D.R. Congo Highlights
Summiting Mount Nyiragongo
Of all the volcanoes in the Virunga massif only two are active and both are found in Virunga National Park. Trekking to the summit of Mount Nyiragongo is truly exhilarating experience, when you top the crater rim and stare down into the world’s largest lava lake. The real spectacle comes into play once the sun has set, and darkness sweeps across the volcano. Then the luminous red lava glow cuts through the swirling smoke stack, allowing you to watch the mosaic molten rock flowing across the lake's surface.
The hike to the summit takes about six hours to complete for the ascension, with most groups camping overnight on the summit rim in simple thermal mountain huts. There is also a helipad close by to the summit, dramatically shortening the walk for those of helicopter safaris that don’t wish to hike or stay overnight. From the volcano top you are rewarded with expansive views across the park, over the surrounding Virunga volcanoes and across Goma to Lake Kivu in the distance.
Mountain Gorilla Trekking
D.R. Congo is known for its vast ancient rainforests, home to abundant wildlife including the rare mountain gorillas to be found in Virunga National Park. The gorilla sector in the south of the park is home to ten mountain gorilla families which have been habituated for tourism purposes. These gorilla families have been named; Humba, Mapuwa, Kabirizi, Rugendo, Bageni, Baraka, Nyakamwe, Munyaga, Lulengo & Wilungula.
For the gorillas safety the number of people tracking each family is limited to eight people per day and when with the gorillas face masks are provided to be worn as mountain gorillas are susceptible to human illnesses, such as the common cold. Depending on where the gorilla families are on the day of your trekking and so the terrain you’ll trek, it takes 1 - 2 ½ to track the mountain gorillas. On finding them you’ll have one hour in their company. Giving you the time to observe their behaviour in their natural habitat in ancient rainforests on volcano slopes. A truly magical experience as you watch them forage, play & socialise in their close family groups.