Small Group Safari

Wild Primate Safari in the DRC

A pioneering adventure safari to the Democratic Republic of Congo encountering eastern lowland gorillas, mountain gorillas and chimpanzees while learning about the vital conservation projects undertaken by the local rangers to protect these species.

Duration 11 days
Price From $5,976
When Year Round
Destination DRC

Safari Overview

Venture to the rugged landscapes of the Democratic Republic of Congo to become one of the privileged few to encounter eastern lowland and mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The Eastern Lowland Gorilla that can be found in South Kivu is the only remaining population in existence across the globe. Moving north, trek through the Virunga mountains to spend time with the endangered mountain gorillas of Virunga National Park whilst learning about their daily habits and rituals as well as the important conservation work that takes place within the region.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Track two populations of endangered gorillas; the eastern lowland gorillas of Kahuzi Biega and the mountain gorillas of Virunga National Park

  • Take in the wild landscapes of the DRC
  • Visit the gorilla orphans of Mikeno and the Widows Project

  • Optional visit to the Lwiro Primate Sanctuary

forget the things you think you know about drc and experience wildlife and natural beauty on this pioneering safari.

Ask us a question about this trip

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Kigali

Arrive into Kigali in Rwanda where you will be met by your in-country guide and transferred to Cyangugu where you will cross the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo. From here, you will pass through customs and immigration before a short transfer to the comfortable Orchids Hotel.

Day 2

Gorilla Tracking in Kahuzi Beiga

Wake early ready to begin your DRC adventure. From the Orchids Hotel in Bukavu, travel into Kahuzi Beiga where you will enjoy your first eastern lowland gorilla trek. It may take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to find the gorillas but when you do, you will be able to truly enjoy your first experience of DRC’s gorillas. After spending time with these majestic primates, head back to the Orchids Hotel for some time to relax by the lakeside or have a drink on the verandah.

Day 3

Activities around Kahuzi Beiga

Today you have another chance to track the endangered lowland gorillas of Kahuzi Biega, or alternatively travel further west to the hidden gem of Lwiro Primate Sanctuary. Unknown to the masses, Lwiro is responsible for the care and rehabilitation of 72 individual chimpanzees and 11 species of 92 different monkeys, all victims of either the pet trade or poaching. This afternoon return to your hotel to relax and take in the events of the day.

Day 4

Bukavu - Goma

An early start this morning as you catch the ‘quick boat’ northwards across Lake Kivu to the town of Goma. An enjoyable boat ride with a chance to admire the scenery along the way, before arriving at the lovely Lake Kivu Lodge. Relax and prepare for the adventures of the next few days.

Overnight: Lake Kivu Lodge B, L, D

Day 5

Goma - Nyiragongo

This morning you depart the comfort of your hotel and set off for Kibati where you commence the climb of Mount Nyiragongo. An approximately 4-5 hour climb, take in the surrounding views as you reach the summit of one of the only remaining active volcanoes on the African continent. Enjoy a hearty meal before trekking a few minutes further to the crater rim where you can look down into the fire pit of Nyiragongo itself.

Overnight: Mount Nyiragongo Summit Huts B, L, D

Day 6

Nyiragongo - Mikeno

One last glimpse of the lava lake this morning before descending the mountain back to Kibati where your vehicle is waiting. Driving further north you arrive at the lovely Mikeno Lodge situated in the heart of Rumangabo, the anti-poaching headquarters of Eastern DRC, and the base for your gorilla tracking over the next few days. Relax, take in your surroundings and prepare for the next stage of your adventure.

Overnight: Mikeno Lodge B, L, D

Day 7

Cultural activities around Mikeno

A slower day today in order to recover from your climb, you have the chance to visit the local Widow’s Project as well as the blood hound unit of the base. These are key projects to this region and the future of the park. A community project for the wives of the fallen rangers, the widows project supports families and individuals following the loss of their loved ones. The bloodhound canine unit is key in tracking poachers and combatting the illegal pet trade.

Overnight: Mikeno Lodge B, L, D

Days 8-9

Mountain Gorilla Tracking

Spend the next two days enjoying the comfort of the lovely Mikeno Lodge and tracking the endangered mountain gorillas of DRC. Each morning you transfer approximately 1.5 hours to the park headquarters, where you are allocated your gorilla group and set off in pursuit of some of the most endangered primates left on the planet. Spending an hour with these gentle giants is a truly unique experience and one that you will never forget. Afternoons can be spent back at your lodge relaxing and reminiscing over the amazing work that is taking place in this region.

Overnight: Mikeno Lodge B, L, D

Day 10

Mikeno - Tchegera

This morning you say goodbye to Mikeno Lodge and make your way back south to the shores of Lake Kivu. Boarding a small boat you transfer a short distance to the peaceful island of Tchegera. Spend the afternoon winding down and taking in your surroundings. As the night descends and the glow of the lava lake of Nyiragongo burns from the distant peak, take the time to digest the activities of the last week or so and reflect on the diversity of this remarkable remote region.

Overnight: Tchegera Island Tented Camp B, L, D

Day 11

Depart DRC

This morning you transfer back to the mainland where your vehicle is waiting to transfer you back to the DRC/Rwanda border and onwards to your international flight back home. For those that wish to, why not extend your safari on the opposite side of the Virunga Volcanoes and track the gorillas again, or journey south to the burgeoning park of Akagera and its recently repopulated pride of lions or family of rhinos.

Trip Details

About tailor-made safaris

A tailor-made safari is one designed according to your specific requirements, including budget, dates, personal interests, the number of people travelling, and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and altered to make it perfect for you.

Read NWS MD Will Bolsover's DRC Safari Blog for more of an insight into this safari!

Your Next Steps

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our Democratic Republic of Congo safaris.
Download our free guide Request a detailed itinerary