GOMA & VIRUNGA
Begin in Goma, with an expert Pelorus guide facilitating the immigration formalities before you immerse yourself in the Congo’s raw wilderness. Your first stop is the Senkwekwe Orphan Mountain Gorilla Center—the world’s only facility housing orphan gorillas. Here you’ll learn about the challenges faced by this species including rising instances of trafficking and poaching.
Head north to Virunga National Park. Among its savannahs, forests, swamps and the glaciated peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains are a stunning number of species. Of the roughly 700 mountain gorillas that still exist, it’s here that about a quarter of this number have made their home.
Accompanied by a tracker and led by passionate park rangers, you’ll plunge into the dense tropical foliage until you find yourself mere feet from the gorillas. Barely daring to breathe, you’ll watch these impressive primates as they interact in their social group.
NYIRAGONGO & LAKE KIVU
Hike next to Mount Nyiragongo with an expert guide and chef for company. Traversing lava fields and dense forest, you’ll arrive at the mesmerizing site of the world’s largest lava lake. Next to this incredible cauldron of molten rock and gases, you’ll check in to one of 12 shelters situated on the crater’s rim. Discover how lulling the sound of popping lava bubbles can be until you awaken to the incredible spectacle of a dawn in the Congalese wilds.
Kahuzi Biega National Park is your next destination. A journey through thick montane and bamboo leads to the largest of the four gorillas subspecies, Grauer’s gorilla. With its population numbers dropping dramatically, observing this Eastern Lowland primate in its natural habitat is an increasingly rare delight.
You’ll arrive afterwards at Lake Kivu—a tranquil lake fringed by volcanoes and verdant slopes of coffee, tea, and banana plantations. Travel across the water to the island of Tchergera—an isolated ecosystem full of intriguing species such as the Blue Monkey. Relax amid the natural beauty of the lake with walking, paddle boarding, or kayaking.
Transfer by plane to the Semliki River—a 140-mile meandering link between Central Africa’s Lake Edward and Lake Albert with stunning views of the country’s largest glaciers set amid permanently snowy peaks.