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Guaranteed tours:
23 Dec 17 - 5 Jan 2018: Desert, salt and volcanoes - Danakil desert (Ethiopia)
30 Dec 17 - 6 Jan 2018: Nyiragongo Lava Lake & Mountain Gorillas - DR Congo + Rwanda
13-26 Jan 2018: Desert, salt and volcanoes - Danakil desert (Ethiopia)
28 Jan - 4 Feb 2018: Nyiragongo Lava Lake & Mountain Gorillas - DR Congo + Rwanda
17-23 Mar 2018: Kilauea Volcano Special - Big Island, Hawaiʻi
25-29 Mar 2018: Sakurajima Volcano Special - Kyushu (Japan)
28 Apr - 3 May 2018: Aegean's Hidden Gem: Isle of Milos - Milos Island (Greece)
5-13 May 2018: From Stromboli to Etna - Eolian Islands + Etna volcano (Italy)
19-27 May 2018: From Stromboli to Etna - Eolian Islands + Etna volcano (Italy)
30 Sep - 6 Oct 2018: Fascination Volcano - Santorini Island (Greece)
: spaces available / : guaranteed / : few spaces left / : booked out
Watch the experience of our last group on the side-trip to Nyamuragira (8 Jan):
Random pictures
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Nyiragongo Lava Lake and Mountain Gorillas

- 8-days expedition to Nyiragongo volcano & mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park -

"I had a wonderful trip - thoroughly enjoyed it!" (Jay Ramji)
Nyiragongo's lava lake as observed during our pilot tour in January 2006
Nyiragongo's lava lake as observed during our pilot tour in January 2006
Silver back and female mountain gorilla in Virunga National Park
Silver back and female mountain gorilla in Virunga National Park
Location of Nyiragongo volcano and tour tinerary
Location of Nyiragongo volcano and tour tinerary
Nyiragongo volcano with Shaheru (left) and Baruta (right) craters
Nyiragongo volcano with Shaheru (left) and Baruta (right) craters
Nighttime observation of Nyiragono´s lava lake
Nighttime observation of Nyiragono´s lava lake
View from Nyiragongo´s summit to Shaheru crater (and the camps toilet)
View from Nyiragongo´s summit to Shaheru crater (and the camps toilet)
Nyiragongo´s summit caldera and the lava lake around dawn
Nyiragongo´s summit caldera and the lava lake around dawn
Curious young mountain gorilla in Virunga National Park
Curious young mountain gorilla in Virunga National Park
The geometric pattern of the lava lake´s crust
The geometric pattern of the lava lake´s crust
Early morning descent from Nyiragongo´s summit
Early morning descent from Nyiragongo´s summit
Lake Kivu from DR Congo, looking towards Rwanda
Lake Kivu from DR Congo, looking towards Rwanda
Nyiragongo´s summit caldera before sunrise
Nyiragongo´s summit caldera before sunrise
Mikeno (left) and Karisimbi (right) volcanoes in the late afternoon
Mikeno (left) and Karisimbi (right) volcanoes in the late afternoon
Standing on the rim of Nyiragongo´s summit caldera
Standing on the rim of Nyiragongo´s summit caldera
Note: After a pause of 2 years, the Virunga National Park opened again in November 2014 and has since been successful in offering travelers the opportunity to explore Nyiragongo´s lava lake and meet the mountain gorillas in safety, as well as protecting the park´s endangered wildlife and creating a more stable climate across the region! More info: www.virunga.org

The heart of this adventurous expedition is three nights camping on the rim of the giant summit caldera of Nyiragongo volcano, above its violently active lava lake which is the word´s largest! Second highlight is a trek through dense rainforest to observe a family of mountain gorillas, endangered primates which found a safe heaven in Virunga National Park. The itinerary furthermore includes a visit of the volcano observatory and Goma city, where life goes on from the ashes of the destruction caused by Nyiragongo´s 2002 eruption, and beautiful and varied scenery during the drives through western Rwanda and to the start of the volcano hike and gorilla tracking. An excellent local guide who gladly provides insight into the regions history and local culture, the company of a Goma observatory volcanologist during the time spent on Nyiragongo, friendly people, good accommodation and tasty food make this trip complete!
  • The world´s largest and most active lava lake
  • 3 days/nights camping on the volcano summit
  • Trekking through rainforest and mountain moorlands
  • Summit stay around full moon for photography purposes
  • Virunga - Africa´s oldest national park
  • Chance to spend time up close with the mountain gorillas
  • Scenic drives across western Rwanda
  • Private 4WD transfers and camping cook
  • Insight into Rwandese and Congolese history and culture

8 days itinerary (3 nights on Nyiragongo)

