The Great Ape trip is one of our numerous Virunga National Park packages, and involves two Gorilla trekking tours and a single Chimpanzee habituation tour. It is conclusive that this safari offers the rare opportunity of coming face to face with two Great Ape species that call this outstanding Protected Area home. This short trip is only five days but what you will see in these few days is unexplainable and worthwhile.
There are four amazing nights in the Great Ape Package, the first being at the swanky Mikeno Lodge, the second at Ngila and the last two nights at Mikeno Lodge. Expect double gorilla trekking tours and the Chimpanzee Habituation Tour that begins/ends in Goma Town.
Day 1: Goma Town to Virunga National Park, via Grande Barriere Border crossing
Grand entry into Grande Barriere Border Crossing by 11:00am to finalize check-in at Virunga Tourism Office in an hour’s time. This Office is strategically situated within this Border crossing building, adjacent to the passport Control office. Your gorilla trekking and Nyiragongo climbing permits will be provided by the tourism staff and will be required to be presented prior to embarking on each of the hikes. This is followed by transfer to the swanky Mikeno Lodge for a cold bathe and hot meal before relaxing.
Day 2: The First Virunga Gorilla Trek, from Bukima Ranger Post
Following a mouth-watering breakfast, you will leave for Bukima Ranger Post and on arrival, meet the experienced and enthusiastic Ranger guides. Be briefed on the guidelines to be followed before embarking on actual gorilla treks. This adventure calls for 1-3 hours of committed hiking, depending on the movement of the gorilla family being trekked as well as the level of terrain difficulty. Having spent the allocated one hour to watch and take photos, get back to Bukima Ranger post. Later on continue to check-in at Ngila Lodge for lunch then spend the remainder of the day at leisure-touring the Park’s Bamboo project, birding and guided walks
Day 3: Second Virunga Gorilla Trek, from Bukima Ranger Post
Like the first Virunga Gorilla trek, this day begins with briefing by Park guides and allocation into a gorilla family (this time you will trek another family). The actual trek starts by 8:30am and is finalized by photography and watching of these giant Apes. A hefty lunch awaits you at Ngila Lodge, after which get transferred to Mikeno Lodge where you will spend the last two nights. Relax with an interesting activity of your choice.
Day 4: The Chimpanzee Habituation Trek at Mahura Forest
Early morning you will head out for the guided chimpanzee trekking tour that allows you to join a team of expert searchers in habituating the troop of these Great Apes living in Mahura Forest, enclosing Rumangabo Park Headquarters. Get back to the Lodge for brunch and later spend some quality and unforgettable time with the young gorillas of Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage or better still enjoy reading a book at the Lodge Lounge.
Day 5: Transfer to Goma Town, from Virunga National Park
After your last breakfast for this Park and safari, join the private safari driver for a transfer back to Goma Town, then be dropped-off at Grande Barriere Border Crossing. This marks the end of our 5 days trip of the Great Ape package.