The Rutshuru Expedition
The Rutshuru Expedition safari package offers the best of Virunga National Park minus the Nyiragongo volcano trek. This safari package includes one night stay at the amazing Mikeno Lodge, nestled in the heart of the Mahura Forest at the Park’s Headquarter in Rumangabo.
You will enjoy a one night stay in the gorilla sector at Bukima Tented Camp where guests will be able to see the endangered mountain gorillas. The guests will then head back to Mikeno Lodge for two additional nights’ before they set off for the savannas of the Ishasha Valley for a three night stay at Lulimbi Tented Camp. The Rutshuru Expedition finishes off with a two nights’ stay on the amazing Tchegera Island Retreat.
Day 1: Guests are expected to arrive at Grande Barriere border crossing by 10:30am. They will then ensure they check-in with the Virunga tourism office by 11:15 am. The tourism office is conveniently located in the Grande Barriere border post building, opposite passport control. The guests will be provided with gorilla permits as they check in by the tourism board. These permits act as passes to allow you access the national park and must be presented before the start of each trek. Guests will then be transported to Mikeno Lodge at the Park headquarters in Rumangabo. When the guests reach mikeno lodge, they will be served a late lunch & the afternoon can be enjoyed at leisure, including exploring Rumangabo’s several nature trails, bird watching or paying a visit to Virunga’s Congo hounds.
Day2: After an early breakfast at Mikeno Lodge, guests will set off for the gorilla trek at Bukima Ranger Post. When the travelers reach mikeno lodge, they will meet their Ranger guides and receive a briefing about gorilla trek. The gorilla treks usually take about 3 hours of hiking each way. The hike difficulty usually depends on the location of the group that is being trekked and the smoothness of the terrain. When the travelers come into contact with the gorillas, they are allowed to spend 1 hour with the gorillas observing and after the 1 hour, the trekkers will return to Bukima camp where a late lunch will be served. Guests will have the rest of the afternoon off to explore Bukima, including bird watching and visiting the Park’s bamboo project.
Day 3: Guests will start their second gorilla trek in the morning at around 8:30 pm as they continue the Rutshuru Expedition. When the trekkers return, lunch will be served at Bukima camp when all the trekkers have returned from the hike. The guests shall be transferred back to Mikeno Lodge later and when they reach they will have for leisure, they will be free to relax on the lodge terrace or visit the gorilla orphans at the Senkwekwe Center.
Day 4: Guests will head out for a chimpanzee trekking activity as early as 6:00 am. Chimpanzee trekking is a unique experience that allows travelers to join our team as they study and habituate chimpanzees families found in the Mahura Forest surrounding Rumangabo. After a late breakfast meal, guests will be invited to spend the rest of the day at the Park headquarters exploring the surrounding environment or just relaxing with a book and cup of tea on the terrace of Mikeno Lodge.
Day 5: Guests will continue the Rutshuru Expedition and have an early breakfast at Mikeno Lodge. They will be transported to Lulimbi Tented Camp located on the southeastern shores of Lake Edward. Lunch will be served later on and then the guests are free to go out for an afternoon safari walk across the savanna of the Ishasha Plains. Guests are invited to relax with a sundowner on the banks of the Ishasha river in the evening where they will experience up close views of Lulimbi’s resident hippos.
Day 6: Guests will be invited on another safari walk after breakfast in the morning to explore some of the megafauna around Lulimbi as well as its abundant bird life. Returning to camp before the heat of the day hits, visitors will enjoy a leisurely lunch while admiring the resident hippos wallowing around in the Ishasha River and perhaps catch a glimpse of savanna elephants coming to drink at the water’s edge. A game drive shall be organised in the evening along the ishasha plains.
Day 7: One week into the the Rutshuru Expedition, the safari will continue and Guests will be invited to go bird watching after an early breakfast along the shores of Lake Edward. At this point there will be a nice BBQ served before heading back to the camp. Guests in the evening will be free to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to themselves.
Day 8: At Lulimbi camp, the guests will have an early morning breakfast and will then be driven to Kituku port in Goma Town where they will take a boat out to Tchegera Island Retreat. When the visitors arrive, they will settle in, have a hot shower and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Tchegera Island.
Day 9: This will be a leisure day where you will be engage in kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and nature walks are a relaxing way to pass the day.
Day 10: Breakfast will be served at Tchegera Island Retreat and later guests will be transported back to Goma Town where they will be dropped-off at the Grande Barriere border post. End of The Rutshuru Expedition.
Included in this package:
- Three nights accommodation at Mikeno Lodge
- Gorilla trek permit
- One night accommodation at Bukima Tented Camp
- Three night accommodation at Lulimbi Camp
- Two night accommodation at Tchegera Island Retreat and all transport to, from and within Virunga National Park once in country.
Not included in this package:
- Gratuities and anything of personal nature.
*RUTSHURU EXPEDITION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR BOOKING AT THIS TIME*