The Great Ape Package with Nyiragongo hike is a 6 Days tour that you can take on while in Virunga National Park offering the best of the park where you get to see the 2 ape taxa that the park harbors along with an overnight hike to Mount Nyiragongo the world’s largest lava lake. This is a package is the most sought after in Virunga among guests with enough time and have an interest in visiting the most Virunga national park has to offer as per now.
The Great Ape Package with Nyiragongo hike package sets off from Goma, the Grande Barrier on Mondays and Wednesdays at 11:00 am so ensure to cross-check your flights to be aligned with this package. The security convoy goes to the Bukima sector as the lodging for this package is Mikeno lodge for three nights, one night at Bukima tented camp then and overnight at the Nyiragongo summit in the shelters.
Highlights of the Great Ape Package with Nyiragongo hike
- Day 1: Pick up from Kigali/ Goma and transfer to Goma
- Day 2: First gorilla trek
- Day 3: Second gorilla trek
- Day 4: Chimpanzee trek
- Day 5: Nyiragongo Hike
- Day 6: Descend and transfer back to Kigali/Goma
Detailed Tour Itinerary
Day 1: Pick up from Kigali/ Goma and transfer to Goma
You will be met by a driver guide who will welcome you, give you a brief and then set off for your 5-hour ride from Kigali City to Goma border to check in with the Virunga tourism office that is located in the Grande Barrier. Here you will show your visa, yellow fever vaccination card and also collect your Gorilla trekking permits, chimpanzee trekking permit, and the Nyiragongo hike permit.
You will then join the convoy to move from Goma to Rumangabo – Bukima gorilla sector where you will spend your first night at Mikeno lodge. You will spend the evening at leisure either bird watching, reading a novel or even have a short guided village walk as you wait for dinner.
Day 2: First gorilla trek
Early morning after your breakfast at the prestigious Mikeno lodge, you will set off from the lodge in anticipation for your first gorilla trekling experience. You will be driven to the Bukima Ranger post which is the start for the gorilla trek and also where the brief before any trekker starts the gorilla trek. This search for the gorillas is usually a 1 and half hour to 2-hour trek before you are in the gorilla’s vicinity. You will spend 1-hour maximum studying the gorillas, also can take photos but without a flash and also ensure to maintain a distance as guided by the rangers.
After the trek, connect for lunch at Bukima tented Camp where you will have lunch and spend the rest of the day. Read a book or relax with the view of the volcanoes in line. Dinner and overnight will be Bukima Tented camp.
Day 3: Second gorilla trek
By 8:30, set out for your second gorilla trek, just like the day before, have a mini briefing then set out into the forest for yet another chance with the mountain gorillas.
Set back to Bukima tented camp for lunch and be transferred back to Mikeno lodge for the rest of the evening. Dinner and overnight will be at Mikeno lodge.
Day 4: Chimpanzee trekking
As early as 6:00 am you will be expected to be up for your chimpanzee trekking. This trek is more like a habituation experience for the chimps of Virunga National Park found in Mahura forest. This will take about 4 hours then later return to the accommodation for a late breakfast.
This day you may opt for an optional activity like visiting the Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage or have a village visit if you are feeling energetic or rest and shed off the fatigue from the constant treks as you anticipate for the next day’s hike. Dinner and overnight will be at Mikeno lodge/ Kibumba Tented Camp.
Day 5: Nyiragongo Hike
On this day, you will have your early morning breakfast and set off to the park headquarters by 8 am ready for your hike up the world’s largest lava lake. You will join other hikers, have a briefing and get porters and the necessities you may need overnight.
This hike will take about 5 to 6 hours with 2 resting points until you reach the summit. Spend the evening enjoying the views of the boiling magma. Dinner and overnight at the summit
Day 6: Descend and transfer back to Kigali/ Goma
Have a simple breakfast and descend the mountain by around 11 am be at the Bukima ranger post and connect to Goma or Kigali for drop off. If you have time, you may do a city tour of Kigali town of Goma town.
End of the Great Ape Package with Nyiragongo hike