Gorillas Golden Monkeys – Nyiragongo – 6 Days
Rwanda, on the other hand, is a small land-locked country, trying to move away from violent images and genocide of its recent past, to once again live in peace and once again allow us to visit its beautiful hillsides, ringing with the sound of children’s laughter. Lake Kivu has a rare beauty all of its own. It’s hundreds of small islands, its incredibly sculpted banks and its clear waters form a unique picture, which captivates travellers on their voyage of discovery. The Virunga Mountains, giant volcanoes with luxuriant green slopes, are home to the rare Mountain Gorilla, which we visit in their jungle environment. This is one of only two such sanctuaries remaining in the wild.
- You’ll go to Rwanda And Congo
- This tour starts and ends in Rwanda – Getting there & away
- You’ll visit The last mountain gorillas, The seldom golden monkeys, Nyiragongo volcano, Lake Kivu and its islands and The unique landscapes
- Activities: mountain gorilla tracking, bird watching, Boat cruises, game drive, drives and walks
- Getting around: comfortable vehicles
- 4 nights spent in good hotels, 1 night under canvas
- Varied menu, cold lunches and hot diners.
- Equatorial climate (25 – 30°C). Nights can be fresh, mostly at high altitudes. High risk of rain in the Virunga region.
- Experienced English-speaking guide during the whole safari.
Meet in the morning on arrival at the airport, coming from Nairobi on a regular flight. After lunch in a small garden, we follow the road as it climbs to the base of the majestic volcanoes, with spectacular views across the five peaks. Stop at some market places during your drive toward Kinigi.
As the first light of dawn breaks through the curtain of mist clinging to the summits of Karisimbi, Bisoke, Sabyniyo, Gahinga and Muhabura, we make our way into the Parc National des Volcans. Tracking the gorillas through the unique vegetation can take several hours of challenging walking in wet and muddy conditions. To see a gorilla, the trek will have been worth the hardship.
Golden Monkeys – Kinigi – Rubavu – Goma
During the morning hours, follow a habituated group of golden monkeys (cercopithecus mitis kandti), which are endemic in the Virunga.
After a shower and a quick lunch, leave toward Gisenyi. The countryside is patchwork of green, from the bluish green of the eucalyptus trees planted on the hilltops, the dark green of the cypresses lining the narrow tracks, to the soft green of the rice fields in the valleys. Vast tea plantations cover the hills surrounding Gisenyi, a small town on the shore of Lake Kivu. Lying at 1,460metres above sea level, its beauty is magnified by the mountains and lush vegetation which surround it. We cross the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo before stopping for the night at a charming little hotel in Goma.
Situated in the east of the country, some 20 km north of Lake Kivu, the Niyiragongo volcano rises to an impressive 3,470 metres overlooking the town of Goma. The volcano is situated in the eastern stretch of the Rift Valley and belongs to the Virunga chain.
Niyiragongo is a stratovolcano with two additional satellite volcanoes: Shaheru (2,800 m high, with a crater 80 m deep) and Baruta (standing 3,100m high, with a crater of over 300m in depth) as well as a number of other smaller scoria cones. At the summit is a crater almost 1,200m in diameter.
Since the volcanic eruption in 1977 the area had enjoyed a period of relative calm until volcanic activity started again in 1994. The volcano then erupted on 17 January 2002, sending a great cloud of smoke and ash into the sky, and three rivers of molten lava forced their way through the western flank of the volcano at a speed of 60 km per hour. One of these rivers of lava destroyed several neighbouring villages, while the other two passed through Goma cutting a trench 60m wide, before finally reaching Lake Kivu. Once again on 16th July 2002, fountains of molten lava exploded hundreds of metres into the air, from the lake of molten lava at the bottom of the crater.
From Goma to the Park Office it takes approximately 1 hour. Once all the park formalities have been completed, we set out on our 1,250m climb towards the summit, accompanied by our guide and porters. The climb takes between 5 and 6 hours. After roughly 2 hours, we come upon the lava flows left behind when Shaheru, the volcano we are actually climbing, fractured in January 2002. Increasingly the forest gives way to sparse, often denuded stretches of land, caused by the devastating effect of the volcanic gases. These areas are covered only by groundsel, ferns and sedge and everlastings. Finally we arrive at the summit, and discover for ourselves the volcano’s vast crater. After exploring the crater rim, we set up camp for the night and enjoy dinner prepared by our porters. For the rest of the evening, and part of the night, we wonder at the lake of molten lava below us. Night in the huts. The next day, we spend the early morning hours at the summit, walking, studying and observing the volcanic activity with fantastic views over Nyamulagira. Our backdrop to the west is the imposing forest of the Congo and the other extinct volcanoes which lie to the East (Bisoke, Mikeno and Karisimbi whose summits can appear snow-covered, shrouded in cloud).
We set out on our descent (3-4 hours). Return to Goma. Cross to Rwanda and enjoy some hours relaxing on the shore of Lake Kivu.
Rubavu – Kigali – Departure
After a last look at the magnificent volcano range, drive to Kigali and transfer to the airport (BL).
Best Price (USD)
(age 17+) Youth
(age 5-16) Children
|Youth: 0 (50% off)||$0.00 $0.00|
|Children: 0 (free)||$0.00 $0.00|
- Ground transportation with a 4WD and Fuel
- Gorilla Permits Park entrance fees
- Accommodation on Full Board All Meals with no drinks
- Services of an English speaking Driver/Guide
- A bottle of Mineral Water per day Visit
- All Activities in the package Guide book in your safari vehicle
- Personal drinks
- Air ticket and related costs
- Insurance covers
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU
- Money for your personal expenses: usd or euro
- Good walking shoes, rain gear, gloves (nettle stings), some long-sleeve shirts, sweaters for the cool evenings
- Sun protection gear and cream
- Mosquito repellent
- Video and photo cameras 200/300 mm telephoto lenses are very useful Reserve batteries or battery charger (mains and/or 12 V car adaptors)
- A torch
- Small rucksack
- International vaccination card