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Volcanoes & Gorillas - 6 Days

Safari tour package: A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Prices and Dates: $1545 - $4245
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 6 days
Best months: January - February, June - August
Countries visited Democratic Republic of Congo DR Congo , Rwanda Rwanda
Parks visited Virunga
Activity level Very Active - Trekking, mountain biking, kayaking
Safari type:
  • Cultural
Nyiragongo is one of the destinations on this trip titled ‘Volcanoes & Gorillas’. The volcano is world-famous for its huge and permanent lava lake about six hundred meters down from the crater’s edge at 3470m. This is where we can take a look into the heart of our planet earth and spend a night observing the boiling lava. Nyiragongo’s last big eruption was in 2009 after the volcano took 147 lives back in 2002 – even today, rivers of lava can be seen sloping down the mountain. Through cracks and high pressure the fluids can escape. After our experience with this everything but dormant volcano we will extend our trip with a chance to trek the rare mountain gorillas in Parc National de Volcanoes in Rwanda. Rwanda is home to seven habituated groups of the greatest of apes and we are excited to trek them with you while getting to know the local cultures of the Virunga chain. As for all of our trips, we are interested in letting the local communities profit from our safari and activities in the region. Therefore, we take good care of what kind of lodges and camps, equipment and vehicles we use. We try to locally made equipment for our guides whenever possible, for example. On every day of our trip, we will meet the Binyarwanda, the people of the region, and we will interact with them freely – to create understanding and to promote sustainable development of the region!

Day 1: After Your arrival at Kanombe International Airport, we connect to Kigali and check in at the hotel where we will spend the first night. Depending on your time of arrival, we might be able to do some shopping in Rwanda’s capital city or even go for a city tour, learning about the city’s history and present day.

Day 2: After a nutritious and healthy breakfast, we move to Gisenyi. Gisenyi has amazing plateaus from where you can get an overview of lake Kivu and interact with the Banyarwanda on community walks and guide trips. Placed on the shores of lake Kivu, Gisenyi offers many activities such as boat rides, which can be enjoyed on the second day. We spend our night at our hotel in Gisenyi as we prepare for the hike on the next day which will lead us to the top of Mt. Nyiragongo.

Day 3: After a hearty breakfast and packing, it is time for us to cross the border to Goma and drive to the foot of Nyiragongo, the active volcano. Here, we will meet park rangers and porters and start our hike up the active volcano. The hike up to the top of Nyiragongo only takes about three to five hours. The region can be pretty hot, but the hike itself is not too demanding, allowing us to reach the top with no problems. After reaching the top and exploring the rim of Nyiragongo, we begin to set up our camp for the night to come and enjoy a hearty dinner made with fresh local ingredients we bought back in Goma. We will spend a whole night on top of the volcano enjoying the outstanding view of the boiling magma inside the vent of the crater!

Day 4: Today, we will explore the top rim of the volcano and experience sunrise over the Albertine Rift. Before noon, our guides pack up our tents and equipment and we start descending. Upon reaching the bottom of Nyiragongo, we will say ‘bye’ to our porters, rangers, guides, Nyiragongo and the Congo. We will connect to Kinigi in Rwanda in order to prepare for a mountain gorilla trek in Parc National de Volcanoes. Kinigi is the place from where we will prepare for set off to see the great apes on the next day. The town is located besides the gorilla’s home range at the foot of the Virunga massif, le Parc National.

Day 5: From Kinigi and after breakfast we will drive to the park entry gate to meet our guides and rangers for the day’s activity of mountain gorilla trekking. After briefing, we begin our excursion through the dense bushes, pass narrow pathways. After trekking, we are able to share our made experiences at our lodge and we will spend the night at our lodge after a delicious dinner.

Day 6: On day six, we leave Kinigi, the Virungas, and Mt. Nyiragongo behind to take you back to Kanombe Airport or Kigali where our trip ends. From here, we will help you to get on your flight back home or connect to your next adventure! If your flight leaves in the evening, we will have plenty of time on this day to explore Kigali or spend more time close to the Virungas. Some activities are to visit Diane Fossey’s grave at Karisoke Research Camp or to explore Kigali and learn about today’s Rwanda before our trip ends.

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