Arrive in Gisenyi, Rwanda, and transfer to Goma, DRC. Go on a city tour and check into your hotel.
It’s a 5.30am start from your hotel so that you can be driven to the Bukima park station in the Virunga National Park station where everyone assembles at 7am to be allocated a gorilla group, meet their guide and for a briefing on how to ”behave” whilst in the company of a gorilla group.
After the briefing, you will proceed to the appropriate starting point for the trek to see the gorilla group you have been allocated. The length of the trek varies depending on where the gorillas are as well as weather conditions. Meeting these gentle giants in their natural habitat is a unique and wonderful experience but to get the most from it, it is necessary to be properly prepared. It is important to bring good hiking boots, long trousers, gloves for protection against stinging nettles, some snacks & sweets (for you, not the gorillas) as well as sufficient water as the rain forest gets hot and humid during the day. You will spend one hour with the gorillas, but it is an hour you will never forget.
After trekking back to your vehicle and then driving back to the trekking base, you will return to your hotel for the night.
Arrive in Gisenyi, Rwanda and transfer to Goma, DRC and drive to the Nyiragongo Volcano trail head in Virunga National Park. The climb up Nyiragongo takes around five hours, is strenuous and often in hot and uncomfortable conditions, but the path is relatively easy and not excessively steep; there are also a lot of rare birds and small mammals along the trail and the view, when you reach the top, is stunning and other-worldly.
Again, it is important to have the right equipment in order to make the most of the hike. Equipments to bring: walking boots, a day back pack, light clothing, waterproof clothing, sun glasses, and clothes for the upper region of the volcano where you will spend the night and walking poles for hiking.
Lakes of hot lava are one of the most spectacular forms of volcanic activity, but they are very difficult to see since there are only a few of them in the world at any given time. So, if you want to see a really impressive lava lake, you really only have one option left:
Nyiragongo. Nyiragongo Volcano is located in the east of DRC, around 19 km from Goma, and is the most active volcano in the world. In 1997 and 2002, flows of very liquid lava broke out from cracks in the volcanic slopes. The lava covered 17 km, reaching the town of Goma in just a few minutes, killing dozens of people, and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. The eruptions temporarily drained the lava lake in the summit crater and volcanic gases suffocated the heather forests on the upper slopes. But now the forest is recovering, and the wildlife is beginning to return.
The night will be spent in tents on the rim of the giant crater, high above the active lava lake.
An early breakfast and then begin your descent by 7 or 8 am. Arrive at the trail head before lunch and transfer back to Rwanda border.
Have breakfast and transfer to the shores of Lake Kivu to meet the ferry and travel across the lake to Bukavu.
Check in to hotel.
Drive to the Kahuzi-Biega National Park. After a briefing by the park ranger, you will trek to see the lowland gorillas.
Transfer back to hotel after trek.
Check out of hotel and travel back on the Lake Kivu ferry to Goma.
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