15 days / 14 nights
Discover a land of incredible beauty, as rich in wildlife and flora as it is in the hospitality of its inhabitants and the only place in the world where one can approach gorillas and chimpanzees in their natural environment and admire the lava lake of a volcano in turmoil at an altitude of 3.470m. This responsible travel itinerary will make you discover or re-discover beautiful areas while participating in the development and revival of this region. A journey that is secure and organised by specialists of the region!
Day 1 : Kigali
You will be welcomed and greeted at the Kigali airport. Registration at the excellent and very known “Mille Collines” hotel **** a magnificent area filled with exciting history located in the capital of Rwanda.
Day 2 : Kigali - Goma
Depart to Gisenyi through the beautiful roads of the ‘Mille collines’ (thousand hills), 3h drive, stop to eat a “brochette and a Sambusa” and visit a traditional brick production site and the nice Kiaka art workshop. Lunch and spend the early afternoon at the Serena Hotel**** where lies the most beautiful white beaches of Rwanda. Transfer to the DRC where a warm welcome awaits you in Goma. Registration, dinner and accomodation at the Caritas Guest House** or at the Kivu Lake lodge ***, both located along the Kivu Lake.
Day 3 : Goma - Bukima
Visit the Don Bosco Ngangi centre, home to over 3.000 street children, child soldiers, … and which is supported by CTT. City tour of Goma and visit the Mount Goma. Lunch at the « Petit Bruxelles ». Travel to the north to the Virunga National Park, towards Rutshuru, along the volcanoes Nyiragongo and Nyiamulagira and through the lava fields resulting from the volcanic eruption of 2002. Stop at the vegetable market of Kibumba. Visit the gorilla’s rehabilitation program in Rumangabo. Registration at the new and luxurious Mikeno lodge**** situated in the primary forest of the Virunga National Park, home to baboons, colobuses and other monkeys you will be able to see from your rooms! Or reach Bukima where you’ll get a full panoramic view of the volcanoes where the mountain gorillas reside. Dinner and overnight stay in tents* (mattresses and sleeping bags).
Day 4 : The Mountain gorillas
After a 2 to 3h trek through tropical forests, you’ll be treated to an unforgettable sight and moments spent in the company of the mountain gorillas of Bukima in the Virunga National Park. You’ll most likely be able to approach them and almost touch them!! Late lunch next to the volcano in Bukima. Dinner and accommodation at Bukima camp* or at the Mikeno Lodge****.
Day 5 : The Chimpanzees in Tongo
In the primary forest of Tongo, lying on a 300 years old lava flow of the Nyiaragongo volcano, you would observe a second species of primates living in their natural habitat. There you will be able to observe many chimpanzee families playing and hunting for food in there natural environment of the Tongo Forest. Lunch at the lodge Mikeno and way back to Goma. Dinner and overnight stay at the Caritas Guest House** or at the Lake Kivu lodge***.
Day 6 : Lake Kivu – Plantations - Masisi
Departure in the morning by boat on Lake Kivu to Sake’s bay. Here you will be offered exceptional views of the volcano and the north coast of the lake and its coffee plantations.. Barbecue lunch in a beautiful private property located along the Lake! Later on, you will be driven by jeep to the Masisi, a beautiful alpine region also known as the little Switzerland of Kivu. Here you will be able to witness stunning views all around! Dinner and accomodation on a hill top in the lovely Mushaki Guest House. It is possible, on a clear day, to observe the horizon from dozens of miles away!
Day 7 : Masisi – Goma
Spend an enjoyable morning in this beautiful area with its magnificent views and landscapes! Walks, visit of a village, a farm, a butter and delicious cheese manufacturer…, there is even the possibility of horse riding! Return to Goma and visit on the way the large market of Sake. Visit in the afternoon the projects of Inuka and Kila Siku of the association "En Avant les Enfants", which consists in projects of rehabilitation for young girls and women in distress, and are supported by Kivu Travel. Dinner and overnight stay at the Caritas Guest House** or at the Lake Kivu lodge***. Local traditional dancers will embellish you with songs and dances.
Day 8 : Volcan Nyiragongo
Departure towards Rutshuru, through the lava fields. Climb the active Nyiragongo volcano (3.470m in altitude) for about 5h. A picnic is provided along the way! You will be welcomed at the summit by your private chef with a great dinner. Overnight stay at the summit in little chalets. All the night, you will observe breathtaking and unforgettable views of the boiling lava crater.
Day 9 : Nyiragongo - Goma
Get an early start to the day and watch the sun rise between the Karisimbi and Visoke volcanoes. After an invigorating breakfast complete with bacon and eggs, climb down the volcano and find yourself amidst magnificent and extremely diversified volcanic flora. The afternoon is either free to rest along the Kivu lake or you will get the chance to extend the city-tour of Goma. Dinner at the restaurant « Le Chalet », and then overnight stay at the Caritas Guest House ** or at the Lake Kivu lodge ***.
Day 10 : Kivu lake - Bukavu
Enjoy a boat ride on the beautiful Kivu lake in the direction of Bukavu. Cruise along the splendid banks of the lake Kivu and its central island Idjwi. Sitting on the upper deck of the boat, get a full view of the beautiful landscapes. Lunch will be served on board. Upon arrival, visit the town of Bukavu. Accommodation and dinner will be at the hotel Horizon** or at the Orchids Safari Club****, a true jewel amongst hotels in Kivu that reserves the very best of tables in east DRC!
Day 11 : Bukavu or lowland gorillas
Visit the town of Bukavu and the nearby plantations of tea in a tea production site Or Departure in the morning by jeep towards the Kahusi-Biega National park. After trekking through the rain forest, you’ll have the privilege of observing at close quarters a family of plain gorillas in their natural habitat! Picnic along the lake and return to Bukavu by pirogue if time and weather allow. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel Horizon ** or at the Orchids Safari Club ****.
Day 12 : Bukavu – Nyungwe
Departure to Rwanda in the morning and reach the Nyungwe primary forest. Registration, lunch and dinner at the Nyungwe Guest House* or at the very luxurious Nyungwe Forest Lodge***** located at the edge of the forest. (http://www.nyungweforestlodge.com). Take a walk through the Nyungwe forest or rest in the luxurious surroundings of this high quality lodge where you’ll enjoy a great “Spa” environment!
Day 13 : Nyungwe Forest – Clobuses
Take a walk through the vast tea fields till you reach the primary forest where you’ll be welcomed by a group of 50 colobus (a 1h walk). Lunch at the lodge. Free afternoon for rest, massages to enjoy this beautiful place… or if you wish take a new ride through the primary forest to observe many species of monkeys. Dinner and accommodation at the Nyungwe Guest House* or at the Nyungwe Forest Lodge*****.
Day 14 : Nyungwe - Kibuye
In the morning, drive along the Kivu lake up to a beautiful seaside resort at Kibuye, an area known as the « Ha Long Bay » of Rwanda. Extra possibility of water sports such as waterskiing, kayaking and boat. Registration, dinner and accomodation at the Cormoran Lodge***, a brand new lodge located along the Kivu Lake. It’s entirely built of wood and offers a stunning view on the lake and the surroundings islands. ( http://www.cormoranlodge.com ).
Day 15 : Kibuye - Kigali
Depart in the morning to Kigali with a stop at Gitarama. Lunch at Kigali and visit of the very moving memorial of the 1994 genocide. Transfer to the airport and flight back.