5 Days Rwanda gorilla trekking and Mount Nyiragongo Hiking package is designed for those who are interested in hiking mount Nyiragongo but tracking the primates in Rwanda. During the tour, there will be visits to Lake Kivu and the Iby’iwacu cultural village. There will also be opportunities to spot the beautiful countryside. Silverback gorilla tours are more exciting when combined with other thrilling activities like mountain hiking, cultural tours and game drives. This 5 days Rwanda Congo safari involves visiting two of Africa’s famous national Parks – Virunga National Park and the Volcanoes National Park.

Virunga is the oldest park in Africa. It was established in 1925 and was at one time a much bigger wildlife conservation area that included the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and parts of Mgahinga in Uganda. Virunga National Park is UNESCO World heritage site because of its amazing biodiversity. It is home to mountain gorillas, lions and the elusive okapi among many other wildlife species. The key activities in Virunga National Park are gorilla trekking and hiking the great Nyiragongo Volcano. The Nyiragongo Volcano has the largest lava lake in the world that is open to tourism. The last eruption in 2002 forced over 350,000 people to flee the surrounding areas. Lava flowed at such high speed that within minutes it had reached the showers of Lake Kivu leaving 170 dead. The volcano has been stable and safe for tourists for over two decades now and thousands visit the park to get an opportunity of observing the lava lake.

The Volcanoes National Park on the other hand is the most visited tourism destination in Rwanda. It sits on high altitude and is blessed with 5 different volcanoes. It was the famous primatologist known as Dian Fossey who made the park famous when she established a gorilla research Centre there. The park is home to 35 percent of the remaining population of mountain gorillas and is a more expensive but convenient place to track the primates. Apart from gorillas, the park is home to hyenas, forest elephants and golden monkeys. The main activities at the volcanoes national park are gorilla trekking, visiting the tomb of Dian Fossey, golden monkey tracking, hiking one of the mountains, visiting the Gorilla Guardians Village and exploring the Musanze caves.

Climbing Mount Nyiragongo and tracking gorillas will test your overall stamina. You need to be in good physical condition and mental preparedness. If you are interested in only Nyiragongo, then you should check out our 2 days Mount Nyiragongo Hiking Package. If you want to do both activities in Congo, then check out our 4 days Congo gorilla tour and Nyiragongo Hiking package. We can also organize a 15 days safari in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.

 

 

Day 1: City tour of Kigali – Transfer to Congo

The company Guide/Driver will be at your hotel very early in the morning to start the tour. If you are not already in a hotel, then you will be picked up from the airport. You will start with a tour of Kigali city where you will be taken to visit the Gisozi genocide memorial site to learn about what transpired during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. You will also visit other important landmarks, the central market, artisan shops and the former presidential palace. Afterwards, you will start the journey to the Congo border through Lake Kivu and amazing countryside. You should arrive in Gisenyi before 2:00pm and take lunch before going to the immigration office for clearance. Ensure that you have your yellow fever vaccination card and passport ready so that you can be allowed to cross to Congo. The Visa would be in the system by the time you speak to migration office. After clearing with immigration, you will cross and find the team from Virunga waiting for you from the Congo side.

Dinner and overnight at Mikeno Lodge (Luxury) and Kibumba Tented Camp (Mid-range).

Day 2: Mount Nyiragongo Hiking – Viewing the Lava Lake

On day 2, you will have early breakfast and wait for park authorities to pick you up from your hotel. You will be driven towards Goma and branch off to Kibati village which is the starting point for Mount Nyiragongo hiking. The park officials will brief you about the hike and introduce you to the porters who will be carrying supplies up the mountain. One of the porters will be your chef. Everything is kept basic while climbing mount Nyiragongo. Do not expect the luxuries that you had at the lodge. Climbing to the top of the volcano takes between 4 to 6 hours depending on the level of fitness of the group. No one is left behind until you get to the 4th section. There are 5 sections to be completed before reaching the top. Once you get to the summit, you will find your cabins waiting for you. The best time for viewing the boiling magma is in the night.

Dinner and overnight in cabins as you enjoy the beautiful views of the lava throughout the night.

Day 3: Descend the Volcano –  Transfer to the Volcanoes National Park

Wake up from your cabin at 7:00am and take breakfast as you wait for everybody to start descending the volcano at 8:00am. Climbing mount Nyiragongo is not just about viewing the lava lake. It is an opportunity to also admire beautiful views of the other Virunga volcanoes, Lake Kivu, Virunga National Park, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, the Rwenzori Mountains and national parks in Uganda. The best time to get these views is in the morning and also while descending the volcano. On reaching the starting point, the park officials will drive you to Goma and then to the border office were you will clear with the Rwanda immigration. They will charge you another $30 for the Rwanda Visa. Our driver will be waiting for you at the Rwanda side of the border to take you to the Volcanoes national park. The journey from the Congo/Rwanda border to the Volcanoes National Park takes between 2 to 3 hours.

Accommodation and Dinner at 5 Volcanoes Lodge (Luxury), Da Vinci Lodge (Mid-range) and Hotel Muhabura (Budget).

Day 4: Gorilla Tracking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda – Gorilla Guardians village tour

Briefing for gorilla trekking takes place before 8:00 am at the park headquarters in Kinigi. All trackers must be at the park office in time for the briefing which is led by the park Guide. Gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park involves choosing among 10 habituated gorilla groups. You will be assigned one based on your overall fitness. Tracking can take between 2 to 6 hours depending on which family you are assigned. The activity can be challenging especially if you are not in good shape or mentally prepared to complete it. However, the one hour spent with the gorilla family is a lifetime experience which you will never forget. Watching a group of gorillas in the wild is an uncomfortable reminder of just how much we have in common with them. You could spend hours just watching the little ones roll around and play. Mountain Gorillas can be very playful and curious especially if they see something unfamiliar. While with the gorilla family, it’s important to listen to instructions from your guide. Always remain calm and never make sudden movements.

After your one hour with the gorilla group, return back to the starting point where you will meet our guide to drive you back to your hotel for lunch and rest. Late in the afternoon, you will head out for a visit to the Iby’iwacu cultural village in Musanze. Now known as the Gorilla Guardians Village, the Centre started as a place where former poachers would showcase their products. The government of Rwanda revamped the place and rebuilt it to become a modern cultural Centre that competes with the best in East Africa. You will find all the tribes in Rwanda including the Batwa performing cultural dances and songs. You can also participate by putting on local robes, entering some of the traditional huts and dancing with the troupe.

Accommodation and Dinner at 5 Volcanoes Lodge (Luxury), Da Vinci Lodge (Mid-range) and Hotel Muhabura (Budget).

Day 5: Transfer back to Kigali – Departure

Wake at your own time and take breakfast as you prepare for the trip back to Kigali. The journey from the Volcanoes National Park to Kigali takes about 3 hours. If for some reason you missed the Kigali city tour on day 1, you will have it on this day before separating with our Guide.

End of Tour