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Ecotourism Expedition in DR Congo: Pygmy, Eastern Lowland Gorillas and Nyiragongo Volcano experience - 15 Days

15 days Congo expedition DR Congo
Ecotourism Expedition in DR Congo: Pygmy, Eastern Lowland Gorillas and Nyiragongo Volcano experience

Join our July 2024 Group Tour Starting on the 15th of July (1 confirmed booking: a male from Latvia, EU)

This 15 days ecotourism expedition experience brings you to Congo. It features Nyiragongo, a stratovolcano that boasts the world’s largest lava lake. Additionally, it encompasses the Eastern lowland gorilla trekking in the Kahuzi Biega national park and the Pygmy cultural visits. This 15 days ecotourism expedition starts in eastern Congo to end in the western part of Congo. In the west, you will experience the Congo River and the pygmy communities.
The trek up to the volcano will not be the easiest (it takes 4 to 6 hours). However, it will completely worth it once at the top. Additionally, the lava lake is incredible, and tourists spend hours watching the waves of lava and listening to its roars. The experience with Pygmy will involve mesmerizing moments flowing down on the Congo River using a traditional canoe.

Day 1
Pick up in Kigali and transfer to Bukavu – DR Congo

In the morning, you will be picked by the driver from your hotel or from the airport in Kigali and drive southwards to Cyangugu boarder on the way to Bukavu in DR Congo. You will have a stopover in Butare, where you will visit the national museum of Rwanda, the king’s palace in Nyanza, and the Rwanda genocide memorial site. After lunch, continue a scenic journey to Bukavu with wonderful views of the hills in Rwanda through the tropical forest of Nyungwe National park and a clear view of Lake Kivu. Dinner and overnight at Panorama Hotel (Luxury)

Day 2
Lowland Gorilla trekking tour in Kahuzi Biega – DR Congo

In the morning, you will head for the memorable adventure of trekking the lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National park. Trekking lowland Gorillas is amazing, the lowland gorillas are bigger in size and stay in bigger families as compared to mountain gorillas. The trekking experience usually takes 1-4 hours. This comes as a once in a lifetime experience as Eastern lowland gorillas are endemic to the DR Congo. Later in the afternoon drive back to your hotel.

Day 3
Transfer to Goma City

In the morning you will be transferred to Goma city using a speedboat. Upon reaching Goma, you will be checked in at your hotel and go for a crash Goma city tour that will include the Goma beach, Goma downtown, the docks, the city vibes, the people, the market and shopping for some Congolese hand crafts. You will end your day tour at Maghali Restaurant where you will taste local foods. Dinner and overnight at Goma Serena Hotel

Day 4
Nyiragongo hike

After breakfast at your hotel, proceed to Kibati Ranger post at 8:15am, departure point for the Nyiragongo volcano trek. The climb up the volcano will take around four to six hours and trekkers will overnight on the summit. Overnight in wooden shelter

Day 5
Descent volcano and transfer to Kinshasa

In the early morning, start the descent back to Kibati. Average descent time is four hours. Once at the bottom proceed back to Goma International Airport for departure to Kinshasa. You will be met at N’djili International Airport by Kwafrika Travel representative who will whisk you away to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day unwinding.

Day 6
Kinshasa City Tour

On this day you will discover Kinshasa's vibrant culture and history on a tour of the city that explores local landmarks, a bustling market, and the banks of the churning Congo River. Traveling with a local guide, you'll learn the stories behind each place you see, from the National Museum to Kabila's Mausoleum and the Place of Independence.

You will also be brought in another incredibly unique aspect of Kinshasa, Sapeurs. La Sape is an abbreviated way to refer to the movement of Sapeurs. The translated meaning of the term La Sape is "Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People". Also known as Congolese Dandies, the importance of physical appearance and attire is of the utmost and this is very clear, as you will see. You will experience the city in the safety of a private vehicle that will comfortably accommodate you, with all entrance fees included.

