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HERO Mountain Gorilla Republic of Congo

Experiences

Track Mountain Gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo

An off-the-beaten-track adventure through an untamed country of extremes. Hike one of the planet’s most active volcanoes, trek through dense jungle to encounter endangered primates, and meet the men and women who are working hard to protect them.

When to go:
May – September

Your journey begins in the eastern city of Goma, where an expert PELORUS guide will escort you through immigration formalities before taking you further into the wilderness of Congo. Visit the Senkwekwe Orphan Mountain Gorilla Centre, the only facility in the world that cares for these orphan gorillas who are unfortunately victims of rising poaching and trafficking pandemics. In this experience, you will gain an astonishing insight into the challenges that this species faces in the wild.

Your route continues north to the Virunga National Park, a haven for wildlife and rich in biodiversity. Hugely diverse, feast your eyes on luscious forests, vast savannahs, lava plains, swamps, volcanoes and the glaciated peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains. Highly endangered, around 700 Mountain Gorillas exist in the world and a quarter inhabit this national park. You will be greeted by your tracker before commencing your trek through dense forest which is led by the inspiring park rangers. With just metres separating you and the gorillas, observe these charismatic primates as they sleep, eat and interact with one another in their natural environment. Gaining an insight into their captivating behaviour in a life-changing and unforgettable experience.

Accompanied by an expert guide and chef, venture across spectral lava fields and thick forest as you hike Mount Nyiragongo. Be greeted by the world’s largest lava lake – a mesmerising cauldron of angry fire and gas that will leave you intrigued for hours. Here, your accommodation is unlike any other on Earth as you settle in to one of the 12 shelters located on the crater rim. Drift off to sleep with the sounds of lava boiling and popping, and open your eyes to incredible morning views of the Congo.

Upon reaching Kahuzi Biega National Park, you will embark on a rainforest trek through dense montane and bamboo in search of the Grauer’s Gorilla. This impressive Eastern Lowland primate is the largest of the four gorilla subspecies, yet its numbers have dropped dramatically over the last 20 years. This up-close experience with a creature of its size is truly breathtaking.

Travel to Lake Kivu, a large source of water surrounded by the extraordinary beauty of Virunga. Picture rugged volcanoes and green slopes rich with tea, coffee and banana plantations. Take a boat to the isolated island of Tchegera; a wonderfully tranquil location brimming with wildlife. Alongside fabulous birds and nature, you may spot the island’s Blue Monkey. Spend your time walking, kayaking and paddle boarding, or simply relax and soak up your lush natural surroundings. Fly to the meandering Semliki River, a 230km waterway that connects Lake Edward and Lake Albert in Central Africa. Enjoy remarkable views of permanently snow-capped mountains and Africa’s largest glaciers.