Travel to Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park and tourist activities to encounter include gorilla tours, Nyiragongo hiking trek, chimpanzee habituation experience and other nature walks in the parks.
Nyiragongo Volcano Hike
Located inside Virunga National Park about 20 km. North of Goma, Mount Nyiragongo is currently still active, its last deadly eruption taking 147 lives in 2002. Its activity is, for now, being confined to the crater, where the lake of lava is slowly rising once more. A trip to the top may take about 5-6 hours; most climbers spend the night at the top. This also makes it possible to see the boiling lava at night, when it becomes even brighter. The Nyiragongo volcanoes trekking permit costs $300 USD per person.
Mountain Gorilla Trekking
The Mountain Gorillas are located in the Mikeno Sector, about a two and half our drive from Goma. Treks usually require 1-2 hours of hiking in each direction, depending where the mountain gorillas spent the previous night and the difficulty of the terrain. To safeguard the health of Virunga’s gorillas, visitors will be required to wear surgical masks (provided) when in the presence of gorillas. Time with the gorillas is strictly limited to one hour.
Chimpanzee Habituation Walks
Guests staying at Mikeno Lodge can join this team on their daily visits to the chimpanzees. The day begins when a group of local trackers leave their camp at 4:30 am to locate where the chimpanzees spent the previous night. Lodge guests set out at 6:00 am to find the chimpanzees. Groups are limited to 4 people and time with the chimpanzees is restricted to one hour. The group now consists of 32 individuals.
Rwenzori Mountain Trek
The Rwenzori Mountains are a snow-capped mountain range in the north of Virunga National Park on the Border with Uganda. The highest peak in the range lies on the border and can be climbed from both countries. The trek to the glacier can be made in a 4-5 or 6 day trek. In order to start the trek visitors will need to travel to Beni by airplane (either from Goma or Entebbe).
Lowland Gorilla Trekking
Visiting these Eastern Lowland Gorillas at Kahuzi Biega is a truly unforgettable experience on your trip. As you wake up early morning for your gorilla trekking just before the entrance to the park is the Tshivanga Visitor Centre. You will be greeted by park staff that will assist with payment and registration. Once the location is confirmed you will begin to drive into the park. Your guide will give you a short introduction before searching for the gorillas in the forest. The park ranger covers the history, geography and some facts about the gorilla family you will be visiting. The guide will also provide you with advice on how to behave when with the gorillas.
Following the briefing you begin your journey along narrow jungle paths to meet the gorillas. Masks are worn to prevent gorillas from catching human disease. The length of this hike depends on the location of the gorillas. Some days they can be a 10-15 minute walk from the road, other days it can take over an hour of walking to reach the gorillas. When you enter the territory of the gorillas you will be greeted by the enormous male silver back, making sure you are not a threat. After he accepts your presence a magical time observing the gorillas will begin, which is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Gorilla trekking Permit USD 400 per person
Hiking and camping
Hiking at the Kahuzi Biega National Park is unique; it takes place in zones of high altitude, within a climate of exceptional fragility and in a landscape that is rare on the African continent. These are characteristics that still astonish visitors as much as the diversity of these landscapes. Visitors may also hike the parks trails to view monkeys, chimpanzees, and a wide variety of birds. The Marais Musisi Trail passes through bamboo forests & swampland culminating in a fantastic view over the Marais Musisi. The Tshibati Waterfalls Trail passes by three waterfalls and offers hikers the opportunity to take a dip in one of their plunge pools. Hiking fee: USD 35
The summit of Mount Kahuzi (3308 m) offers great views of Bukavu and Lake Kivu. The ascent takes 4 hours through bamboo forests and sub alpine vegetation. The descent is approximately 3 hours.
The summit of Mount Bugulumiza (2400 m) is easily accessible via a 6 km trail from Tshivanga Visitor Centre and takes about 3 hours round-trip. The summit offers great views of Mounts Kahuzi & Biega along with the surrounding forest landscape.
The summit of Mount Biega (2790 m) is a 6 hour round-trip hike from the main road. The vegetation is significantly different from that found on Mount Kahuzi. The park is currently working to clear a trail to the summit that was hoped to open back in 2013.