5 Days Virunga Safari Tour (Gorilla Trekking & Hiking Mount Nyiragongo)
5 Days Virunga Safari Tour is a short Congo Safari Tour where a traveler gets a chance to do Gorilla Trekking in Congo and hike Mount Nyiragongo. This is a 5 Days Virunga Safari Tour that starts in Kigali, Rwanda; drive to the Democratic Republic of Congo for the activities and then drive back to Kigali. The highlights of this amazing 5 days adventure experience are trekking mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park and hiking to the summit of the renowned Nyiragongo Mountain.
Summary of the 5 Days Virunga Safari Tour
- Day 1: Arrival in Kigali and Transfer to Virunga National Park.
- Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Virunga.
- Day 3: Hike to Mount Nyiragongo Summit.
- Day 4: Descend Nyiragongo Mountain & Boat Cruise.
- Day 5: Drive back to Kigali.
Detailed Day-To-Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Kigali and Transfer to Virunga National Park.
- Transfer to Congo: You will be picked by your guide at your hotel in Kigali or upon your arrival at Kigali International Airport. You will then drive 163km to Gisenyi Town, which is about a 3½ hour drive. You will then drive to Goma town, passing through the Le Grande barrier into the Democratic Republic of Congo. From Goma town, you will proceed to drive to Virunga National Park; enjoy the scenic beauty of the Virunga Massif and amazing Lake Kivu, on your way to the national park. Check into your lodge for accommodation and dinner.
DAY 2: Gorilla Trekking in Virunga.
- Gorilla Trekking: Have an early morning breakfast and drive to Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While on your voyage, you will get to explore the remarkable views of the Virunga massif, vegetation, and Lake Kivu. You will cross into Congo via the Goma border at the Le Grande barrier and drive to Goma town. Here you will be escorted in a convoy provided by Virunga National Park. There are 8 habituated mountain gorilla groups in Virunga national park and are available for tourists to track. Gorilla trekking activities in Virunga start from two major points, which are Mikeno and Bukima visitor centers. Gorilla trekking activities in Virunga start at 7:30 am and usually take between 2-4 hours; inclusive of an hour spent with the gorillas once they have been located. Gorilla trekking activities in Virunga national park don’t a lot of vigorous hiking activities and hence can be done by an adult. Remember to bring your camera along with you on this day; plus a good pair of hiking shoes and a raincoat, just in case it rains. After this awesome experience, you can enjoy your packed lunch or drive back to your lodge for lunch and relaxation.
- Guided Nature Walks: Later in the evening, you can opt to go on a guided nature walk and enjoy the sights and sounds of the jungle, or you can decide to embark on a cultural tour to the nearby villages. Get to mingle with the locals there, see their daily lifestyles and watch great dance performances from the local dance groups. Later return back to your lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.
DAY 3: Hike to Mount Nyiragongo Summit.
- Mount Nyiragongo Hike: Have an early morning breakfast and head out to Kibati ranger station where the hiking activities to mount Nyiragongo start. While at the ranger station, you will be briefed by your guides on hiking rules, rest points and generally what to expect from the hike. In case you have a lot of luggage, you can hire porters who will carry your luggage at an extra fee. The hiking trail leading to Mount Nyiragongo passes through a lush alpine forest on the slopes of the mountain and continue through the molten lava lake on the mountain summit. Hiking Mount Nyiragongo takes about 6-7 hours, depending on the weather and physical fitness of the hikers. The hiking expedition can take the whole day. On this day, you will spend a night on the mountain, in the lodge shelters built on the edges of the mountain with views overlooking the lava lake. Get to see the beautiful scenery of the red skyline at night, created by the molten lava lake.
DAY 4: Descend Nyiragongo Mountain and Boat Cruise.
- Descend Mount Nyiragongo: Wake up to a beautiful morning on the mountain. Take delicious breakfast and later start to descend Nyiragongo Mountain. The hiking expedition down the mountain will take about 4 hours or less depending on your pace.
- Transfer to Lake Kivu: You will then drive Lake Kivu and enjoy an evening boat cruise on the lake. You will get to explore the islands on the lake and even get to see some bird species like; the Yellow-Billed Stork, Hamerkop, Goliath Heron, Marabou Stock, and the Saddle-Billed Stock among others. You will spend the night in Goma town, have dinner and have a good night’s rest.
DAY 5: Drive back to Kigali.
- Return To Kigali: Wake up early in the morning, have your breakfast and drive to the Goma border; clear at the immigration desk and then proceed to drive back to Kigali City. Depending on your flight departure schedule, you can choose to have a short tour of Kigali city; where you can visit tourist sites like; the Kigali genocide memorial center, Kimironko market, camp Kigali and Nyamirambo Women’s Center. Later your guide can drop you off at your hotel or drive you straight to Kigali International Airport.
End of the 5 Days Virunga Safari Tour
This tour package is inclusive of;
- Gorilla trekking permit
- Park entrance fees
- Accommodation and meals as per your itinerary
- Congo tourist visa
- Activities as per your itinerary
- Mineral water
- 4×4 wheel drive safari vehicle
- An English speaking tour guide.
This tour package excludes.
- Rwanda tourist visa
- International flight tickets
- Alcoholic beverages and personal purchases.