Stop At: Musee National de Kinshasa (National Museum), Kinshasa

Stop At: Academie des Beaux-Arts, Kinshasa

Stop At: Congo River, Kinshasa

Stop At: Symphonie des Arts, Kinshasa

Stop for lunch at Chez TinTin with an overview of the river

In the evening transfer back to your hotel for rest and overnight

Day 7
Transfer to Mbandaka by a regular flight (Saturday)

After breakfast, transfer to N’djili International airport for a 50-minute flight. Arrival in Mbandaka at around 11 am. Transfer to your hotel. Lunch at the restaurant “Bienvenue around the river” (ex Belle Vue) located on the banks of the Ruki river. After lunch, head to the “Eala” botanical garden located 7 km from the city center. Then direction the ethnographic museum and the evangelical mission "New Life" sponsored by the Pygmies. Transit to hotel before returning to the unique standard “Welcome to the River” restaurant. The city is located at the crossroads of the Congo River and the Ruki River.

Day 8
Transfer to Mooto Village

After breakfast, we take the road from Mooto to the south of the city with a stopover at the crossing of the Equator line. Mooto is an old Catholic mission established since 1960.

Setting out of tents, visit of the mission, the cathedral and the surrounding area. Free evening and night in a tent.

Day 9
Visit of the village and outing in the forest

After the morning breakfast, visit of the pilot center of the non-profit association "VZW MOOTO & BIKORO" which supports the population in sustainable development: agriculture, health and education: plantations (palm groves, cocoa, beans, etc.), etc... We enter in the forest for a demonstration of different types of traps, collecting medicinal plants with the pygmies. Return to the camp for lunch. And pause.

In the afternoon, we go around the village and discover the daily activities of the inhabitants. Around 6.30 p.m. after dinner, cultural evening with Bobongo Pygmies and Bantu group. Night in tent.

Day 10
Traditional canoe trip

After breakfast, departure for Bokote village via Samba to the embarkation port. Embarkation in our canoes (rowing) for 5 hours of navigation in the middle of the submerged forest. Arrival at the village of Bokoté around 4:00 p.m. A small visit from the village to the Pygmy district is planned after hours sitting in the canoe. In the evening after dinner, free exchange with the villagers (Pygmies and Bantu) around the fire. Night in tent.

This part of the circuit puts you in communion with the ‘virgin’ nature in which you will see some animals such: squirrels, birds, monkeys ...

Day 11
Crossing the Lake Tumba

After breakfast, boarding our motorized canoes to cross Lake Tumba to reach the city of Bikoro on the shore of Lake Tumba. Free evening / night at La ’rizière’ ’hostel

Day 12
Jeep Trip to Mabali

After breakfast, a visit to the Catholic Mission of Bikoro, the general hospital of reference, the market followed by the transfer to Mabali with a stopover in the rubber plantation 3 km away from Bikoro and the continuation of the expedition to Mabali Village. Arrival at around 3 p.m. just after we set up the tents, we enter the forest to return to the camp around 5:30 p.m. Break and dinner. Option night out in the forest from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Night in tents.

Mabali is an agronomy and forestry research center in Central Africa. Formerly called IRSAC (Institute for Scientific Research in Central Africa). In the reserve you will find a well-protected forest where the animals are free and protected. Monkeys live like pets. An old research lab, a beautiful view of Lake Tumba.

Day 13
Return to Mbandaka

After breakfast, visit of the center, old lab, museum, return to the camp around 11am followed by dinner and return directly to Mbandaka by road to arrive around 5.30pm. Return to civilization after or before dinner. In the evening, you will have an evening to go for a good beer in a bar in Mbandaka.

Day 14
Transfer to Kinshasa (Saturday)

After breakfast, transfer to Mbandaka airport and flight to Kinshasa. Free evening. Night at Léon hotel

Day 15
Departure from N’djili International Airport

After your morning breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for drop-off.

End of the trip


- Accommodation

o Kinshasa: Léon Hotel

o Mbandaka: Karibu Hotel (Downtown and at the shore of the Congo River

o On field: Basic Tents and guests houses.

