Virunga Expedition – 11 Day

The Virunga Expedition package offers the very best of Virunga National Park. 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 a one night stay on Nyiragongo volcano followed by two nights’ stay on Tchegera Island Retreat.

  • Mikeno Lodge
  • Gorilla trek
  • Bukima Tented Camp
  • Lulimbi Tented Camp
  • Nyiragongo volcano trek
  • 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. 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 sundowner 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: At 8:15am, guests will be transported to the Kibati Ranger Post, departure point for the Nyiragongo volcano trek. On arrival to Kibati, guests will receive a briefing and will be able to hire porters from there. The climb up the volcano will take around four to six hours and trekkers will overnight on the summit.

Day9: In the early morning, guests will leave the crater rim and start the descent back to Kibati. Average descent time is four hours. Once at the bottom, guests will be transported to Kituku port in Goma in order to catch the boat out to Tchegera Island Retreat. Upon arrival to Tchegera, visitors are invited to settle in, have a hot shower and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Tchegera Island.

Day10: Day at leisure—kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and nature walks are a relaxing way to pass the day.

Day11: After 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’ accommodation at Mikeno Lodge
  • Gorilla trek permit
  • One-night accommodation at Bukima Tented Camp
  • Three-night accommodation at Lulimbi Camp
  • Nyiragongo trek permit
  • One-night stay on Nyiragongo volcano
  • Nyiragongo Back Pack
  • DR Congo Tourist Visa
  • Two-night accommodation at Tchegera Island Retreat
  • En-route meals
  • All transport to, from and within Virunga National Park once in country

Not included in this package: Drinks, rental of Nyiragongo backpack, porter fees, gratuities and anything of personal nature.