REVIEWS: Renting a Car in Uganda

There is no doubt that these two activities are the most exciting activities I have ever enjoyed in all my safaris in Africa and most importantly in Uganda. It was a ten day trip which took me time while preparing. We booked the flight plus all the requirements we were to use while on the tour as it was described by Moses a tour consultant at 4×4 Car Hire Uganda suitable agency.

On reaching Uganda we were given our vehicle which we had hired for a self drive and we went to Airport View Hotel, early in the morning of the following day after a warm break first we traveled to Mount Elgon National Park which took us almost 6hours on the way east of Kampala and Uganda at large, and at around 3pm we started our nature walks within the bamboo trails to Kapkwai caves. Throughout the hike we came across the different tree species and the rare bird species in this trail, view points to the different caves and waterfalls and this took us around three hours. while in the park

We had our overnight at Forest Exploration Center Banda’s and early in the morning, we headed to wanale through the Nabuyoga loop which gave us an alternative view point of the wagagi peak and the Jackson’s summit. Hiking in these areas took us around four hours; from there we went straight to Budadiri which was our shortest day hike among all the hikes we did around Mount Elgon national park.

This provided us with an opportunity of observing the Mudagi Cliffs and Sasa River; we also associated with the Bamasaba who are the main settlers along the steep slopes of the mountain. In the evening we came back to Forest Exploration Center Banda’s for an overnight, on the third day we headed to the park for a guided mountain climbing and we were provided with experienced park rangers who even gave us security during the course of our mountaineering.

We used the Sasa trail which was the shortest route to the peak, this took us four days and we started from Budadiri town approximately an elevation of 1250m from where we passed through the Bamasaba land to the peak. This was a tiresome activity but it was so interesting as on the peak one can see the world’s largest caldera which was formed by now an extinct volcano of Elgon long time ago.

With matters regarding accommodation, we used to camp around the demarcated areas on the slopes, we carried our food plus all other utilities including drinking water. The cold weather condition at the peak plus the blowing wind did not make us wonder because at that point it was as if we were at our homeland United Kingdom during the winter season. Therefore we were not affected a lot by the conditions.

The next day after enjoying the wonderful features at the peak we had to descend down the slopes which took us two days. In this process we interacted with the Bamasaba who showed to us how they prepare their favorite dish known as Malewa plus some of their cultural and traditional practices. On reaching at the park’s headquarters, we signed out and we had a tour around the Mbale town and in the evening, we went back to Entebbe for our departure.

What I can say about hiking in Uganda while doing a self drive tour is that it is so advantageous since it helps one to be physically fit and also share with the local people around. Hiking can be done in all the national parks of Uganda and therefore before hiking, one needs to be with hiking gadgets since Uganda’s rain is uncertain, so it can occur any time while in the action and even the paths being muddy during the rainy seasons. We carried rain jackets plus gumboots and these facilitated our movements throughout the deep bamboo forest.

How to Plan a Lifetime Gorilla Safari in Africa

Gorillas are threatened primate species in the world with the remaining living in Africa and in countries Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Known to be the largest living primates on Earth, Gorillas are of three kinds; 1) Eastern Lowland Gorillas, which reside in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; 2) Western Lowland Gorillas which live only in West Africa and: 3) Mountain Gorillas, which are only found in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Listed as one of the top 10 threatened / endangered species, there are only 655 species remaining. There are approximately 355 gorillas in the Volcano and Virunga Mountains of Rwanda and Congo and another separate group of 300 in Uganda’s Bwindi  Forest. There are no mountain gorillas living outside of their native mountain forest home. Gorillas are protected by international law. Capturing or killing gorillas and other endangered species is illegal.

Unlike chimps, Gorillas live in groups / families without territorial boundaries but with family’s range from 2 to 15 square miles. The females decide who they are going to allow into their family. If a gorilla wants to join another group and the females do not want her in, they will scratch her in the face and keep her out. If a female wants to leave a group to find a male she likes better, but the other females like her very much, they will grab her by the legs and not allow her to leave.

Female gorillas weigh approximately 350 pounds and adult male gorillas can weigh approximately 700 pounds. Adult gorillas can be seven feet tall with an arm span of 8 feet.

Gorillas feed on 58 different types of plant species, including stems, roots, leaves, flowers, thistles, ferns, tree wood and bamboo shoots. Gallium vines, fruits and celery are their favorite foods. Gorillas have much larger teeth in the back of their mouth than humans do so that they can grind foliage, bark and bamboo.

