Friday 9 March 2018

DR CONGO: Getting A Tourist Visa

Institut 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. T

The cost of the visa is USD $105.

To qualify for a tourist visa, you must first purchase a mountain gorilla trek permit, a Nyiragongo trek permit, or book and pay for accommodation at the Mikeno Lodge.

- Mountain Gorilla Trek

- Nyiragongo Volcano Trek

- Mikeno Lodge

Treks or accommodation linked with the purchase of a tourist visa through Virunga National Park are non-refundable.

Once you have a booking and have received confirmation of your payment, you will also receive an order number.

Please proceed to the online visa application, enter your order number at the top of the form, fill in the remaining fields, and click submit.

Finally, please make sure to secure any other visas that you will need as you make your way to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Countries such as Rwanda require most nationalities to secure visas in advance of arrival.

Virunga National Park only acts as a facilitator in the visa process.

Full authority rests with the DRC’s Department of Immigration (DGM) in Kinshasa. DGM rarely issues actual electronic versions of visa approvals.

Therefore, every visitor must arrive at the border (Grande Barrière) with a print-out of their trek/accommodation and visa order confirmations.

Virunga’s tourism team will verify that all paid-in-full applicants are on the list of approved visas at the border in Goma.

You do not need an actual copy of your visa if you have your order confirmations in hand when you arrive at the border.

People flying ETHIOPEAN AIRLINES directly into Goma must notify the tourism team two weeks before their departure.

Please email in copy to ensure your visa information has been been communicated to Ethiopian Airlines. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN NOT BEING ABLE TO BOARD YOUR FLIGHT.

The Grand Barrière border crossing is open to Virunga visitors from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm daily. One can cross the border at 8:00 am for a same day volcano trek.

If you book park transport for the volcano that is Goma to Kibati, the driver will pick you up at the border at 8:30 am. Same day gorilla treks are NOT possible because park transport leaves Goma for Bukima at 6:30 am.

You can also arrange your tourism visa through a registered tour operator.

Tourist Visa in Review:

- Only available online through via a trusted tour operator

- Only valid in combination with a paid-in-full park permit or accommodation


- Single entry and valid for 14 days from day of entry

- Please bring a printed copy of your trek/accommodation and visa order confirmations with you.

- Please email a scanned copy of your passport to visit virunga upon completion of your visa application.

- Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is required for access into the country

- The Directorate of Immigration (DGM) reserves the right to reject a visa application

- Please cross into Goma at the “Grand Barrière” NOT at the “Petite Barrière”

- Have a booking, payment confirmation, and order number?


Tourism Observer

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