11 Days Virunga Expedition
11 Days Virunga Expedition: Take off 11 days from your routine schedule and grab a flight to Rwanda for this exciting safari in Virunga national park. This is one of the packages that offer you all or the most that Virunga National park offers. Get to trek the mountain gorillas twice, visit the chimpanzee family of Virunga, visit the wildlife sector hike up the Nyiragongo and visit the Tchegera Island all in a space of 11 days.
Trip highlights of the
- Double gorilla trek
- Chimpanzee family visit
- Game drives
- Safari walk
- Tchegera Island visit
- Nyiragongo overnight hike
- Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage visit
- Mikeno lodge stay
Day 1: Drive from Kigali to Mikeno lodge
- Connect to Mikeno lodge: Meet up with your diver guide at your agreed point of pick up and time ready to start off this 10 day safari. You will drive through Rwanda and cross into DRCongo via the Gisenyi and Goma border where you be expected to report for clearance to access the park and do the activities. You will get clearance from the Virunga tourism office at the border. Join the Virunga security convoy headed for the park and drive to the prestigious Mikeno lodge arriving in time for a late lunch. Spend the evening at leisure enjoying the lodge’s beauty. Dinner will be served and you will spend you first night in Mikeno lodge.
Day 2: First mountain gorilla trekking in Virunga national park
- Trek mountain gorillas in Virunga national park: Gorilla trekking is a very popular activity done in Bwindi forest, Virunga forest and Volcanoes national park. This is a major highlight in the trip. After breakfast and grabbing your lunch packs, you will be driven to the park headquarters for a briefing before you enter the forest in search of the gorillas. Trek for about 2 to 7 hours to enjoy your allotted 1 hour with the gorilla family at a standard 6-meter distance: After your gorilla trek, you will have your driver-guide waiting to take you to Bukima tented camp where you will have lunch and to rest. If you still feel strong enough, you will drive to a community for the cultural experience but ensure to be back to your hotel in time for dinner. Spend a night at Bukima tented camp in anticipation for the second gorilla trek. .
Day 3: Second mountain gorilla trekking in Virunga national park
- Mountain gorilla trekking in DRCongo: Have an early breakfast and set out to the park as the day before for the routine 7 am briefing before you set out into the forest. Get your porters and enter the forest for the search of a gorilla family. You may opt to trek the same family o change a family on this day. After the gorilla trek, drive back to the Mikeno lodge where you will spend the rest of the day at leisure or take some time off to visit the Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage center. Dinner will be served and you will retire back to your hotel room.
Day 4: Chimpanzee trekking in Virunga national park
- Chimpanzee trek in Virunga: As early as 6 am, you will be at the starting point of the chimpanzee trek as these are early risers and mornings are when chances of seeing them are higher. Grab some breakfast at your hotel and embark on the transfer to join the team habituating the chimpanzees of Virunga. You will visit the chimpanzee family that is in Mahura forest spend about 4 hour in there and connect back to your hotel for a late lunch. Dinner and night stay will be at the luxurious Mikeno lodge.
Day 5: Connect to Lulimbi wildlife sector of Virunga national park
- Drive to Lulimbi sector: Lulimbi sector is where the game of Virunga national park can be visited. After breakfast at your hotel, along with your driver-guide behind the Virunga security convoy will connect to Lulimbi tented camp which a few minutes away from arriving still in the morning hours. Spend the morning settling in and have lunch at the lodge.
- Afternoon safari walk: After your lunch, you and the other guests at the camp are allowed to go for a guided safari walk on the Ishasha plains across the savannah vegetation. Get back to the camp as the sun is setting and lounge as you wait for dinner to be served and spend the night at Lulimbi Tented Camp.
Day 6: Safari walk and evening game drive
- Day 2 in the Lulimbi sector: You will wake up for a bush breakfast just before you set back to the park for another safari walk to chance the fauna that the area has and this walk is also a great chance for birding as there is a lot of bird life on the shores of Lake Edward. Return to the camp for lunch as the sun’s heat cools down. In the evening is when you will take on a game drive on the Ishasha plains covering more ground that you did on foot. Get back to the camp in time for your barbeque dinner and spend your second night at the Lulimbi Tented Camp.
Day 7: Bird watching on Lake Edward
- Bird watching in Virunga national park: Have breakfast at leisure at the camp and get your binoculars ready for the day’s activity. You will set out to the shores of Lake Edward for a great sighting of the bird species of the area for about 4 hours and you will be served a barbeque lunch at the lake shores before you return to the camp for your final night. The evening will be spent at leisure at the Lulimbi tented camp
Day 8: Mount Nyiragongo hiking
- Ascend Mount Nyiragongo: By 6 am, you will be having breakfast shortly before you and your driver guide join the convoy headed to Kibati police post which is the starting point for the Nyiragongo hike. You will get your briefing and hire your porters and set out for your 5 hour trek up the volcano. You will arrive at the summit in the evening in time to catch the sunset from the top.
Spend the night in the Nyiragongo summit shelters.
Day 9: Mount Nyiragongo descent and boat transfer to Tchegera Island
- Descend Mountain Nyiragongo: You will be served at simple Congolese breakfast usually a hot cup of tea with some pastries to accompany it. After breakfast, pack your bags and set out on your descent downhill and reach at the trailhead at about midday where your driver guide will be waiting to take you to Kituku port to board the boat that will take you to Tchegera Island retreat for the evening. Relax and cool off the engaging past days of your safari.
Day 10: Leisurely day at the Tchegera Island resort.
- Nature day at the resort: Wake up to a nice breakfast at the resort where you will be spending the day relaxing. You may opt to kayak, snorkel, paddleboard or take a nature walk if you would prefer to stay engaged until the day is done. Dinner will be served and you will spend your last night at the Tchegera island resort.
Day 11: Leave the Island for drop off in Kigali
- Back to Kigali: Have a leisurely breakfast at the retreat just before you check out and connect to the boat that will be waiting to transfer you back to Goma where you will connect for you drop off in Kigali in time for your flight back home or check-in at your hotel.
End of the 11 Days Virunga Expedition
Trip quote includes:
- Full time fueled safari vehicle
- English/ French speaking driver guide
- Accommodation as indicated above
- Activities as described in the itinerary
- DRCongo tourist visa
- Meals on the safari
- Bottled water
Trip quote excludes:
- Optional activities
- International fares
- Rwanda visa
- Personal needs like airtime, laundry, gratuities, porters, alcohol.