The Great Ape Pacage
Of the numerous packages for Virunga National Park, our Great Apes package is one of the must-do and involves visiting two species of Great Apes-endangered Mountain gorillas and Chimpanzees. Double gorilla treks and chimpanzee tour are the two main adventures but other options activities such as bird watching, nature walks around Rumangabo and visit to the Bamboo project should also be expected. While this protected Area in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is a renowned stronghold for mountain gorillas, there are also chimpanzees alongside forest elephants, forest buffaloes, Okapi, mongoose, civets, warthogs, genets as well as numerous bird species. Starting and ending in Goma Town, this package is 5 days/4 nights of which one night will be spent at the stupendous Mikeno Lodge, another one night at Ngila Safari Lodge and the last two nights will be back at Mikeno Safari Lodge.
Day 1: Grande Barriere Border crossing to Virunga National Park
The meeting or pick-up point for this trip is Grande Barriere Border crossing where visitors are expected to arrive by a half past eleven, so as to complete check-in process at Virunga Tourism Office by a half past noon. This check-in process also comes along acquiring permits for gorilla and chimpanzee treks that have to be presented before treks begin. This is later followed by transfer to the booked place of lodging (Mikeno Lodge) to freshen-up, have lunch and later overnight.
Day 2: First gorilla trekking tour in Virunga National Park
There is no better way to start a gorilla trek than having hefty breakfast followed by meeting at the Bukima Ranger Post for pre-tracking briefing before the start of gorilla treks. You will need 1-3 hours of determined walking to finally find the allocated gorilla group. One hour is all you have for interaction through photography and learning their behavior then head to Ngila Lodge for Lunch, and overnight will also be here. Rest for a short while and later explore the optional activities such as tours of the Bamboo project, birding and guided nature walks around Rumangabo.
Day 3: Undertake the second thrilling gorilla trek in Virunga National Park
The second gorilla trek within Virunga National Park begins by 8:00am after breakfast and eventually briefing at Bukima Ranger Post. On finalizing the trek and spending time with the mountain gorillas, be at Ngila Lodge for a quick lunch and later return back to Mikeno Lodge. Freshen-up and later unwind at the Lodge terrace, explore the spectacular Park Headquarters or the bamboo project.
Day 4: Chimpanzee trekking Tour and tour of Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage
The chimpanzee trek will begin earlier and therefore make sure to have finished breakfast by 5:30am then converge at the trailhead by 6:00am. Join the team of researchers studying and habituating the Great Ape troops living within Mahura Forest around Rumangabo. Lunch will be served at the Lodge to allow you head to the Gorilla Orphanage to spend time with some of the orphaned gorillas from poaching. Dine and rest at Mikeno Lodge.
Day 5: Transfer back to Goma Town
This is sadly the last day of the 5-day Great Apes Package, starting with breakfast then transfer back to Goma Town as well as drop-off at Grande Barriere Border crossing.