5 Days Great Ape Virunga safari
5 Days Great Ape Virunga safari: 5 days in Virunga visiting the mountain gorillas and trekking the chimpanzees is the a great primate safari in Congo. Book this tour any day of the year. The Great Ape package starts and ends in Kigali Rwanda.
Virunga national park is among the oldest national parks of Africa as it was gazette as a national park in 1925 and is located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Trip highlights of the 5 Days Great Ape Virunga safari
- Day 1: Drive from Kigali and cross to Virunga national park
- Day 2: Mountain gorilla trek in Virunga national park
- Day 3: Second mountain gorilla trek in Virunga national park
- Day 4: Chimpanzee trek and Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage visit
- Day 5: Drive back to Kigali
Day 1: Drive from Kigali and cross to Virunga national park
By 8 am, you will be expected to be ready to set out to start your transfer to Virunga national park. You will drive 5 hours west of Rwanda and check in at the Virunga tourism office at the Grande Barrier border building. After receiving your permits for your next day’s activities, you will join the team headed to the Virunga national park.
Arrive at your lodge in time for a late lunch and spend the rest of the day relaxing at your lodge as you wait for nightfall. Dinner and overnight will be in Virunga national park.
Hotel options in Virunga national park.
- Kibumba tented camp for midrange
- Bukima tented camp for midrange
- Mikeno lodge for luxury
Day 2: Mountain gorilla trek in Virunga national park
By 7 am, you should be done with breakfast and ready to set out to the Bukima ranger post to receive the morning briefing before you enter the forest in search of the mountain gorillas. You will be assigned a gorilla family to trek and connect with a ranger guide for the experience.
You will trek for about 2 to 4 hours until you meet your gorilla family of the day. Spend an hour in their presence after head out to exit the forest. You will have lunch at Bukima tented camp where you will spend the rest of the day and night.
Day 3: Second mountain gorilla trek in Virunga national park
Wake up energized and ready for your second chance with the mountain gorillas. You will drive back to the Bukima ranger post for the morning briefing right after breakfast. Get allocated your mountain gorilla group of the day. You can opt to trek the same family or a different gorilla family for a change.
Set out into the forest searching for the mountain gorillas. When you meet you these gentle giants, spend one hour in their natural habitat and after exit the forest. You will drive back to Mikeno lodge where the rest of the day will be spent.
Day 4: Chimpanzee trekking and Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage visit
Chimpanzees are early risers so you will be expected to rise early by 5 am to set out into the Mahura forest to join the team habituating the chimpanzee family. You will watch the chimpanzees swing from one tree branch to another. Very authentic experience!
Return to your lodge for a late breakfast and spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the lodge’s amenities. Later in the afternoon, you will go to the Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage the world’s only gorilla orphanage for a visit. Return in time for dinner and another night stay at Mikeno lodge.
Day 5: Drive back to Kigali
Have breakfast and pack your bags to check out of your hotel and join the Virunga security team headed to Goma. You will drive further to Kigali for drop off. You will take on a brief Kigali city tour of the Kigali Genocide memorial grounds and Kimironko market and after be dropped off as you will advise.
End of the 5 Days Great Ape Virunga safari
Trip quote includes:
- Full time safari vehicle
- English/ French speaking driver guide
- DRCongo tourist visa
- Accommodation all nights
- Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
- Bottled water
- Mountain gorilla permit
- Chimpanzee trek permit
Trip quote excludes:
- Rwanda visa
- Flight fares
- Optional activities
- Personal needs like phone service, laundry, gratuities.