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Visit Virunga in eastern DRC
Visit Virunga National Park for mountain gorillas then add the Nyiragongo hike. An experience not for the fainthearted but if you’re looking for adventure it certainly delivers!
Visit Virunga National Park, home to six habituated gorilla families. Trekking with the national park rangers, we follow the gorilla trails until we reach the gorilla family (this usually takes between 3-6 hours but it all depends where the family are). We’ll spend about an hour observing the gorillas as they interact with each other and go about their daily routine.
Then we move on to the second leg of the trip and our Nyiragongo hike. It takes around 5 to 7 hours to reach the summit but it’s worth every step… the views over the largest lava lake in the world are incredible!
- Virunga National Park plus Nyiragongo (Eastern DRC)
- 7 days/6 nights
Highlights of the Virunga safari
- Includes two mountain gorillas treks with accommodation at Bukima Tented Camp. The camp is close to the rainforests of Virunga and it’s also the starting point for the gorilla treks. Bukima has just six ensuite tents (with hot showers) and arranged around a central lounge and dining area in the trees
- Climb Nyiragongo with ranger and cook. You’ll receive a rucksack with all the necessary equipment for the climb including thermal sleeping bag and poncho.
Best time to visit Virunga National Park
- June to August – when conditions are dry
- March to May – trekking and climbing can be more challenging because the weather is wet.
[Security in this part of Central Africa can be “shifty”…..simpler places to track gorillas are available in Uganda, Rwanda and Republic of Congo.]
You're met on arrival and transferred to your hotel for the night.
Early departure to Gisenyi. Cross the border to Goma. With border assistance. Transfer to Bukima. Overnight Bukima Tented Camp.
Wake up at Bukima. Go gorilla trekking in the morning. Transfer to Mikeno Lodge. Optional activities at Mikeno Lodge. Overnight Mikeno Lodge.
Full day at Mikeno Lodge. Optional visit community & conservation projects. Overnight Mikeno Lodge.
Transfer to the base of the Nyiragongo. Climb the Nyiragongo, Arrive at the summit shelters usually between 4-6pm. Overnight Nyiragongo summit shelters.
Descend the Nyiragongo. Transfer back to Kigali. Overnight Kigali or add an optional Tchegera extension
Tips and notes
Transfers in Rwanda as per the itinerary.
Border assistance on arrival and departure at the Gisenyi/Goma border.
D.R.C. visa fees & facilitation.
Lunch pack on the way to Virunga.
Shared transfers in Virunga in an open 4×4 landrover.
Full board accommodation at Mikeno Lodge, Bukima Tented Camp
Tea & coffee at Mikeno Lodge, Bukima Tented Camp
Mineral water during meal times at Mikeno Lodge and Bukima Tented Camp.
Limited laundry at Mikeno Lodge.
2 x Mountain gorilla permits per person.
1 x Nyiragongo permit per person.
Nyiragongo trek includes all meals, snacks, tea, coffee, water and juice. A cook will accompany you and prepare everything for you. Proper tracking rucksack which includes a waterproof cover for the rucksack, a poncho, thermal sleeping bag, fleece liner for the sleeping bag, long sleeved shirt (we do still recommend to take your own warm clothing including jacket with you).
Overnight in Kigali post your Virunga trip *(we can include this).
Rwandan visa fees & processing.
Drinks (unless indicated otherwise in the inclusions)
Water outside meal times & water during the gorilla treks is excluded.
Optional activities – The chimpanzee habituation trek, Guided walk to the caves and coffee plantation *(To be paid directly to Mikeno Lodge)
Mandatory porter fees on the Nyiragongo *(US$ 24 per porter carrying maximum 15kgs. Optional porter fees for the gorilla treks, payable direct *(US$ 10 per porter carrying max 15kgs).
Any additional activities not included in the itinerary in Rwanda and D.R.C. Gratuities to camp/lodge staff, guides, rangers, drivers and porters.
Any personal purchases.
Personal travel insurance.
Any unforeseen increase in governmental taxes, entry fees and permits
Extras include D.R.C. Visa & facilitation | Border assistance at Gisenyi / Goma border crossings Nyiragongo Pack | Lunch pack for Kigali transfer | Administration fees
How to get there
The easiest way of getting to Virunga is via Kigali.
There are several International flights including:
KLM, British Airways, Ethiopian Airways and RwandAir.
You can also fly in and out of Goma – with Ethiopian Air. If this is the chosen option, we always advise to plan your itinerary with the first night in Goma as one cannot guarantee you will make it in time for your Virunga transfer.
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Virunga National Park was Africa's first national park and classified a world heritage site in 1979; it protects several families of mountain gorillasRead More