Note:
If you are not interested in the unique opportunity to visiting the mountain gorillas, you can shorten the itinerary by one day or have a relaxed day at the Kivu lake (refund of gorilla ticket: 400 USD).
Day 1: Arrival in Kigali (Rwanda)
Pick up from Kigali airport and transfer to a good hotel. Depending on your arrival time you can visit the city center. In the evening the group meets for a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Acc.: Good hotel in Kigali (Rwanda) (D)
Day 2: From Kigali (Rwanda) to Goma (DR Congo)
Transfer in private 4WD minibus through the beautiful landscape of western Rwanda to the Congolese border. In the afternoon we cross into the DR Congo and arrive at our accommodation in Goma which is at the shore of Lake Kivu.
Acc.: Comfortable hotel at the lakeshore in Goma (B, L, D)
Day 3: Climb to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano
Hike to the summit caldera of Nyiragongo volcano (5-6 hours, about 7 km distance and ca 1400 m elevation) along a well established trail through rainforest and across the 2002 lava flows. Virunga National Park daily organises the volcano´s climb in one group, starting around 10 am in the morning and arriving at the campsite just below the crater rim in the afternoon. Evening and nighttime are free for observation of the volcano´s active lava lake.
Acc.: Camp on Nyiragongo (B, L, D)
Day 4: First full day at Nyiragongo's summit
From dawn to dusk, this entire first day on Nyiragongo´s summit is dedicated to discover the volcanic activity of the lava lake and explore the structure and volcanic phenomena of the surrounding caldera.
Acc.: as before (camping on Nyiragongo) (B, L, D)
Day 5: Second full day at Nyiragongo´s caldera rim
A second full day third night on the rim of Nyiragongo´s summit caldera to observe and photograph the activity of the lava lake, the crater area and surrounding landscape during different times of the day and night.
Acc.: as before (camping on Nyiragongo) (B, L, D)
Day 6: Descend from Nyiragongo - Goma Volcano Observatory
Morning descend from Nyiragongo´s summit back to the Kibati patrol post and transfer back to the hotel in Goma for a welcome shower and lunch. Afternoon visit of the Goma Volcano Observatory and optional walk around the town.
Acc.: comfortable hotel in Goma next to Lake Kivu (B, L, D)
Day 7: Mountain gorilla tracking in Virunga National Park
Morning transfer to the base of Mikeno volcano from where the trek through rain-forest to track down the mountain gorillas starts. In a small group, you will have one hour with a specific gorilla family before returning to the park´s patrol post. Transfer back to the hotel at Lake Kivu in Goma, option for a tour around town.
Acc.: as before (Goma) (B, L, D)
Day 8: Return to Kigali, departure (or own extension)
Morning transfer back to Kigali, goodbye lunch and drop-off at the airport or start of your travel extension in Rwanda. If your departure is in the evening you might use the afternoon to explore Rwanda´s capital.
Acc.: none (B, L)
Tour code: AFR_NGG
Tour type: Volcano expedition: adventure - photography - wildlife
Difficulty: Moderate-Challenging
Group size: 3-10
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Dates:

2-9 Dec 2017
30 Dec 17 - 6 Jan 2018
28 Jan - 4 Feb 2018
24 Feb - 3 Mar 2018
26 May - 2 Jun 2018
more ...

Price (p.p.): $ 3950  ? 

Included:

  • Accommodation in double rooms with private bathrooms or tents
  • Full board (B, L, D) from dinner on first day to lunch on last day, including 1 non alcoholic drink per meal
  • Drinking water in the car, on the volcano and during the gorillas tracking
  • Private transport in 4WD safari vans with driver during the whole tour
  • Porters, cook and assistants for Nyiragongo camping
  • All camping equipment (except personal sleeping bag)
  • Experienced English-speaking guide
  • Volcanologist guide from Goma Volcano Observatory
  • 3 Virunga National Park permits for Nyiragongo (900 USD)
  • 1 Virunga National Park permit for mountain gorilla tracking (400 USD)

Tour guide:

Sam will be your main tour guide and driver throughout your travels in Rwanda and the DR Congo. He was born from Rwandese parents when they were in a refugee camp in Uganda and returned with them as a young man to settle in Kigali. Throughout the past few decades he traveled extensively throughout Rwanda, Uganda, Eastern Congo and Burundi and guided countless tours in this region. Being fluent in 5 languages (English, French and 3 local languages) and having a great interest in local history, culture, fauna and flora he is an excellent tour guide with lots of experience traveling to the DR Congo and hiking up Nyiragongo volcano. His good spirits, humour, practical mind and willingness to help will surely contribute to good memories of an unforgettable expedition!

As Sam is not a geologist, there will be a volcanologist from Goma Volcano Observatory accomopanying the group throughout the time spend on Nyiragongo to explain any volcanic phenomena or deposits and provide more insight into the history and activity of Nyiragongo and the wider volcanic region with Lake Kivu. If the group size is larger than 6 participants, there will also be a VolcanoDiscovery co-guide and volcanologist joining in the expedition.

Additionally, there is a park ranger assuring extra safety during each activity within Virunga National Park (Nyiragongo hike, summit camping and descent & mountain gorilla tracking).
Samuel Gasana, your main guide and driver during the Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas expedition

Marcellin Kasereka, volcanologist at the Goma Volcano Observatory, showing a large lava bomb along the way to the volcano´s summit
Lava trees on the lava flow of 2002
Lava trees on the lava flow of 2002
Honoré exchanging an automatic thermometer placed on a fracture
Honoré exchanging an automatic thermometer placed on a fracture
Dismantling the camp
Dismantling the camp
Orange flowers
Orange flowers
The lava lake seen from the campsite
The lava lake seen from the campsite
Encounter along a stop on our way...
Encounter along a stop on our way...
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