Gorillas like human are curious, they can be bored, bold, annoyed, have pleasure, excited, afraid, can worry, show affection, be thoughtful and they can be hostile. Gorillas like to study people to see if they are friendly.

Gorillas communicate by stomach rumbling which means they are contented, a pig grunt of harsh staccato grunts used when disciplining or complaining. A roar or scream is given when a gorilla is threatened. A loud hoot or roar is given when silverbacks are interacting. This is done by chest beating and thrashing of trees. When gorillas are afraid they send out a powerful odor from their glands.

Having endured decades of civil war in Central and East Africa, gorillas are confronted by the devastating consequences of increased habitat loss, poaching for the bush meat trade and the spread of dangerous diseases like Ebola. “These animals are Threatened” therefore make a tour to these countries to have a look at the few remaining primate giants before they are lost. Spend some time with them, they are awe-inspiring.

Gorilla tracking the Activity.

On the gorilla trekking D-day, travelers wake up early in the morning. Have an early breakfast and then transfer to the park headquarters for the briefing before you set off for a gorilla safari at 9:00 am through the tracks to search for the humble giants. You have to go with packed lunch as the time taken to before meeting the great apes is unpredictable. However the time ranges between 2-9 hours depending on the movement of the giant primates (Gorillas). The activity is tiresome, it involves walking along steep hilly tracks however encountering these great relatives of man erases all the poor memories/ hardships you went through in trying to find them.  They are awesome!

Safaris to see the gorillas of Africa can be arranged by various tour operators.

The Unforgettable Moments with Mountain Gorillas

Nothing in this world is better than encountering with a gorilla family in the tropical rain forests. Uganda offers visits to meet these primates in their regular living areas in the thrilling hills of south western Uganda secured with sodden thick and tall trees and a natural green cover.  Bwindi national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park are the two Uganda parks which harbor about a half of the remaining mountain gorillas on the planet more than 450 out of 900 mountain gorillas left on the planet live in Uganda. Tracking mountain gorillas in the virungas or Bwindi impenetrable national park is the best adventure one can have on a safari to Africa.

Amid the twentieth century, there was fear that these species will confront elimination taking after the patterns of authentic relics that are no more. This was a consequence of habitat loss, wars, poaching, and different other factors were among the significant difficulties that would see this presumption turn into a veracity and therefore gorilla safaris to Uganda would be no more. Appreciation goes to the government, ministry of tourism, the rangers who protect these mountain gorillas on the regular schedule and the nearby people particularly the individuals who live close to the parks for the continued contribution towards the survival of these few remaining primates on the planet.

Mountain Gorillas are gigantic creatures up to three times as cumbersome as the normal man, their size overstated by a shaggily flourishing coat. In spite of their fearsome appearance, gorillas are notably quiet animal and they can be trekked securely in their natural homes with no mischief brought on to human since they are well habituated and friendly to people. Almost everybody who visits the gorillas experiences an almost spiritual sound, gorillas are also eager to study the human visitor; a gentle giant will softly look into the eye of a human as if seeking a connection. Gorilla tracking is known as a remarkable and rewarding moment that travelers on a gorilla safari in Uganda can comfortably enjoy. Tracking in Uganda’s Bwindi takes place at around 1,500m above sea level, but in the Virungas the gorillas are often encountered at almost 3,000m.

Gorilla tracking is interesting despite the fact that somewhat difficult as meeting them relies on upon where they spent their last night from, the trails once in a while include going through sloppy and steep inclines and thick woodland, once tired don’t be hesitant to request that your guide stop a couple of minutes at whatever point you feel tired for snacks, or to request that the guide you an impermanent strolling stick to help you walk steadily. Keep in mind to put on your sturdiest walking shoes for the trek, and wear thick trousers and long sleeves as security against thorns. It’s frequently frosty in the woodland so bring a sweater or shirt. Ounce they are met you will overlook all the troublesome you’ve experienced and use the one hour you are just permitted to stay with these gorillas. Take the greatest number of photographs as you can in spite of the fact that a blaze camera is not permitted.

