7 Days Eastern Lowland Gorillas and Idjwi Island

7 Days Eastern Lowland Gorillas and Idjwi Island

Explore the Kahuzi-Biega Park, Lwiro and Idjwi Island

The Eastern Lowland Gorillas trekking and Idjwi Island exploration is a set of activity that fully immerses you into south Kivu ecosystem and people’s life. Why should you explore this side of Congo? Recently listed as one of the Top100 sustainable destinations, the Kahuzi Biega National Park is the last refuge and the last place where live the eastern lowland gorillas actually evaluated at a population of 125 distributed into 12 families with only 4 habituated for trekking. Further, a number of other animal species also live in the park. This include, but not limited to, chimpanzees, owl-faced monkeys, Cercopithecoidea, colobines, bush elephants, bush buffalos, hippopotamus, giant forest hog, birds, etc. Outside of The Mount Kahuzi Hikking, Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Center visit, this tour includes a day tour to the incredible but forgotten Idjwi Island and Goma city tour as well, all in 6 nights and 7 days.

Bukavu, which is the starting point, is located 6 to 7 hours from Kigali. The easy way to have Congo Visa is through a Booking of one of ICCN activities in North Kivu or South Kivu. This will cost you 105 USD (7 days). But also, should you need a long visa, we can still arrange you an invitation letter.

What makes us different, is how we organize it. These 7 days eastern lowland Gorillas and Idjwi island visit offer you a trip over your expectation. Outside of Gorilla trekking and mount Kahuzi hiking, we immerse you into local life to make your trip more a learning and participative experience. In addition, when booking this package, you have advantage of benefiting from Goma City Tour and Bukavu City Tour.

7 Days Lowland Gorillas and Idjwi Island : Itinerary Summary 

Day 1: Arrival, Pick Up (Kigali or Congo Border), and transfer to Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Day 2: LowLand Gorillas Trekking and Habituation

Day 3: Mount Kahuzi Hiking

Day 4: Lwiro Primate rehabilitation Center & Lwiro waterfalls visit, and Nature walk

Day 5: Return to Bukavu and Transfer to Idjwi Island in the afternoon. (A short city tour possible)

Day 6: Tour to the forgotten African Island: Idjwi

Day 7: Transfer to Goma: 4 hours City Tour, Transfer to Gisenyi/Kigali, End of service

Regarding the accommodation, tents are provided for campers within the park. However, budget, midrange and luxury accommodation can be found about 50kms away from the park.

Day 1,Arrival, Pick Up (Kigali or Congo Border), and transfer to Kahuzi-Biega Park

Transfer from Bukavu to Tchivanga where you will enter the park.

Day 2,Gorilla Trekking and Gorilla habituation

While the family habituated to trekking will take approximately take an hour of interaction with tourists, the habituation will take longer since the concerned family will not be habituated to trekking. The trek is usually done in a group with others tourists. Together with the guide and the park rangers, you will have a four to five-hour trek inside the rainforest looking for one of the lowland gorilla’s families after a briefing on dos and don’ts for an easy interaction with the Gorillas. This activity may at the same time take you the rest of the day as it also includes a hiking. You’re strongly advised to carry with you about 2 liters of waters and snacks as treks are often cumbersome. For any health issue or discomfort, do not hesitate to report for you to be assigned the nearest Gorilla family.

Day 3,Mount Kahuzi Hiking

There are three dormant volcanoes that can be hiked: Kahuzi, Biega and Bugulumiza. Being the highest pic of the park with 3308m, this will give you a best experience to admire the landscape. On the hike, you go through the subalpine vegetation and bamboo forest that are habitat to quite a number of wildlife and bird species, all these will be on your sight. On the top of the mountain, you have the opportunity to view Lake Kivu, the Kahuzi chain, but also the surprising Musisi swamp, and very far the city of Bukavu. The climb will approximately take 4 hours, while the descent will take 3 hours. On request it’s possible to camp for a night at Mount Kahuzi summit.

Day 4,Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Center & Lwiro waterfalls visit, and Nature walk

This day will start with a visit of the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Center where you will learn how they rescue and rehabilitate this endangered specie with community-based project like integrating women that have been victims of sexual violence, environmental education, low enforcement, etc. Located at approximately 30 min of a 4x4 vehicle plus a 30 to 45 minutes nature walk in the park, the three spectacular Lwiro falls offer a stunning experience. The fist is located 1,7km from the Tshibati Control Post.

Day 5,Return to Bukavu and Transfer to Idjwi Island.

Idjwi is the second African Island after Madagascar, and tenth in the world. In the morning will return to Bukavu. However, it remains unknown and unexplored travel destination while easily accessible. There are three daily speed boat departures from Bukavu to Goma via Idjwi island. Since we can’t catch the one for 7.30am, we’ll choose between the one of 11.00am or 3.00pm. If a short city tour is needed, we are definitely going to choose the last departure (1 hour to the destination).

Day 6,Tour to the forgotten African Island: Idjwi

While in Idjwi, our Gorilla Kahuzi-Biega Park&Idjwi trip will offer you an opportunity to a ride a bike on the shore of Lake Kivu. It also includes a visit to fruit and vegetables farms, what will give you exposure on how this island is the main fruit provider to surrounding cities, Goma and Bukavu. Activities include visiting one of the many pineapple plantations (and of course picking and eating one), village and nature walks, bird-watching, swimming in the lake and interacting with the local people to learn about life on Idjwi. We will organize a Boat ride taking you around the small islets surrounding the island, where you can visit nearby fishing villages. With help of local fishermen, we will guide you through the lush, primary tropical forest on this little piece of paradise, abounding in bird life and also home to a troupe of as yet unidentified monkeys. On request, we can also visit a regionally known local witch for some demonstrations. For accommodation on the island, we offer a home stay experience. However, should you need more comfort or luxury accommodation, we can find you a guest house.

Day 7,Transfer to Goma: 4 hours City Tour, Transfer to Gisenyi/Kigali, End of service

We will leave in the morning around 9.00am to be in Goma an hour later. To help Tourist exploring the Congo, Congo Local Guides has designed the Walking Goma City Tour to help you discover city’s diversity. Being the capital city of North Kivu province, Goma is located on the north shore of Lake Kivu. The Gorillas in Virunga Park and Nyiragongo, lake kivu islands (Idjwi, Tchegera, etc) are among activities to hang out with around. Besides, the history of repeated wars in the region mixed with the silent monster, Nyiragongo volcano, are things you the tour helps you understand how the local population deal with. Welcome and ride the Tchukudu, the wooden bike that can carry up to a half tone of goods.

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Alphonse Prépare
Alphonse Prépare

With a three year experience, Alphonse has guided over 80 tourists from across the globe. He knows the parks by heart. He also have taken part to so many expedition organized at the regional level. He completed in Study in Nairobi, Kenya.

Why you choose this tour !

Natural connection adventure
The best tour in South-Kivu
Discover the Gorilla in their natural places
Experienced loca guide
Offer city tours in Goma and Bukavu
Offer a Day trip to Idjwi
Accomodation to patners hotel with a minimum 20% discount
Duration : 7 Days
Person : 1
Price : 0 $
Location : Bukavu - Sud-Kivu , Goma - Nord-Kivu ; Democratic Republic of the Congo