This safari starts with gorilla trekking in Kahuzi – Beiga national park where you will enter into the forest and start the search of habituated Eastern lowland gorillas for about 5 hours. Once you find the gorillas, spend one hour with the gorilla’s taking photographs and watching these gorillas as they go on with their daily activities in the forest.
The park is mainly composed of swamp and bog vegetation, marshland and riparian forests on hydromorphic ground at all altitudes. Much of the forest in Kahuzi-Biega national park is characterized by continuous vegetation from the summit of the mountains to the lowland regions. A corridor connects the highland section of the national park to the lowland section of the park.
Embark on gorilla trekking safari in Virunga national park: Have your breakfast in the morning, then be driven to Bukima police post for a briefing about all the necessary information that you need before penetrating the forest for a gorilla trekking walk. After the briefing, you will start the search of endangered mountain gorillas through different trails until you find them. Spend an hour with them which is the maximum time allowed with almost all primate species during trekking. In this one hour, you are free to take photographs and watch the gorillas as they move on roaming the forest in search of food. Trek back to Bukima where you will be picked and returned to your respective lodges for a relaxed evening, dinner, and overnight.
Enjoy the feeling of standing on the edge of a gigantic volcanic crater and staring at the red-hot bubbling lava lake that cannot be captured with a camera.
The most tiresome element are volcanic rocks that wobble under your feet but there is also the sheer distance and altitude factor. The good news is that you will not be in hurry. The trek is timed in a way that allows even a slow person to make it. You might take 7 hours instead of 4 but you will reach the crater and then have a night of rest before the descent. Your legs may hurt for some days afterwards but you will be fine.
You get a full body workout if you use two walking sticks actively on the way up. You don’t have to be old or have bad knees to use these things! Local artisans make hand-made wooden sticks for purchase right there at the base of the mountain. They are very artistic, with burnt-in etched designs.
Since your Nyiragongo hiking follows gorilla tracking, forget the idea that your ‘waterproof’ hiking boots will actually stay dry inside. The gorilla trail can turn into mud and your shoes will get that mud all over them, not just the soles. If you have the luxury of bringing two pairs go for it, or use the old trick of inserting plastic bags as a barrier between your socks and shoes to bring some relief when you set out to climb the volcanic marvel.
It is going to be freezing up there. Bring twice as many layers of clothes as you think you might need, and then some more. Pack some warm gloves for sure, and ideally pack an extra pair. The same apply to socks.