Uganda is a home to 12 habituated gorilla groups, one family Nyakagezi lives in Mgahinga gorilla national park; however it is inclined to straying into Rwanda for long stretches. The other 11groups are all situated in Bwindi impenetrable national park, trekking should be possible in four segments of the park including Buhoma with three gorilla family including Mubare, Rushegura, Habinyanya, and Buhoma is situated in the north side of the park. Ruhija part has additionally three gorilla family including Bitukura, Oruzogo and Kyaguriro. It’s situated in the upper east of Bwindi. The Rushaga side of the park likewise has five gorilla families including Nshongi, Mishaya, Kahungye, Bweza, Busingy, it’s situated in the south side of the park.   Nkuringo is situated in the south western side of Bwindi with one gorilla family known as Nkuringo. Trekking in all these families is done each day starting with reporting at the park headquarter, eight individuals are just permitted to visit these primates per group with an equipped guide. The expense for a gorilla trekking permit is as of now is at usd$650 in the high season and usd$350 amid the low seasons in the months of April, May and September.

Best 4 Places Where to See Gorillas

Of all the wildlife adventures in Africa, a trek to see mountain gorillas in the wild is undoubtedly one of a few most mind blowing experiences and for plans to visit this continent this coming season count it a must to include in your travel plan. Mountain gorillas only thrive within Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Worldwide, about 1004 of them are now left and can only be tracked while in their natural habitat.

In Uganda, gorilla trekking is only possible in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park making them the two national parks in the Pearl of Africa where one can catch a glimpse at these dramatic creatures. These 2 (two) protected areas are found in southwestern Uganda just at the border with the DRC. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park is reachable about 10 hours’ drive from Kampala or Entebbe. You drive via Kampala – Masaka – Mbarara route to Kabale. From Kabale -drive via Lake Bunyonyi to connect to Kabale-Kisoro main route about halfway at Muko. Ntebeko is Mgahinga’s main entry point just 14 kilometers from Kisoro. As well, you can connect to Mgahinga National Park on Bwindi side in the southern sector at Nkuringo and Rushaga. The habituated gorilla families in Uganda account for about 17 in total and they include Habinyanja, Mubare, Rushegura, Kyaguliro, Oruzogo, Kahungye, Busingye, Mishaya, Katwe, Christmas and many more.

In total, Uganda is a home to about half the number of mountain gorillas that are left out in the world. Permits in Uganda cost $600 and they can be obtained through a tour operator or the reservation office at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

Where to stay while on gorilla safari in Uganda

For visitor overnight stay while on gorilla safari, the notable lodges include Buhoma lodge, Bwindi Volcano Lodge, Mahogany springs, Gorilla forest camp, Mount Gahinga Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort, Engagi Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Lake Kitandara Tented Camp, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Cuckoo land Lodge and many others.

In Rwanda, this life changing experience is only done in Volcanoes National Park. This park lies suitably in northwestern Rwanda about 2 to 3 hours’ drive from Kigali. This park covers an area of about 160 square kilometers forming part of the Great Virunga Conservation Area that also includes Mgahinga National Park in Uganda and Virunga National Park in the DR Congo. It is situated within Musanze village which also called Ruhengeri and besides gorilla trekking, you can also embark on other important activities like golden monkey tracking, Bisoke Volcano hike, Dian Fossey tomb hike, exploring the twin Lakes of Bulera and Ruhondo.  The available lodges for visitor stay on gorilla trip in volcanoes national park include Bisate lodge, Sabyinyo silverback lodge, Virunga lodge, mountain gorilla view lodge, Kinigi guesthouse and others.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, you pay a visit to the Virunga National Park which is situated in the eastern side. This UNESCO World Heritage Site shelters about a third the population of mountain gorillas that exist on earth today. A side from mountain gorillas, the 7800 square kilometers’ protected also inhabits other incredible wildlife species such as golden monkeys, chimpanzees and many bird species. For gorilla experiences, treks are conducted in habituated families such as Mapuwa, Humba, Rugendo, Lulengo, Nyakamwe, Bageni, Munyaga, Kabirizi and others. Besides, you can also embark on eastern lowland gorilla safaris in Kahuzi Biega National park. This UNESCO site expands for over 6000 square kilometers making it a few largest parks in Africa. While on gorilla trekking tour in this park the habituated groups for you to track include Mpungwe and Mankoto group. The cost for tracking mountain gorillas in DR Congo is the same as that of tracking the eastern lowland gorillas. The eastern lowland gorillas also thrive within Maiko National park in DR Congo.

