The Virunga Expedition Package
The Virunga expedition package is an 11 days Congo safari that will have you exploring the Congo with stays in Virunga National Park, the Nyiragongo and Tchegera Island. The Virunga expedition package is a great way to explore the Congo, enjoy a gorilla trekking experience, chimpanzee trekking, Nyiragongo hike, game drives, safari walks and then relax while at the Tchegera Island.
Highlights of the Virunga Expedition Package
- Day 1: Arrival at Virunga National Park and Explore Rumangabo
- Day 2: Gorilla Trekking and Bukima exploration
- Day 3: Second Gorilla Trekking and Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center visit
- Day 4: Chimpanzee Trekking
- Day 5: Transfer to Lulimbi, Afternoon safari walk and an evening sundowner
- Day 6: Morning safari walk, evening Game drive on the Ishasha Plains
- Day 7: Bird watching on the shores of Lake Edward
- Day 8: Transfer to Kibati, Hike the Nyiragongo
- Day 9: Descend Nyiragongo and transfer to Tchegera Island
- Day 10: Leisure Day
- Day 11: Departure
Detailed Safari Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival at Virunga National Park and Explore Rumangabo
- Arrival at Virunga: Upon arrival at the Grande Barriere border crossing by 10:30 am, be sure to be checked-in by the Virunga tourism office by 11:15 am whose offices are in the Grande Barriere building which is opposite passport control. You will receive your gorilla and volcano hike permits which you will present before the start of each of the activities to be allowed access. You will then transfer to Mikeno Lodge from where you will have a late lunch. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure where you can explore Rumangabo nature trails, go bird watching or maybe visit Virunga’s Congo hounds. Dinner and overnight stay at Mikeno Lodge.
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking and Bukima exploration
- Gorilla Trekking: After an early breakfast at the lodge, set off to Bukima ranger post which is the start point of the gorilla trek. You will meet ranger guides who will orient you on what to expect on the trek. You will then embark on the search of the gorillas. After making full use of the one hour allotted to you to encounter the gorillas, you will head to Bukima camp. The trek all together can take between 1 hour to 2.5 hours. You will have your lunch at the camp and then spend the afternoon exploring Bukima with a bird-watching or visit to the Virunga bamboo project activity. Dinner and overnight at Bukima Tented Camp.
Day 3: Second Gorilla Trekking and Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center visit
- Second Gorilla Trekking: After breakfast, head out at 8:30 am for your second gorilla trek. When you do return from your trek, have lunch at Bukima camp and then be transported back to Mikeno Lodge.
- Senkwekwe gorilla orphanageSpend the afternoon at leisure by either reading a book or listen to music by the terrace, or visit the gorilla orphans at the Senkwekwe center. Dinner and overnight at Mikeno Lodge.
Day 4: Chimpanzee Trekking
- Chimpanzee Trekking: As early as 6 am in the morning, head out for a chimpanzee trek where you will have a unique experience of joining the Virunga team of researchers and experts as they study and habituate the chimpanzee family found in Mahura forest. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast. Spend the rest of the day exploring the park headquarters or maybe just relax at the lodge. Lunch, dinner, and overnight at Mikeno Lodge.
Day 5: Transfer to Lulimbi, Afternoon safari walk and an evening sundowner
- Transfer to Lulimbi: After an early sumptuous breakfast, be transferred to Lulimbi Tented Camp which is on the southeastern shores of Lake Edward. After checking in, you will have lunch being served at the camp. You will proceed for an afternoon safari walk across the savanna of the Ishasha plains. Get to see a number of wildlife like African elephants. Enjoy a relaxing sundowner on the banks of the Ishasha River and experience an up-close view of Lulimbi’s resident hippos. Dinner and overnight stay at Lulimbi Tented Camp.
Day 6: Morning safari walk, evening Game drive on the Ishasha Plains
- Morning safari walk: After breakfast at the lodge, head out for yet another safari walk to explore Lulimbi’s megafauna and abundant birdlife. Return to the camp before the heat intensifies and enjoy your lunch at leisure while you view the hippos wallowing in the Ishasha River and also chance to see savanna elephants as they get an afternoon drink at the water’s edge. Enjoy an evening game drive on the Ishasha Plains and see various animals as they return from their day activities. Dinner and overnight stay at Lulimbi Tented Camp.
Day 7: Bird watching on the shores of Lake Edward
- Bird watching: Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at the camp, and then head out for a bird watching experience along the shores of Lake Edward from where a nice Barbeque will be served before heading back to the camp. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight stay at Lulimbi Tented Camp.
Day 8: Transfer to Kibati, Hike the Nyiragongo
- Transfer to Kibati: After breakfast, be transported to Kibati ranger post the departure point of the Nyiragongo volcano hike. Upon your arrival at Kibati, you will be briefed of what to expect during the hike. It is from here that you can hire porters who will help you throughout the hike say to carry your bags or help pull or push you when it gets tough for you. The hike can take up to 6 hours. Spend the night at the summit.
Day 9: Descend Nyiragongo and transfer to Tchegera Island
- Descend Nyiragongo: Leave the crater rim early in the morning and embark on a descent to Kibati that can take about 4 hours. You will be transported to Kituku port in Goma and catch a boat to Tchegera Island Retreat. When at Tchegera, settle in and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the Island.
Day 10: Leisure Day
- Leisure Day: Spend the day at leisure. You can kayak, paddleboard, snorkel or have nature walks throughout the day. Lunch, dinner, and overnight at Tchegera Tented camp.
Day 11: Departure
- Departure: After your breakfast at Tchegera Island Retreat, you will be transported back to Goma and be dropped off at the Grande Barrier border post.
End of The Virunga Expedition Package
- Gorilla trekking permits
- Nyiragongo hiking permit
- Full board accommodation as per the itinerary
- All transportation to, from and within the park
- Rental of the Nyiragongo backpack
- Porter fees
- Personal expenses like laundry, telephone
- Souvenirs and Tips