Merge an exceptional encounter of trekking mountain gorillas in Virunga National park with an adventurous hike to explore Africa’s most active volcano, the Nyiragongo. It is Africa’s most affordable 5 days gorilla safari and a mountain hike, beginning and ending in Kigali city.
Detailed 5 Days Gorillas & Nyiragongo Hike Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Kigali and transfer to Virunga National Park
Welcome to the magical Rwanda! Meet and greet on arrival by your experienced safari guide who will then introduce you to Kigali- Rwanda’s capital, brief you about the itinerary and later transfer you to Virunga national park. The journey takes about 3 hours, but you can take an Enroute tour along Lake Kivu for a speed boat cruise and other recreational activities. You will then continue via Goma boarder, check in and proceed to your lodge at the edge of Virunga forest. While at the lodge, admire the fantastic views provided by the towering Rwenzori Mountains and Virunga ranges and contemplate on the thrilling adventure that lies ahead.
Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Virunga
Breakfast at 6:30am and proceed for a fantastic gorilla trekking adventure within the jungles of Virunga national park. The park is home not only to the mountain gorillas but also to the rare eastern lowland gorillas, but in this safari, you will trek to see the mountain gorillas. The experience begins at 7:30am and off you penetrate into the misty jungles hunting for these rare apes. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with views of other resident species, including an array of birds, butterflies and verdant flora, plus other mammals like forest elephants, forest hog, bush pigs, duikers and sitatungas.
Enjoy the walk beneath the tree canopies and through boggy slopes, until you come across a group of mountain gorillas. During this valuable one hour encounter, you will watch the gorillas as they feed, breast feed the young ones, infants playing and the mighty silverback offering utmost protection. After this experience, take your packed lunch and trek back to the starting point, join your safari driver, and transfer to the lodge. Relax in the evening as you enjoy the sights and sounds of the jungles.
Day 3: Ascend Mount Nyiragongo
Early breakfast at 7:00am and join your driver to transfer to Kibati ranger station where the hike starts from. Have briefing from the hiking guides about the rules to be observed, rest points and general expectations of the hike. You can hire porters from this point, get all your gears ready and later the adventure begins!
The trail navigates through a lush alpine forest on the lower slopes of the mountain, proceeding through the lava eruption fissure until you conquer the summit. Nyiragongo hike takes between 6 – 7 hours, and depending on the weather and physical fitness of the hikers, the expedition can last up to a full day. Accommodation is in the mountain huts nestled on the mountain ridge overlooking the lava lake that forms a web-like structure at night.
Day 4: Descend Mount Nyiragongo & Boat Cruise
Enjoy a delicious breakfast organized by your onsite cook, and begin your descent. The descent to the base of the mountain is quite faster and in less than 4 hours, hikers will be already at the base camp. Immediately begin your drive to Goma boarder, check out of immigration and proceed to the striking Lake Kivu, Rwanda’s largest lake and a confluence for many small rivers in Rwanda. Arrive just in time for relaxation, spend your evening on the shores of this scenic lake, just take a walk to the nearby tea plantations for amazing photo shots or go on a speed boat cruise to explore the inland islands and life of fishermen in the interior of the lake. Retreat to your resort overlooking the lake for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 5: Transfer to Kigali
After a scenic breakfast at the balcony of your resort overlooking the misty lake. Enjoy the magnificent sun rising over the lake, attracting an array of birdlife that populate the lake shores, enjoy the lives of local people of Gisenyi as they go about the daily routine. You will finally return to Kigali city, and be dropped off your favorable hotel or to the airport depending on your flight time.