6 Days Eastern Lowland gorilla trekking and nyiragongo hike

The 6 Days Eastern Lowland gorilla trekking and nyiragongo hike( congo safaris/Congo tours)   is one of the most adventurous tours to explore. The tour features visits to Kahuzi Biega national park where we find some of the remaining Eastern lowland gorillas while the rest can be found in Maiko national park however those in Kahuzi beiga are the only ones accessible for visitors. Kahuzi Biega national park has 2 dormant volcanoes within it including; mount Kahuzi (3,308 m) and Mount Biega (2,790 m) with 2 sectors; Highland (Open for visits) and the lowland (closed for visits) and has only 3 gorilla groups habituated for visit by the tourists. The park doesn’t only have lowland gorillas but a number of other animals like the Forest Hog, the forest Elephant, Antelopes and the bush duikers. This tour also features a visit to Nyiragongo volcano which is one of the eight Virunga Mountains also located close to Virunga national park – home to the mountain gorillas in Congo. Nyiragongo volcano hike takes you to the summit of the active volcano hosting the largest lava lake in the whole world. While at the summit you will be able to also see the Virunga mountain ranges and other nearing communities bordering Uganda, Rwanda and Congo itself.

This 6 days lowland gorilla trekking and Nyiragongo hike travel plan will start and end in Kigali Rwanda simply given that Kigali international airport is the nearest airport to access the Kahuzi beiga national park. It also requires an earlier arrival in Rwanda like a day before your transfer to Kahuzi Beiga national park given the time taken driving.  It’s important to note that the Democratic Republic of Congo is not an East African country and therefore note that your Rwanda Visa expires immediately you cross into Congo so you will have to reapply for another while at the border and find it ready after the tour.

Highlights of the safari

  • Day 1: Transfer to Bukavu – DRC
  • Day 2: Lowland gorilla trekking
  • Day 3: Transfer to Goma
  • Day 4: Climb Nyiragongo hike
  • Day 5: Descend and transfer to Lake Kivu
  • Day 6: Transfer to Kigali city

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Pick-up from Kigali and transfer to Bukavu – DR-Congo

Depending on your location in Kigali city, you will meet our company representative-guide who will also be your safari driver to transfer to Bukavu. It’s about 7 hours’ drive through the Nyungwe forest national park with amazing views of the rolling hill in Rusizi with stopovers for lunch and refreshments. Cross through Cyangugu border after finalising with the immigration process and proceed to Bukavu town which is the nearest town to Kahuzi Biega national park in Democratic Republic of Congo. Upon arrival at Bukavu town, connect to your accommodation for dinner and overnight stay

Accommodation and meals (Full board)

  • Luxury option; Orchid safari lodge
  • Mid-range option; Panorama Hotel
  • Budget option; Hotel Elizabeth

Day 2: Lowland gorilla trekking

Enjoy your breakfast at your hotel before transfer to the park headquarters for briefing about the Eastern lowland gorillas. Thereafter embark on your fascinating trekking experience of the Eastern lowland gorillas in the valleys of Kahuzi as you encounter different mammals, birds and primates. The search usually takes about 1-6 hours’ trekking in the jungle depending on the movements of the lowland gorillas and on finding them, you will be allowed to spend 1 hour in their presence as you watch them interact/play with each other while you take photos and videos of the experience. After your encounter with the Eastern lowland gorillas, you will descend, meet your driver and return to your hotel for relaxation.

Later afternoon, you will go for a nature walk and visit Tshibati waterfalls, visit bukavu town, Mbayo tea plantations, the research centre and the surrounding traditional homes. Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight stay

Day 3: Transfer to Goma

After early morning breakfast, you will take a speed boat from Bukavu to Goma which takes 3-4 hours. Upon arrival in Goma, you will meet your other guide on an agreed location waiting to welcome you and transfer you to Goma. Check-in with the tourism office strategically located at the Grand Barrier border Post to receive your Volcano permit which you will be presented at the beginning of hike. Thereafter proceed to your accommodation to rest. Dinner and overnight stay

  • Luxury option: Lac Kivu Hotel
  • Mid-range/Budget: Hotel Linda

Day 4: Mount Nyiragongo Hiking experience

After your breakfast, you will drive to the park headquarters for briefing about the Nyiragongo hiking tour. You will then go for your 4-5 hour hike of mount Nyiragongo which is an active volcano. You will hike through the dense rainforest, until when you reach the summit. You will spend the evening enjoying the views from the crater and later in the night, you watch the boiling lava since the boiling lava is best vividly in the night. You will spend the night at one of the shelters at the top.

Day 5: Descend the Nyiragongo and Transfer to Lake Kivu

After breakfast, you will briefly view the lava in the morning before you start descending from the Nyiragongo volcano. The time reached at the end is around 11:00 am depending on your speed. Meet your guide and drive to Goma border to cross back to Rwanda. Your safari guide will be waiting at the border to transfer you and check-in at a hotel around Lake Kivu, have lunch and later afternoon, spend your day at leisure relaxing at the beach or take a boat trip on some of the islands at the lake. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay

Accommodation and meals (Full board)

  • Luxury option: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
  • Mid-range option: Palm Garden Hotel
  • Budget option: Paradise Malahide Hotel

Day 6: Transfer to Kigali /Departure

Wake up to a delicious breakfast before you check-out of the hotel to transfer back to Kigali city. It’s about 3-4 hours’ drive to Kigali with incredible views of the rolling hills of Rwanda. Upon arrival in Kigali city, you will have lunch and en-route city tour before you are either dropped at a location you advise in Kigali or be dropped off at Kigali international airport for your onward flight back home or to your next destination. End of safari

Quote for the safari includes:                                                                 

  • Pick-up and drop off Kigali
  • Lowland gorilla permit
  • Volcano hike permit
  • Congo Visa
  • English/ French speaking driver/guide
  • Accommodation and meals as described in the itinerary
  • 4X4 safari vehicle and Fuel
  • Bottled mineral water in the car

Quote for the safari excludes:

  • International flights fees
  • Porters and walking sticks for trekking
  • Tourists visa fees for Rwanda
  • Items of personal nature like Laundry, Telephone calls, luxury drinks among others.
  • Tips and gratuities to service providers
  • Any other item not mentioned in the itinerary and extra costs not included in the itinerary

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