Rutshuru Expedition – 10 Day

The Rutshuru Expedition package offers the best of Virunga National Park minus the Nyiragongo volcano trek. It includes one initial night stay at the beautiful Mikeno Lodge, nestled in the heart of the Mahura Forest at the Park’s HQ in Rumangabo. Then on to a one-night stay in the gorilla sector at Bukima Tented Camp where guests will come face-to-face with endangered mountain gorillas. Guests will head back to Mikeno Lodge for two additional nights’ stay before setting off for the savannas of the Ishasha Valley for a three-night stay at Lulimbi Tented Camp. The package finishes off with two nights’ stay on Tchegera Island Retreat.

  • Mikeno Lodge
  • Bukima Tented Camp
  • Gorilla trek
  • Lulimbi Tented Camp
  • Tchegera Island Retreat

Day1: Arrival at Grande Barriere border crossing by 10:30am and ensure check-in with Virunga tourism office by 11:15am. The tourism office is conveniently located in the Grande Barriere border post building, opposite passport control. Tourism staff will provide guests with gorilla permits at check-in. These permits must be presented before the start of each trek. Guest will then be transported to Mikeno Lodge at the Park headquarters in Rumangabo. On arrival to Mikeno Lodge, a late lunch will be served and the afternoon can be enjoyed at leisure, including exploring Rumangabo’s several nature trails, bird watching or paying a visit to Virunga’s Congo hounds.

Day2: After an early breakfast at Mikeno Lodge, guests will set off for the gorilla trek at Bukima Ranger Post. On arrival to Bukima, trekkers will meet their Ranger guides and receive a briefing before starting the gorilla trek. Treks usually require 1-2.5 hours of hiking each way, depending on 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 where a late lunch will be served. Guests will have the rest of the afternoon off to explore Bukima, including bird watching and visiting the Park’s bamboo project.

Day3: At 8:30am, guest will start their second gorilla trek. Upon return from the trek, a quick lunch will be served at Bukima camp and when all gorilla trekkers have returned, guests will be transported back to Mikeno Lodge. On arrival to Mikeno Lodge, guests have the afternoon at leisure, free to relax on the lodge terrace or visit the gorilla orphans at the Senkwekwe Center.

Day4: At 6:00am, guests will head out for a chimpanzee trek. A trek with these animals is a unique experience that allows visitors to join our team as they study and habituate the family of chimpanzees found in the Mahura Forest surrounding Rumangabo. Returning for a late breakfast, guests will be invited to spend the rest of the day exploring the Park headquarters or just relaxing with a book on the terrace of Mikeno Lodge.

Day5: After an early breakfast at Mikeno Lodge, guests will be transported to Lulimbi Tented Camp located on the southeastern shores of Lake Edward. After spending the morning settling in, lunch will be served and then guests are free to go out for an afternoon safari walk across the savanna of the Ishasha Plains. In the evening, guests are invited to relax with a sun downer on the banks of the Ishasha river and experience up close views of Lulimbi’s resident hippos.

Day6: After an early breakfast, guests will be invited on another safari walk to explore some of the mega fauna around Lulimbi as well as its abundant bird life. Returning to camp before the heat of the day hits, visitors will enjoy a leisurely lunch while admiring the resident hippos wallowing around in the Ishasha River and perhaps catch a glimpse of savanna elephants coming to drink at the water’s edge. In the evening, guests will take a game drive on the Ishasha Plains.

Day7: After a relaxing breakfast, guests are invited to go bird watching along the shores of Lake Edward where a nice BBQ will be served before heading back camp where guests will be free to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Day8: After an early breakfast at Lulimbi, guests will then be taken to Kituku port in Goma to catch the boat out to Tchegera Island Retreat. Upon arrival, visitors are invited to settle in, have a hot shower and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Tchegera Island.

Day9: Day at leisure – kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and nature walks are a relaxing way to pass the day.

Day10: After a relaxing breakfast at Tchegera Island Retreat, guests will be transported back to Goma with drop-off at the Grande Barriere border post.

Included in this package:

  • Ground transportation from Kigali and back Kigali
  • Three nights’ stay at Mikeno Lodge
  • Gorilla trek permit
  • One night stay at Bukima Tented Camp
  • Three nights’ accommodation at Lulimbi Camp
  • Two nights’ stay at Tchegera Island Retreat
  • DR Congo Tourist Visa
  • En-route meals
  • All transport to, from and within Virunga National Park once in country

Not included in this package: Drinks, gratuities and anything of personal nature.