Over four days, you'll have a chance to experience one of the most unique lava lakes on the planet and some of the most beautiful mammals on earth, gorillas.
Mount Nyiragongo is a very active volcano with an elevation of 3470 m in the Virunga National Park. The park is just north of Goma and just west of the border between DRC and Rwanda. The main crater is about 2 km wide and contains a lava lake.
The epic size yet gentle demeanor of gorillas is an experience that is sure to stay with you forever. From the loving care and empathy expressed by the mother gorillas to their babies to the protective nature of the male gorillas, you're left in absolute awe these beings and in amazement of how similar they are to yourself.
Day 1: Kigali to Goma: Today you'll arrive at Kigali Airport and be met by our representative. Next, you'll drive alongside a winding road with breathtaking views of the hills of Rwanda as we arrive at the DRC border. After border formalities, we will drive to Hotel Linda (mid-range hotel with self-contained rooms, wi-fi, B&B) that overlooks the beautiful Lake Kivu and stay overnight. Dinner at La Chalet Restaurant this evening.
Day 2: Goma: Gorilla trekking: Gorilla treks are led by park rangers and usually require 1-2 hours of hiking in each direction, depending on where the mountain gorillas spent the previous night and difficulty of the terrain. To safeguard the health of gorillas, visitors are required to wear surgical masks (provided) around them. Time with the gorillas is limited to one hour. If you're unwell at the time of your trek (i.e. you have a cold, fever, diarrhea, or a persistent sore throat) please cancel your trip. Gorillas are very susceptible to human illnesses and have died after being exposed to human respiratory viruses and other common ailments.
06:30 am After breakfast, you're picked up from your hotel, and are transferred to Virunga Park (2 hours) along the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira. You'll drive through the fields of lava from the volcanic eruption of 2002. Upon arrival at Bukima you'll get a panoramic view of the volcanoes where the mountain gorillas reside. Next:
- Experience mountain gorillas trekking.
- 13:00 - Enjoy lunch at Bukima camp-side in packets.
- 13:30 - After trekking and lunch, drive to Rumangabo at the National Park Headquarters where you have the chance to (they close at 15:00) visit Senkwekwe (the baby orphan gorillas which were captured by park rangers with truckers from the hands of poachers).
This evening you will drive back to Goma, and overnight at the Linda Hotel.
Dinner: at Linda Hotel
Day 3: Goma Nyiragongo: 08:00 am After check-out this morning, you're picked up from your hotel and driven to Virunga Park. Once you arrive at the post patrol, you're briefed by the chief ranger, and can then enjoy Nyiragongo Volcano mountain hiking (5 hours from the base to the top, with 4 stops) with snacks en-route. You will arrive at the summit and experience its freezing temperature. Next, you will visit the impressive Lava Lake in the largest crater. Dinner and overnight up the summit in ICCN shelters. (Total 8 cabins, 2 persons in a cabin)
Day 4: Nyiragongo volcano Goma/Kigali
After an early visit to the Lava Lake again, you will take your breakfast and begin to descend the mountain up to the starting point (3hours). Once you arrive at the ranger post patrol, you're invited to write some comments then drive back to Goma where you're dropped off at your hotel or residence.
Lunch at Hotel Ihusi
Drive back to Kigali Airport, after crossing Congo border (about 150 km's).