Other destinations for you to see gorillas include Nigeria where you can view the cross river gorillas, Equatorial Guinea at Monte Alen National Park where there are lowland gorillas, Gabon-at Moukalaba Doudon National Park, Angola a home to lowland gorillas and many more.

In conclusion, there are many places that you can pay a visit that reward travel endeavors with thrilling gorilla experiences but to view mountain gorillas in particular-Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are the only exceptional options that exist for you.

Top 10 Things to See on Safari in Uganda

Uganda has a good number of tourist attractions offering wide range of things for tourists to see and this make it on one of the most exceptional safari destinations in the East African region with a good number of the big five game, the rare mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, the amazing volcanoes, Mountains of the Moon and many more. Uganda is undoubtedly a primate destination with over 480 mountain gorillas compared to its counterparts taking about half of the world’s population which is about 900. Also features the biggest number of chimpanzees in East Africa with more than 5000within its varied habitat and over 1500 of them thriving in only Kibale Forest National Park which describes it the capital of primates in East Africa given all the 13 primate species all thrive in its jungle. Uganda also refuges the rare golden monkeys which all describe this incredible destination the primate world. It also comes with abundant wildlife, scenic wonders and the most humble and hospital people. With variety of things to view on a Uganda safari, it is not accidental for this country to be called the “Pearl of Africa.” It is only in Uganda where one spends all the 4 hours and the entire day with chimpanzees, golden monkeys and the rare mountain gorillas while on Habituation Experience.

Below is a list of top things for you to see while on safari in Uganda

Most of the tourist attractions in Uganda are confined within its ten national parks each with distinct features as can be seen below;

Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi & Mgahinga

Uganda is a habitat to more than 480 mountain gorillas, representing about half of the population that thrives on earth with about 400 of them in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and 80 in Mgahinga National Park. Mountain gorillas have become the most sought after Apes in the world today making Uganda one of the only three most incredible countries by trekkers to realize their dreams. Make your dream come true while on gorilla trekking adventure in only one hour of face to face encounter with a group of these dramatic Apes in their natural habitat. Alternatively, you can spend all the four hours and entire day with a group of mountain gorillas while on Gorilla Habituation Experience. Beyond mountain gorillas, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is also a home to chimpanzee, over 360 bird species, mammals, reptiles, 220 butterflies, different tree and plant species and many more that wait for you to explore.

The top things to see in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Mgahinga National Park is Uganda’s second destination where you can strike imaginations with not only the rare mountain gorillas but also with the unique golden monkeys, volcanoes, bird species, Batwa cultural encounters and many more. This park offers refuge to 3 distinct Virunga Mountain ranges locally known as the Mufumbiro which gives hikers and climbers opportunity to par take hiking adventures in the park, engage in cultural encounters along the Batwa trail and meet the ancient Batwa pygmies who count not more than 3000 today. These incredible people lived in the forest for centuries and now they are marginalized people around the Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

This feature among Uganda’s most sought after safari destinations. It refuges mainly the rare tree climbing lions that you can sight at Ishasha sector, variety of wildlife including African elephants, Buffaloes, Leopards, crocodiles, the largest number of hippos in Africa, chimpanzees in the lost valley of western Rift-Kyambura Gorge, antelopes, birds of about 620, stunning Crater Lakes, rainforests and incredible people around the park all waiting for you to encounter in person.

Murchison Falls National Park

This is Uganda’s biggest protected area and features the largest number wildlife with its strongest waterfalls known as Murchison falls. It is perfect destination for you to see large numbers of African elephants, Lions, Buffaloes, Antelope family, Leopards, Giraffes, Savanna with Borassus palm trees which you not see in other parks in East Africa, Nile crocodiles, Hippos, Nile monitor Lizards and not to forget over 450 bird species including the rare shoebill stork.

Things to see in Budongo Forest

This is part of Murchison Falls National Park. There is a lot more to explore in this tropical rainforest right from chimpanzees, birds, and other wildlife species as well as several unique tree species and many more. This can be sighted while on Chimpanzee Habituation Experience or nature walk which leads you to the Catholic Church set up by Polish refugees during the Second World War.

Primates of  Kibale Forest

Located in western Uganda, Kibale National Park is exceptionally the capital of primates in East Africa. Over 13 primate species call this park their home including the chimpanzees that represent over 1500 out of 5000 that are estimated to live in Uganda. There are also other wildlife species which include birds that make up 370 species including the rare Green breasted pitta, crowned eagle, dusky crimson wing, Abyssinian ground thrush, black capped apalis, purple breasted sunbird and many more; 70 mammals (elephants, buffaloes, hippos and many more); over 200 butterflies, tree and plant species.

