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4-Day Congo Gorilla and Nyiragongo/Le Petit Virunga

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4-Day Congo Gorilla and Nyiragongo/Le Petit Virunga

4-Day Congo Gorilla with Gorilla trekking at Bukima is an incredible experience that allows you to observe endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat within Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Therefore, here’s what you need to know about a gorilla trekking adventure at Bukima:

Bukima is a starting point for gorilla trekking within Virunga National Park. It’s situated in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, near the border with Uganda and Rwanda.

Mountain Gorillas: Virunga National Park is home to a population of mountain gorillas, a critically endangered species. These gorillas inhabit the lush forests of the park and are known for their impressive size and distinctive black fur.

Gorilla trekking involves hiking through the park’s dense forests to locate a habituated gorilla group. Habituated gorillas are accustomed to human presence, allowing visitors to observe them from a safe and respectful distance.

Like other gorilla trekking destinations, obtaining a permit is essential to participate in a trek. However, these permits are limited in number and are issued by the park authorities to ensure the conservation of the gorillas and their habitat. It’s recommended to book your permits well in advance, as they can sell out quickly.

Gorilla trekking at Bukima is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with these majestic creatures and contribute to their conservation. Remember to approach the experience with respect for the gorillas and the environment, and cherish the memories you’ll create during this unique adventure.

The Nyiragongo Volcano

One of Africa’s most impressive and active volcanoes. Located in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it’s renowned for its lava lake, which is one of the few in the world and a captivating natural phenomenon. Here are some key details about Nyiragongo:

  • Lava Lake: The volcano’s most notable feature is its persistent lava lake, which sits within its summit crater. This lava lake creates a mesmerizing and constantly changing spectacle, making it a sought-after destination for adventurous travelers and volcanologists.
  • Hiking Experience: Climbing Nyiragongo is an unforgettable adventure. The hike to the summit is challenging but incredibly rewarding. The trek usually takes about 5-6 hours, during which you’ll pass through lush rainforests and climb rocky terrain. The effort is well worth it when you reach the summit and witness the awe-inspiring lava lake glowing in the darkness.
  • Accommodation: There are basic cabins at the summit where trekkers can spend the night. This allows you to fully appreciate the lava lake’s beauty during the evening hours and capture stunning photos. Keep in mind that facilities are minimal, so be prepared for a rustic experience.
  • Permit and Guide: To visit Nyiragongo, you need to obtain a permit from Virunga National Park. The park also requires visitors to be accompanied by an armed ranger for safety reasons, as the area is located in a region that has experienced some instability in the past.

Exploring Nyiragongo offers a unique blend of adventure, natural beauty, and the opportunity to witness the Earth’s geological wonders up close. However, due to the volcanic activity and other factors, it’s crucial to stay updated on safety conditions and plan your trip carefully.

Highlights:

Arrival at Grande Barriere Border Crossing

The Gorilla Trek at Bukima Ranger Post

Nyiragongo Volcano Trek

Leave the Crater Rim Start the Descent Back to Kibati

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Grande Barriere Border Crossing

You’ll arrive at Grande Barriere border crossing by 10:30 am and ensure check-in with Virunga tourism office by 11:15 am. The tourism office is conveniently located in the Grande Barriere border post building, opposite passport control. The staff will provide guests with gorilla and volcano trek permits at check-in. These permits must be presented before the start of each trek. Once check-in is complete, guests will be transported to Mikeno Lodge at the park headquarters in Rumangabo. On arrival at Mikeno, a late lunch will be served and the afternoon can be enjoyed at leisure. Some activities you can engage in include exploring Rumangabo’s several nature trails, bird watching or paying a visit to the Congohounds.

Main Destination:
Goma (City, Congo (DRC)
Accommodation:
Mikeno Lodge

  • Luxury lodge bordering Virunga NP without fences
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 2: The Gorilla Trek at Bukima Ranger Post

After an early breakfast at Mikeno Lodge, guests will set off for the gorilla trek at Bukima Ranger Post. On arrival at Bukima, trekkers will meet their Ranger guides and local pisteursto for a briefing before starting the gorilla trek. Treks usually require 1-2.5 hours of hiking each way, depending on the location of the group being trekked and the difficulty of the terrain. After spending the allotted hour with the gorillas, trekkers will return to Bukima Camp and then will be transported back to Mikeno Lodge. Here the remainder of the day can be spent relaxing on the lodge terrace or visiting the gorilla orphans at the Senkwekwe Center.

Main Destination:
Virunga National Park (Gorillas)
Accommodation:
Mikeno Lodge

  • Luxury lodge bordering Virunga NP without fences
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinks not included

Day 3: Nyiragongo Volcano Trek

After breakfast at Mikeno Lodge, the guest will be transported to the Kibati Ranger Post, the departure point for the Nyiragongo volcano trek. On arrival at Kibati, climbers will receive a briefing and have the opportunity to hire porters. Meanwhile, the climb up the volcano takes around four to six hours and trekkers will overnight at the summit.

Main Destination:
Mount Nyiragongo (Virunga NP, Congo (DRC))
Accommodation:
Nyiragongo Summit Huts

  • Budget mountain hut located in or near Mt Nyiragongo
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinks not included

Day 4: Leave the Crater Rim Start the Descent Back to Kibati

Early in the morning, climbers will leave the crater rim and start the descent back to Kibati. The average descent time is four hours. Once at the bottom, guests will be transported back to Goma with a drop-off at the Grande Barriere border crossing. Thus the end of tour.

 

Main Destination:
No major destination visited
Accommodation:
No accommodation (End of tour)
Meals & Drinks:
  • Breakfast & lunch (Dinner not included)
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Price Includes

Park fees (For non-residents)

All activities (Unless labeled as optional)

All accommodation (Unless listed as upgrade)

A professional driver/guide

All transportation (Unless labeled as optional)

All Taxes/VAT

Roundtrip airport transfer

Meals

Drinks (As specified in the day-by-day section)

Price Excludes

International flights (From/to home)

Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour

Tips (Tipping guideline US$10.00 pp. per day)

Personal items (Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)

Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees

Some meals (As specified in the day-by-day section)

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