11 Days Virunga Expedition

11 Days Virunga ExpeditionTake on an 11 day safari to the Democratic Republic of Congo visiting the Virunga national park for all the tourist attractions that are the mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage, and the overnight Mount Nyiragongo hike. Get a chance to not only visit the mountain gorillas on one day but on several occasions or even opt to visit different gorilla families per day. Get to also hike u the world’s largest volcanic crater lake at the top of Mount Nyiragongo and also visit the world’s only gorilla orphanage. Take some time to also visit the Virunga National Park headquarters while in the park.

11 Days Virunga Expedition

This package sets off from Goma DRCongo on only Mondays so be sure to make travel arrangements aligning with the schedule if you are interested in it.

Trip highlights

  • 2 mountain gorilla treks
  • Chimpanzee trek
  • Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage
  • Game drive
  • Safari walk
  • Birding
  • Mikeno lodge
  • Ngila lodge
  • Virunga park headquarters visit. 
  • Mount Nyiragongo visit


Trip Description

Day 1: Drive from Kigali to Bukima 

Connect to Ngila lodge

Your driver guide will be in Kigali at the agreed pick up point and time preferably by 8 am to pick you up to start your 8 day safari. You will drive 6 hours from Kigali to connect to Goma Grande Barrier border building to check in and receive your permits for the next days’ activities.

After all protocol has been observed, you will drive with the Virunga security team headed to Bukima ranger post where your hotel is located. You will check into your hotel and have a late lunch and settle in as you wait for night fall. Dinner will be served and the first night will be spent at Mikeno lodge

Day 2: Mountain gorillas trekking in Virunga national park.

Mountain gorilla trek; On the 2nd day of your 11 Days Virunga Expedition, wake up to catch a glimpse of the sunrise and have a quick breakfast thereafter grab your packed lunch boxes and connect with your driver guide who will be waiting to transfer you to the Bukima ranger post where the brief before the trek is given. Enter the forest in search of the mountain gorillas and spend the allotted 1 hour in their presence shortly before you exit the park to have your lunch boxes. 

Drive back to your hotel to spend the rest of the evening at leisure as you await dinner to be served at Ngila lodge/ Bukima Tented lodge

8 Days Best of Virunga
Gorilla Trekking in Virunga

Day 3: Second mountain gorilla trek

Mountain gorilla trek

Wake up for the second chance to meet the mountain gorillas of Virunga national park. Grab your breakfast at the hotel and your lunch packs then drive along with your driver-guide to connect back to Bukima ranger post for the pre trek brief. Set out into the forest and trek for about 2 to 5 hours according to how far in the forest the gorillas are. 

After trekking exit the park and drive back to you hotel to spend the evening as you may wish reading a book at the lodge or take on a more active activity like visiting a community project or go visit the Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage in the evening. The Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage is strategically located in the compound of the Mikeno lodge. Spend a few hours at the orphanage and connect back to the dining area for dinner and another night in and return before it gets dark in time for dinner and second night at Mikeno lodge.

Day 4: Chimpanzee trekking in Virunga National park

Chimpanzee trek in Virunga National park.

On the 4th day of your 11 Days Virunga Expedition, wake up early in time to catch the chimpanzees that are early risers. Set out to the park headquarters and join the team of individuals that are habituating the mountain gorilla family in the Mahura forest of Virunga national park. Get back to your accommodation for a late breakfast and relax or opt to visit the Virunga national park headquarters in the midmorning hours.

Return for lunch at the luxury Mikeno lodge and spend the evening at leisure up till when it is dinner time and spend another night at Mikeno lodge

Day 5: Connect to Lulimbi Sector

Wildlife day in Virunga national park

Have your last breakfast at Mikeno lodge and drive to the Lulimbi sector here you get to see the wildlife. You will drive to check into your hotel that is situated on the shores of Lake Edward. 

You will go for an afternoon safari walk on the Ishasha plains and return to the hotel to cool off. Spend the evening watching the Lulimbi resident hippos wallowing at the banks of Ishasha river as you await dinner.

Day 6: Safari walk in Lulimbi sector

Safari walk in Virunga national park

After breakfast, you will go for a second safari walk to see more of the wildlife you may have missed out on the day before. Get to see the big number of fauna around Lulimbi with the abundant birdlife and get back to the camp in time for lunch.

In the evening, you will take on a game drive on the Ishasha plains and return in time for your dinner at the camp.

Day 7: Bird watching on Lake Edward

Bird watching in Virunga National park

On the 7th day of your 11 Days Virunga Expedition, birding in Virunga national park is done on the shores of Lake Edward. You will wake up to a cup of coffee and set out on your birding. You will have a BBQ lunch in the park and return to the camp to spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 8: Overnight hike up Mount Nyiragongo

Mount Nyiragongo hikeYou driver guide will be waiting for you after breakfast to drive you to Kibati Ranger post where the Nyiragongo hike starts from. You will hike up hill for about 6 hours with 2 stopovers and reach the summit in the early evening hours. 

Enjoy the sunset view from the top and watch the lights from Goma light up the darkness from a far on a clear night. Dinner and night stay will be at the summit.

Day 9: Mount Nyiragongo descent.

Descend the Mount Nyiragongo

Wake up early to catch the sunrise and the last moments at the top of the volcano. Have a simple Congolese breakfast shortly before you leave the crater rim to start your descent back to the volcanoes trailhead. Your driver-guide will be waiting to drive you to the Kituku port to board the boat that will transfer to the Tchegera island retreat. 

Settle in and spend the evening at leisure shortly before dinner is served

Day 10: Day on the island 

Tchegera island retreat

You will wake up at leisure for a luxury breakfast and opt to do any island activity like go kayaking or paddleboarding or even a nature walk on the island. Get back to the retreat in time for dinner and another night at the retreat.

11 Days Virunga Expedition
Tchegera island retreat

Day 11: Departure

Drive back to Kigali

After breakfast, connect with your driver guide to board the boat to Kituku port to connect bck on land and drive back to Kigali and drop you off at your hotel or the Kigali international airport as you will advise.

End of safari

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