Rwanda & Congo Mountain Gorilla Tracking, Nyiragongo Hike Safari - 6 Days

 
 

Day 1: Meet in Kigali city (or airport), drive to Volcanoes National Park 

Meet with your driver/ guide in Kigali or at the Airport before we drive to  Volcanoes National Park. We visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial. 

After the 1994 unspeakable awfulness, several burial places in the country were established as memorial sites. They include the Kigali Genocide Memorial where 250,000 genocide victims were buried. Learn about Rwanda’s history from pre-colonial times to the 1994 genocide; learn about other genocides in the world and how this country has dealt with that past.  

Ranging in altitude from 2,400km to 4,507 the Volcanoes National Park (French: Parc National des Volcans) is dominated by the setting of volcanoes after which it is named.

Best known to the outside world as the place where for almost 20yrs the American primatologist Dian Fossey under took her pioneering studies of mountain gorilla behaviour.

Day hikes to see the gorilla families can be strenuous on tracks climbing through the forest, and time is very limited once contact is made with the gorilla families. It is a rare and memorable experience to visit with these giant cousins of man.

Our accommodation is ideally positioned for those who want to watch animals in their habitat, specifically the endangered Rwanda mountain gorillas that still roam these areas.

Share in the cuisine of Rwanda, which is served with the hospitality for which we all return to African countries. Take walks, learn more about the gorillas, and absorb the gorgeous surrounding landscape.

Accommodation options available

Up-market: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge | Five Volcanoes Lodge                    

Moderate: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge |  Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge 

Low Budget: Kinigi Guest House | Muhavura Lodge.

Day 2: Mountain Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park

Have breakfast and go to ORTPN offices for briefing after that set off in the forest for gorilla trekking.

A thrilling trek through the refined foothills of the Virungas provides inspiring views in all directions. Then, suddenly, the trail enters the national park, engrossing trekkers in the strange closeness of the rainforest, alive with the calls of colorful birds and chattering of the rare golden monkey, and besieged with fresh spoor of the mountains' elusive populations of buffalo and elephant.

Through gaps in the forest canopy, the marvelous peaks are sighted, easily easy to get to and among the uppermost in Africa, indicating an ascent.

Gorilla trekking is quite strenuous but a worthwhile on encounter of these gentle giants. The enthusiasm of your coming across with these apes will wipe away your intricacy of the strenuous trek. Spend time watching gorillas, watch the adults feeding their young ones, brushing and resting as the youngsters play from vines in a pleasurably playful display.

Accommodation options available

Up-market: Mountain Gorilla View Lodge | Five Volcanoes Lodge

Moderate: Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge |  Da Vinci Gorilla Lodge 

Low Budget: Kinigi Guest House | Muhavura Lodge.

Day 3: Volcanoes national park and Golden Monkey Tracking, Transfer to Goma (DRC-Rwanda Border) 

An early morning go to park headquarters pick your guide and go to track Golden monkey and in the afternoon, drive to the border of Rwanda and DRC, enter the country via Goma town, and proceed to your hotel check in.

Overnight at

Centre d’Accueil Caritas Hotel, Goma for lower budget; or Bukima Lodge or Mikeno Lodge (a little far from trek-start point) for midrange and upscale.

Day 4: Gorilla Tracking In Virunga National Park

After an early breakfast depart for Parc National des Virunga and on to the starting point of your gorilla tracking experience. After completing our park formalities, we embark on a once in a life time experience of tracking mountain gorillas. These massive primates are extremely rare, with less than 900 living today. You will get within meters of the family, and be privileged to spend an hour amongst them. 

Overnight at

Centre d’Accueil Caritas Hotel, Goma for lower budget; or Bukima Lodge or Mikeno Lodge for midrange and upscale.

 

Day 5: Climbing Mount Nyiragongo

After an early wake-up call, breakfast and a swift transfer to the Rwanda/Congo border post, you will cross into the Democratic Republic of Congo and drive on towards the Kibati patrol post at the base of Mount Nyiragongo, a mere 50km outside Goma.

After a safety debrief and final check of everyone’s packs and equipment you begin the climb towards Mount Nyiragongo’s summit. The party will be lead and escorted by a set of rangers/guides and a small contingent of porters.

For the first two hours of the walk you will traverse a lush pristine forest, where towering trees offer a welcome shelter from the sun until you emerge from the forest onto a small plateau with commanding views that stretch towards the infinite horizon, with Lake Kivu, Bukavu, Rwanda and Burundi at your feet. You are now standing on the lava flow remnants of Mount Nyiragongo’s 2002 eruption.

From here on, the climbing trail becomes firmer and the forest gives way to several swathes of recovering heath with vegetation dominated by ferns, sedges, heather and everlastings.  Shortly after noon, you will reach Mount Nyiragongo’s crater and your overnight cabins.

The remainder of the afternoon will be spent exploring the craters edge and soaking in the surrounding views and Mount Nyiragongos’ bewitching lava cauldron. Fortunately your guides know exactly how to reach the best observation and photogenic spots safely.

When everyone has had enough, the party will return to camp to settle into their cabins, rest and enjoy an early supper.

At 18h00 you will return to a designated spot at the craters edge to gaze and appreciate again Mount Nyiragongo’s molten lava lake. In the dark of night one is able to appreciate better the dark crusty surface of lava, spliced and splitting  into ever changing plates. As the plates separate, bright orange lava fill the cracks and a fantastic spider-web pattern emerges. Every now and then fountains of lava flare up disrupting these pretty patterns, but adding a surge of dynamism and power to this spectacular sight.  Sometimes, fountains appear throughout the crust like a collection of campfires, creating yet another fascinating show.

 

Nyiragongo Mountain

Day 6: Descent from Mount Nyiragongo, Transfer to Kigali departure flight back home (about 3.5 hrs drive).

After a rather early cup of tea/coffee, you will be summoned back to the crater’s rim at dawn for one last peek. Wrapped in warm clothing you greet the new day as the intense red and yellow glow of the lava below mixes with a backdrop of blue and indigo skies.

After breakfast, the party will commence its descent from to Kibati. The descent generally takes 2-3 hours. Back at Kibati, your transport will be waiting to take you back to Goma  before crossing back into Rwanda.  It will be about 3 hours of driving before we arrive Kigali International Airport from where you catch your departure flight.

PRICE PER PERSON FOR DIFFERENT NUMBER OF PEOPLE     Note: PP is Per Person

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