three hours.
On arrival in the camp, you will settle in and relax and watch the views from the camp.
The following morning – after a breakfast of tea and Mandazi (this is the African version of a doughnut), you will go into a gorilla briefing with the rangers and then set off on your gorilla trek. The trek times will be dependent on where the gorillas were located the day before.
After the gorilla trek, the rangers will walk you directly back to Bunagana in time for you to cross the border and go back in Uganda to continue on with your travels.
Rates for Jomba Community Lodge and Gorilla Treks and these paid direct to the Virunga Foundation but if you are visiting the park through the local reliable tour operator offering Eco tours in Congo can arrange all logistics on your Congo safari holiday.
Jomba Camp Amenities
– 8 shared twin tents with kerosene lamps for lighting
– 2 long drop toilets
– 2 washrooms with bucket showers
– Communal/dining area with limited electricity (head torches and power banks are advised)
– Gorilla Permit varies depending on the season and the low Season (15/03-15/05 and 15/10-15/12) where the permit is discounted
– Porter for the duration of the trip: $25 (to be paid in cash directly to the Porters’ Association of Bunagana)