Day 1: Welcome to Rwanda!
Your driver/guide will be at Kigali Airport to pick you up from your flight.
Depending on your arrival time you may be able to visit some of Kigali’s craft markets to browse amongst the pottery, carvings, batik, weaving, sculpture, musical instruments, leather and fabrics on offer. Prepare to use your haggling skills! All activities and purchases today are at your own cost.
Day 2: To Virunga N.P.
In the morning you will meet your tour Guide who will be with you your entire tour in DR Congo! He is a good English speaking professional trained in guiding Congo tours. Wild African Safaris is unique in providing this service of an English speaking tour leader. Many for the DR Congo drivers speak no English at all.
A nice ride though the Rwandan country side will take you Goma the border town with DR Congo. If you used our Visa services you Visa approval will be ready at the border and you will receive your Congolese Visa in your passport.
The Virunga N.P. is the oldest national park in Africa and it is the most varied region on the entire continent. Home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzee. It boasts the only glacier in Africa with its Rwenzori mountains and has typical savanna grass land near Lake Edward and the Rwindi plains.
Tonight you will spend the night at your preferred hotel which are mostly nearby the starting point of tomorrow’s Mountain Gorilla tracking and with Mt. Mikeno and the Nyiragongo in the background.
Day 3: Mountain Gorilla Tracking
Today is an exciting day and the second tracking of this tour. Today you will stand eye-to-eye with the Mountain Gorilla.
Virunga National park is an UNESCO world heritage site and the oldest national park on the continent! It is a diverse protected areas with the peaks of the Rwenzori mountains, erosion valleys, active volcanoes, forest and even savanna areas.
This national park has been hidden from the public for a long time due to civil war and unrest in Eastern Congo. At this moment it is fully operational and the perfect place to track the mountain gorillas in the wild. Starting at the headquarters in Rumangabo you will go for a challenging hike in search of these gentle giants.
Your track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorillas’ current location. Your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots. Once the gorillas have been located, you will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Congo’s own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.
Note: Wild African Safaris purchases the permits in advance but is unable to reserve a specific gorilla group as it is for the head-ranger to decide this!
Visit the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage
When you are back from the Gorilla tracking you can choose to visit the Senkwekwe Gorilla orphanage which is located in Rumangabo next to Mikeno lodge. Each of the four gorillas living at the center was victimized by poachers or animal traffickers, and likely witnessed family members being murdered. Thanks to the financial support of individuals around the world – and the loving care provided by their human caregivers – the orphans now lead happy and secure lives in their forested enclosure. Please note that you will not be interacting with the Gorilla’s but you can see them from a distance playing and their how their caregivers take care of them. This activity is for free.
Tonight you will sleep in your preferred hotel
Day 4: Nyiragongo Volcano
Your driver will take you to the Kibati patrol post on the foot of the Nyiragongo volcano. You will start hiking at 10 AM in the morning. You will have your own porter to carry your backpack and your personal cook will prepare your meal on top of the crater rim. Matoke tours will provide you with an overnight backpack which a sleeping bag and warm fleece shirt.
The Nyiragongo is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and has the world’s largest lava lake. This strato volcano recently erupted in 2002 but is predicatable and therefore safe to climb. The volcano’s forested lower slopes are home to a variety of animals, including monkeys and bushbucks.
In the late afternoon you will reach the top with an extraordinary view of the crater filled with sea of lava. You are one of the few to admire this spectacle. After a nice hot meal prepared by your personal cook.
At night you can see the sea of lava in the crater which gives spectacular pictures! You will sleep in one of the huts on the crater rim. These huts are very basic at the moment.
Day 5: Relaxing at Tchegera Island
Around noon you will be at the base camp of the Nyiragongo. After this amazing experience it is time to relax. Your driver/guide will take you to Goma harbour where you will take a short boat ride on the lake to Tchegera Island.
The tented camp offers spectacular views of the lake and four volcanoes. On clear nights, Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes add to the drama by turning the night sky red with their glowing lava. There is also an abundance of birdlife on the island. You can choose to relax on the beach or explore other parts of the island in a sea kayak or by paddle board.
Day 6: Departure
After a day of relaxing you will go back to Goma by boat. You tour leader will wait for you at Goma harbour to take you back to Kigali for your international flight home.
You don’t want the fun to end? You can continue your tour in the region with one of our extensions.
This is the end of what we hope was a wonderful tour through DR Congo!