Travel Requirements, Before traveling to Virunga National Park it is important to first confirm that all requirements to enter into the DRC, Uganda, and Rwanda have been secured. It is also important to make sure that all immunizations are up-to-date and all applicable visas have been processed and printed.
A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required to enter the DRC, Uganda, and Rwanda. After receiving the vaccine, your tourists will receive a signed and stamped Yellow Fever Card, which must be brought with them on your trip. The certificate should show their full name, date of birth, and sex as written in their passport. Please note that they must receive this vaccine at least 10 days before departing for your trip.
Applying for a Congo Visa
The Institute Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN), the Congolese wildlife authority, has an agreement with Direction Générale de Migration (DGM), the Congolese immigration service, to facilitate obtaining 2-week, single entry tourist visas for people visiting Virunga National Park. The cost of the visa is USD $105. To qualify for a tourist visa, you must first purchase a package. Tourist visas purchased through Virunga National Park are non-refundable. Your local tour operator who you’re dealing with to organize your safari can help your to handle the Visa processing.
As Congolese visas can take some time to process, it is advisable to apply as soon as you make your package booking. Tourists visas obtained through the Park will be sent electronically two weeks prior to travel date via the e-mail address you provide at the time of your booking.
Finally, please make sure to secure any other visas that they will need as they make their way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Countries such as Rwanda and Uganda allow some nationalities to obtain visas upon arrival to their main airports; however, it is up to the individual traveler to verify visa requirements in advance of arrival.
Important Visa Notes
Virunga National Park only acts as a facilitator in the visa process. Full authority rests with the DRC’s Department of Migration (DGM) in Kinshasa. For tourist visas obtained through the Park, DGM will issue an electronic visa that will be sent to your email that you must ensure your clients print out and present at the border (Grande Barriere) along with a print-out of package confirmation details. Virunga tourism team will verify that all paid-in-full applicants are on the list of approved visas at the border in Goma. Virunga tourism office is conveniently located in the Grande Barriere building and have staff on hand in the event that clients require assistance at passport control.
People flying Ethiopian Airlines directly into Goma must notify the tourism team two weeks before their schedule departure. Please email Vianney Harakandi (email@example.com) with firstname.lastname@example.org in copy with the name of their departure airport to ensure their visa information has been communicated to Ethiopian Airlines. Failure to do so may result in you not being able to board your flight.
Indemnities and Liability
Virunga National Park holds liability insurance but would strongly suggest that all tour operators have their own insurances in place, before sending tourists to the park. All tourists will be required to fill in a Virunga Indemnity form prior to arrival in DRC. These forms are to be sent to Vianney – vianney@Virunga.org; two weeks before arrival. The leaving Goma to the destination either gorillas or Volcano begins at 6 o’clock in the morning.
The one who comes late when others have begun their treck is to go back home without any refund of his money. There is no food service at the Summit of the Volcano, so, the tourists coming from Goma must supply their own through our orientation or we may go with a cook for that service at the summit.
Tourist Visa in Review
- Only available online through visitvirunga.org or via a trusted tour operator
- Only valid in combination with a paid-in-full Park package
- Requires a minimum of two weeks to process and fees are non-refundable
- Single entry and valid for 14 days from day of entry
- Please ensure that your tourists bring with them, printed copies of their package confirmation and DGM issued electronic visa details
- Please email a scanned copy of your passport to email@example.com upon completion of your visa application.
- Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is required for access into the country
- The Department of Migration (DGM) reserves the right to reject a visa application
- Please cross into Goma at the “Grand Barrière” NOT at the “Petite Barrière”