DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN KIGALI AND TRANSFER TO BUKAVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)
Your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide will meet you at Kigale International Airport and give you a brief summary of the upcoming itinerary. Immediately, you will travel to the Rwanda/DRC border; on the Rwandan side it is the town of Cyagungu and on the DRC side it is the town of Bukavu. En route you will pass through the city of Butare, known as the Intellectual Center of Rwanda. Here you will take lunch at a local Rwandese restaurant, and if time permits you can see some of the many cultural attractions in the city, such as the University, Genocide Memorial Site or even the local market and craft workshops. Your journey will continue through the Nyungwe National Park, a dense rain forest complete with numerous primate species, birds and mammals indigenous to this unique area.
At Cyagungu you will cross into the DRC and stop at Bukavu; your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide will escort you to your accommodation, where you will have dinner.
DAY 2: EASTERN LOWLAND GORILLA TRACKING
After an early breakfast, your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide will take you to the Headquarters of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, a one hour drive along the shores of the pristine Lake Kivu. Upon arrival, you will register for your Gorilla Trek and be assigned a group with a park ranger guide. You will then begin your tracking of the Eastern Lowland Gorillas.
Immediately you have finished your Gorilla Trekking Safari, you will reunite with your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide who will then escort you back to Kigali for your flight. If time permits, your guide can show you some of the highlights of Kigali, including the Genocide Memorial Center.
KAHUZI-BIEGA NATIONAL PARK INFORMATION
KAHUZI-BIEGA NATIONAL PARK is situated near the western bank of Lake Kivu in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Lake Kivu forms part of the border between the DRC and Rwanda. The park is named after two dormant volcanoes, Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega, both within the park borders; the park is one of the largest in the country at 6,000 square kilometers. Kahuzi-Biega National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980, inscribed for its unique biodiversity of both a rainforest habitat and one of the last refuges of the rare Eastern Lowland Gorillas. Tours to Congo should not be done without a visit to Kahuzi-Biega National Park and one of their Gorilla Trekking Safaris.
The Eastern Lowland Gorilla, also known as Grauer’s Gorilla, is the largest of the four Gorilla subspecies, and is distinguished by its stocky body, large hands and short muzzle. As other Gorillas, the Grauer’s Gorilla subsists mainly on fruit and other herbaceous materials. Kauzi-Biega National Park is considered an excellent place for Guided Gorilla Trekking.
There are two major activities in Kahuzi-Biega National Park; the foremost being the tracking of the Eastern Lowland Gorillas, but there is also another adventure, hiking the two dormant volcanoes, Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega.
HOTEL ACCOMMODATION CHOICES IN BUKAVU, DRC.
LODGE CO CO (Luxury)
The Co Co Lodge is a boutique-style luxury lodge with 8 rooms, all overlooking the beautiful Lake Kivu. Here at the lodge the rooms are all self-contained, each with Television and WiFi. There is a full restaurant and bar and nightly entertainment for the hotel guests.
ORCHID HOTEL (Mid-Range)
For a Mid-Range Hotel, the Orchid Hotel is excellent; situated on Lake Kivu, with beautiful panoramic views; the property is full of landscaped trees and flowers making it a most attractive accommodation. Here there are choices of rooms, suites and apartments. There is a full restaurant and bar with WiFi accessible throughout the hotel.