Wildlife in Kidepo Valley National Park

Kidepo Valley National Park lies in Northeastern Uganda and features as the third largest safari destination in Uganda. While on safari, you will sight 475 birdlife including the karamoja apalis, black breasted barbet, pygmy falcon, long tailed and standard winged nightjars, ostriches and many more; as well as bat eared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf, caracal, cheetah and hunting dog, elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, 5 species of primates, trees and plant species. This ranks the second destination with the largest number of birds and ranked the third best destination for tourists to visit by CNN.

Top things to see in Lake Mburo National Park

This is one of the smallest savanna protected areas in Uganda that offers visitors a chance to see the burchell zebras, endangered Rothschild giraffes, lions, leopards, buffaloes and many more. There are also over 350 bird species including the shoebill stock.

Top tings to see in Semuliki National Park

This park is credited for its amazing wildlife and the hot springs. While on safari, you will sight over 63 mammals, nine of which include the diurnal forest primates like chimpanzees, olive baboons, blue monkeys and vervets. You will also sight forest bee crofts flying squirrel, little collared fruit bat, buffaloes, blue duiker, pigmy squirrel and water chevrotain. There are over 374 bird species to be sighted, 81 moth species and many others.

The Mist Covered Rwenzori Mountains National Park

The Rwenzori Mountains of the Moon features as the tallest mountain range in Africa taller than the Alps of Europe, and good for hikers and climbers. There are various trails that lead to the mountains peaks including the Mahoma trail which lead visitors to Lake Mahoma. Other protected areas include Mount Elgon National Park and the Sipi falls, the source of the Nile at Jinja and Lake Victoria which features among the seventh natural wonder of Africa, Ssese islands that make up 84 tropical islands, Lakes especially Lake Bunyonyi where you will sight over 29 islands, Lake Victoria, Lake Mutanda, the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary which is perfect for rhino viewing, Entebbe Wildlife Education Centre for a variety of wildlife and birdlife, Kampala for birding in Mabamba swamp, Mabira rain forest, Ssezibwa waterfalls, Kasubi tomb site, Bahai temple, Wamala tombs and many others.

Hot springs

While on safari do not miss to see over 8 (eight) hot spring that are in Uganda some of which include the Sempaya, Kitagata, Nyasimbi, Amoropii, Rwagimba, Buranga, Kibiro, Ihimba hot springs. These hot springs are of significant value as they are known for their healing power.

Waterfalls

Besides wildlife, there are also a number of waterfalls for you to view on safari in Uganda and they include the Sipi falls, Murchison falls, Ssezibwa falls, Kisizi falls, Bujagali falls, Ripon falls, Karuma falls and many more.

Uganda is indeed natural paradise that you should not miss while in Uganda. There is a lot more in offer for visitors to sight while on safari to this remarkable destination.  For more information, check out the Uganda Guide, a complete resource for planning a vacation to Uganda. Other attractions worthy adding to your bucketlist include the Virunga Volcanoes and golden monkeys of Mgahinga, the UNESCO world heritage site of Kasubi Tombs, cultural heritage sites and museums, etc.

 

Planning a Gorilla Tour in Rwanda

Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa when it comes to size but in nature and tourism it is a very rich nation with vast wildlife. The mountain gorillas are one of the tourism product that make it very famous since these animals are a beauty to watch and hang around with them and also they are almost getting extinct. Many people are coming to Rwanda to eagerly see these animals before they become history. Although gorillas are awesome to see one has to plan for a gorilla tour to be enjoyable for him/her.

Before you take up a gorilla tour you have to get all the information about Rwanda and its tourism industry that is the visa requirements, accommodation facilities, the money currency, people and their culture, the weather and many more. One can get this information from friends who have ever been to Rwanda, tourism magazines and also through the internet.

Then after you seek information about core reason as to why you have to go to Rwanda that is the gorillas. Here you will get to know the history of gorillas in Rwanda, how they behave and more so the places they inhabit in Rwanda that is the volcanoes national park sometimes written Parc National des Volcans. This will help you to get what you will need like cameras, back pack, jungle boots, clothes and many more tools.

