6 Days Virunga and Lake Kivu Safari (Congo Gorilla trekking, Nyiragongo Hike, and Lake Kivu)
6 Days Virunga and Lake Kivu Safari starts and ends in Kigali enabling you to spend 2 days exploring lake Kivu in Rwanda then cross over to the Democratic Republic of Congo to enjoy gorilla trekking and Mount Nyiragongo hike in Virunga national park. This 6 day trip is one of the cheap gorilla trekking safari since the permit to trek gorillas in Virunga national park is the cheapest amongst all the gorilla trekking destinations. For instance the permit to trek similar gorillas costs $700 in Uganda and $1500 in Rwanda.
Highlights of 6 days virunga national park and Lake Kivu safari
- Day 1: Transfer from Kigali to Lake Kivu in Gisenyi
- Day 2: Full day on Lake Kivu
- Day 3: Transfer to Virunga national park
- Day 4: Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park
- Day 5: Hike Mount Nyiragongo (Ascend)
- Day 6: Descend Nyiragongo and transfer to Kigali for departures
Detailed Safari Itinerary
Day 1: Transfer from Kigali to Lake Kivu in Gisenyi
- Transfer to Lake Kivu: On day 1 of 6 Days Virunga and Lake Kivu Safari (Congo Gorilla trekking, Nyiragongo Hike and Lake Kivu), you will be welcomed by our company representative who will pick you up either from your hotel in Kigali or at Kigali international airport and be driven for about 3 hours to Lake Kivu situated in Gisenyi where you will arrive in time for lunch. Enjoy your lunch at the shores of the Lake then embark on an afternoon boat cruise overlooking Mount Nyiragongo, various hills in Rwanda since Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills and other plenty of attractions along the shores of the lake. After spending about 2 hours cruising on Lake Kivu, you will be transferred to your hotel in Gisenyi where you will spend an overnight.
Day 2: Full day on Lake Kivu
- Full day Lake Kivu excursion: After breakfast at your lodge on day 2 of 6 days virunga national park and Lake Kivu safari (Congo Gorilla trekking, Nyiragongo Hike and Lake Kivu), return to Lake Kivu where you will spend a full day experiencing the beauty of Rwanda at the shores of Lake Kivu. On this day, there are several beach activities you may engage in such as Hiking via different trails along the shores of Lake Kivu, guided nature walks, biking, swimming and beach relaxation among others that makes your safari more fascinating. After exploring Lake Kivu, you will return to your lodge freshen-up as you wait for your dinner to be served and have your overnight rest.
Day 3: Transfer to Virunga national park
- Transfer from Gisenyi to Virunga national park Congo: After a relaxed breakfast on day 3 of 6 days virunga national park and Lake Kivu safari (Congo Gorilla trekking, Nyiragongo Hike and Lake Kivu), check out of the lodge and meet your safari driver to enjoy Gisenyi city tour where you will visit some of the Gisenyi Genocide Memorial sites, and the remain areas that you dint visit on the previous days then embark on a road drive from Gisenyi to Rwanda Congo border at Grande barrier where you expect to arrive by 12:00pm. While at Grand barrier, you will be cleared at immigration office to obtain your Congo Visa then connect to Virunga national park offices to obtain your Mount Nyiragongo Hiking permit and Mountain gorilla trekking permit as you proceed to check in at your lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Gorilla trekking in Virunga national park
- Mountain gorilla trekking: On day 4 of 6 days virunga national park and Lake Kivu safari (Congo Gorilla trekking, Nyiragongo Hike and Lake Kivu), you will be briefed about gorilla trekking in Virunga national park by experience virunga rangers then start the journey in the wild to trek the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. The walk takes between 30 minutes to 7 hours or entire day depending on the movement of gorillas, fitness level and trekking speed of trekkers in favour of the slowest person in the group. Upon finding the gorillas, you have just one hour which is the fixed time frame allowed for you spend with the gorillas taking photographs and watching them at 7m distance. After an hour, trek back to meet your safari driver and be returned to the lodge to relax and prepare yourself for the following activity the next day.
Day 5: Hike Mount Nyiragongo (Ascend)
- Hike Mount Nyiragongo: After breakfast on day 5 of 6 days virunga national park and Lake Kivu safari (Congo Gorilla trekking, Nyiragongo Hike and Lake Kivu), check out of the lodge with a packed lunch box and that you may require while at the summit of Nyiragongo including sleeping bag(you may hire one in case you don’t have it), warm sweater, warm gloves, warm stockings, a warm scuff, a rain jacket and wear you best hiking boats that are light and waterproof then be transferred to Kibati ranger post for porter hiring and briefing. By 10: 00am, the hike starts via forest and shrubs at the base and you ascend and the vegetation cover goes on thinking till you find yourself moving in rocks of previous eruption which occurred in 2002. Mount Nyiragongo is still the most active Volcanoes amongst the 8 volcanoes in Virunga massif making it the best and topmost hike volcano of all to watch the boiling lava lake at the top. During the hike, look out for some wildlife such as primates, mammals, birds, butterflies and many more. While at the summit, you will be rewarded with the view of the boiling lava lake all night long taking photographs of the lave lake.
Day 6: Descend Nyiragongo and transfer to Kigali for departures
- Descend Nyiragongo: On day 6 of 6 days virunga national park and Lake Kivu safari (Congo Gorilla trekking, Nyiragongo Hike and Lake Kivu), wake up at the summit of Nyiragongo as early as 6:00am or even before, pack all your belongs and have breakfast in case its available and meet other hikers to start descending in a group back to Kibati ranger post. Descending is more fun as you move while looking at different attractions ahead. You will be stopping along the way to take some photo graphs and finally arrive to Kibati where a convoy will be waiting to drive you back to the border point to meet your safari driver. You will be transferred to a hotel for an early Lunch in Goma then set off on a drive back to Kigali for departures.
END OF 6 DAYS VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK AND LAKE KIVU