8 days Congo Gorilla Extravaganza Package

8 days Congo Gorilla Extravaganza Package

If you can’t have enough of Virunga Mountain gorillas, then the Gorilla Extravaganza Trip is what you need because, with this, you get the chance to spend time with four interesting habituated gorilla families that occupy the Bukima area of Virunga National Park, sum it up with a fifth gorilla trek with your favorite family (of the four previously visited ones).

This 8 days Virunga Gorilla Trekking Tour is unlike others because it also involves spending five unforgettable nights at Ngila Lodge on the border of Bukima Gorilla sector, one night at the World-class Mikeno Lodge, and another night at Mount Nyiragongo summit shelters. With this kind of trip, expect a full blast of excitement, and memorable experiences. Gazetted in 1925, Virunga National Park is the oldest Park in the African Continent with about 250 of the 1063 mountain gorillas left on Earth.

This Protected Area has been one of the few places affected by rebel insurgencies but the recent years have been peaceful thus gorilla treks are conducted daily. A total of 8 gorilla groups are currently fully habituated in this 7800-square-kilometer Park and they include Bageni, Humba, Kabirizi, Lulengo, Mapuwa, Munyanga, Nyakamwe, and Rugendo with 64 gorilla permits for daily gorilla treks.

Day 1: Depart from Goma for Virunga National Park

Reach the popular Grande Barriere Border Crossing as early as 11:00 am and arrive at the Virunga Tourism Office in an hour. This office is also within the Border crossing building, where travelers are issued five gorilla trekking permits as well as Nyiragongo permits to be presented at the beginning of each adventure. Having completed this, the next thing is embarking on the drive to the Bukima area for a briefing on the Virunga Tour before retiring for lunch, dinner, and overnight at Ngila Lodge. Unwind at the luxurious tents with rich views of the impeccable Mikeno Volcano and lush surrounding vegetation.

Day 2: First Gorilla trekking tour and afternoon tour of Virunga Bamboo Project

Following a wonderful night and delicious breakfast at Ngila Lodge, visitors have to brace up for the life-changing trek in Virunga National Park. Meet with the other trekkers, armed Park Rangers as well as porters to be taken through the orientation briefing on how to go about the activity. You will need 1-3 hours of hiking before your first gorilla family is encountered but this can sometimes take more time depending on the actual location of the gorilla family being trekked or even the nature of terrain. Regardless of how long it takes, one thing you should be assured of is that the mountain gorillas will eventually be encountered. Spend one hour watching them and move back to Ngila Lodge for a hot lunch. Relax for a while and undertake tours of the sustainable Bamboo project aimed at providing an alternative source of fuel for nearby communities.

Day 3: Trek the second Virunga Gorilla family and Birding tour

Another wonderful day to explore the jungles, during the second gorilla trekking adventure. Start with breakfast at the Lodge followed by the briefing provided at Bukima Ranger Post before gorilla treks begin. This trek allows visitors to juxtapose between different gorilla families and the activity is undertaken in the same way. Lunch will be at Ngila Lodge followed by a birding tour where several montane and Albertine Rift endemics will be encountered. There is no better way to end the day than unwinding after a cold bath with jaw-dropping views.

Day 4: Trek the third Virunga Gorilla Family and unwind at the Lodge

Have a quick and hefty breakfast before embarking on another remarkable treat in the Virunga Jungles as you prepare to meet your third gorilla family of the Gorilla Extravaganza package. Having relished the quality time with these giant Apes, return for lunch at the Lodge after which relax on the private deck with a glass of wine and book while being treated to breathtaking views of the Volcanoes.

Day 5: Trek the fourth Virunga Gorilla Family and choose an optional activity

This amazing day introduces visitors to the fourth Virunga Gorilla Family and like the others, starts with breakfast at the Lodge before heading for briefing at the Bukima Ranger Post. You will learn about a different family dynamic, behavior, and most interestingly the history of formation. In the evening choose relaxation, bird watching, or visiting the nearby local community.

Day 6: Re-trek the favorite Gorilla family and tour the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage

At this point, you have possibly chosen from which gorilla group you will be re-trekking. Have breakfast and meet again with the Ranger guides at Bukima Ranger Post for briefing. After the trek, get back to Ngila Lodge for a mouth-watering lunch and later explore the World’s only Mountain gorilla Orphanage within Rumangabo Park Headquarters. Spend time learning about the plight of these gorillas before they were brought to this Sanctuary but dinner as well as overnight will be at Mikeno Lodge.

Day 7: The invigorating Nyiragongo hike

Leave Mikeno Lodge early in the morning, after breakfast, and be transferred to the Kibati Ranger Post-trailhead of the Mount Nyiragongo hike. This activity begins with briefing and hiring porters before starting the hike toward the summit of one of the most active African Volcanoes. Depending on the fitness levels and weather, the hike takes 4-6 hours with picnic lunch, photography, and overnight on the summit.

Day 8: Descend Mount Nyiragongo and drive back to Goma Town

As early as 6:00 am you are already set for the descent to Kibati Ranger Post and this is after having breakfast from the summit shelters. Get dropped off at the Border Crossing and this marks the end of our 8 days Congo Gorilla Extravaganza package.