Booking the gorilla permit. You have to book a permit as early as possible and it is usually advisable for the period to be like 6 months before the real tracking date although last minute booking are often done. You will have to contact Rwanda development Agency for booking and it can also be done through a tour company with many available. As long as you are 15 years and above you are eligible for gorilla trekking. Normally in July, August, and September the competition is high for the gorilla permits so bear in mind while planning, with a gorilla permit going for USD 750 per permit all year round. Seasonal prices for gorilla permits only apply to Uganda where a permit costs USD 450 in April, May and November and USD 600 for the rest of the year.

Planning for your transportation to the gorilla trekking; you will need a 4×4 vehicle since the national parks are found in remote areas so the roads are muddy and raged. So you can hire a land cruiser, rav4 or a safari van in case you are many.

Alternatively you can take a public vehicle from Kigali to Musanze town where you will hire a special cab of 4×4 that will lead you to volcanoes national park.

Booking where to stay during gorilla trekking. As you go for a gorilla trek you will need where to sleep after gorilla trekking for example you taking a 3 days safari. There are many hotels and lodges situated in Rwanda since the national parks are near Kigali you can book a hotel in the city. There are hotels like; Hotel Des Mille Collines, Kigali Serena Hotel, Hotel Chez Lando, Grand Legacy Hotel and many more.  One can opt to stay near the national park with many hotels of choice depending on your budget and these include; Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Kinigi Guest House and for high end travelers consider Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Mountain Gorilla Nest (Jack Hanna House) and Volcanoes Virunga Lodge.

Hiring helpers or porters and trekking. Normally you will need porters for carrying your packs and walking sticks since moving around the hilly terrains is hectic. It takes a lot of time to find the gorillas as sometimes it can take like 5 hours to the gorillas.

Finally joining the gorilla trekking to get ready for the excursion around the hilly bushes to the huge primates. You will be guided by the gorilla patron.

Good planning can really make your gorilla tour in Rwanda enjoyable and educative.

Congo Gorilla Trek & Mount Nyiragongo Hike

A visit to Virunga National Park combines two of the most unique offers in DR Congo including mountain gorillas trekking and Nyiragongo volcano hike. These two unique activities are magical encounters that are a dream of every adventurous world travellers. Look, you can do this trip much less expensively and simply with budget gorilla safaris, we book the circuit Bukima tented Lodge for the gorilla hikes; Mikeno (luxury) Lodge; the climb up Nyiragongo with an overnight in the summit shelters; and finishing with some time at the tented Techegera Island Lodge) with the park itself.

The safari commences with a transfer from Kigali to Gisenyi the largest of all Lake Kivu towns. The town offers beautiful beach environment suitable for relaxation. Lake Kivu offers a boat cruise at the shores of the lake to see a range of islands, bird species with unique characteristics, colour and attributes and overlooking Nyiragongo volcano. While at this settle for lunch after which you cross the Congo border to Goma in the province of North Kivu and then to Virunga National Park with an overnight at Mikeno lodge.

Early morning you wake up and take your breakfast, you then undertake the hike to the Nyiragongo volcano. The beautiful morning is set to embark on the day long adventure hike to one of the few remaining active and violent volcanoes on African continent featuring the most fluid and expanse lava lake on global scale. It is one of the most active volcanoes in Africa, and one of eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains. The main crater is about 2km wide and usually contains a lava lake which appears in the summit crater.

Nyiragongo has three subsequent eruptive histories from 1977, 1994 and 2002 the most recent eruption where 147 people were killed. During this eruption lava flows moved through the city of Goma on the shores of Lake Kivu destroying 13% of the city and approximately 12,000 to 15,000 homes displaced hundreds of thousands of people flows entered Lake Kivu and posed a threat of releasing the CO2 and CH4 stored within the lake.

After a safety brief and final check of everyone’s packs and equipment you begin the climb towards Mount Nyiragongo’s summit. The group will be lead and escorted by a set of rangers/guides and a small contingent of porters. The Nyiragongo hike is very rewarding last 6-7 hours and backbreaking and habitually in humid and rough conditions, save for the trail is reasonably simple and not extremely steep; expecting to see rare species of birds and animals such as monkeys, bushbucks and chimpanzees alongside the track and the sight whilst you arrive at the apex, is eye-catching.

The overnight is spent at the crater rim and the best views of the lava lake occur at night. You are now standing on the lava flow remnants of Mount Nyiragongo’s 2002 eruption.