- Food during the expedition

o Breakfast: Tea, coffee, sugar, milk, jam, chocolate, butter, egg omelet

o Meals: chicken, meat, fish, vegetables… / corned beef, sardines, tuna, crabs,…

o Accompaniment: Rice, bread, pasta, sweet potato, Plantain bananas, chikwangues, fufu

o Dessert: pineapple, fruit bananas, oranges, pawpaw and other wild fruits.

We handle all the food as per the itinerary.


We have no problem with extra baggage however airlines allow 30 kg checked and 10 kg in hand luggage. For this kind of expedition, we advise our customers to take this into account to avoid excess baggage. For average airlines, $ 5 per Kg for excess baggage.

To take with you

- Hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, sunglasses,

- Preventive treatment against malaria and other personal rescue medications

- Bush shoes, shirt or long-sleeved T-shirts for walking in the forest

- Pair of binoculars, individual lamp (headlamp)

- Chargers, cables, batteries, cards

Additional info

- Electricity in the DRC is supplied at 220v

- This package being in immersion with local populations we ask you for courtesy and total respect of our hosts and their culture. Pygmies are naturally welcoming but hate contempt.


  • National museum fees (Rwanda)
  • Private transportation (Jeep 4x4)
  • Bottled water
  • Professional guide
  • Gorilla Trekking Permit
  • Nyiragongo Hiking Permit
  • All Fees and Taxes
  • Congolese visa fees (105$)
  • Cruises
  • Ferry
  • Domestic flights


  • Porters
  • Alcoholic drinks (available to purchase)
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)
  • Personal items (souvenirs, travel insurance, etc.)
Your travel to Congo post COVID-19

In foresight of getting back to business and adopting the new normal, the Congolese Ministry of Tourism, with excitement, announced the reopening of tourism activities as well as the resumption of international travel for visitors arriving by scheduled commercial flights as of 15 August 2020. The well-being of all travelers is at the forefront of Kwafrika Travel. Reason why, we have taken serious measure to ensure the safety of our customers. COVID-19 is still present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We are pleased to receive you in the Congo but there are few things you should know. Authorities will quarantine and treat affected people in government hospitals and isolation facilities. Monitor the media for latest developments and follow the instructions of local authorities. Current government guidelines require everyone to wear a face mask in public. There are medical facilities available around Congo. Hôpital du Cinquantenaire, Hôpital Maman Yemo located in Kinshasa City, Hôpital Général de Référénce de Goma, Hôpital CBCA Virunga available in Goma town. They provide Emergency and Assessment (E&A) services, open 24 hours with a physician on the premises at all times. All national parks have reopened but with a limited capacity. In Virunga National Park, a group of more than 20 people cannot be authorized to trek the gorillas for social distancing reasons. The same thing apply for people hiking the Nyiragongo Volcano, they should be less than 10 people per group. Kwafrika Travel is strictly applying the following guidelines as given by the Congolese authorities: - Our drivers must have undergone a basic prior training on the standard practices in prevention of spread of COVID-19 (Standard Prevention Procedure) - All of our vehicles are now equipped with contactless thermometer (thermal-gun). Drivers have been trained on how to take guest temperature, to read and interpret the result. - All of our vehicles are equipped with PPE basics such as sanitizers, extra face masks, hand-gloves and so on - Vehicles are installed with air-conditioners with particulate filters and purifiers. All windows are capable of opening when required to allow air circulation - Doors of vehicles are operated by one person, the driver. - The driver must thoroughly clean and sanitize his safaris car at the close of the day or as deemed necessary especially before switching customers - Drivers must minimize stop overs during the travel to Congo or Inside Congo. - Drivers should stick guest documents such as itineraries on the car seats or on body of the vehicles to avoid contact with guests

I've never been to Kinshasa. What should I expect?

Even if you may have been to mega Africans cities as Nairobi, Dakar, Cairo, Kampala, etc. and have considered yourself a well-traveled person when it comes to visiting Africa, you should wait until you visit Kinshasa ... Let's start with the language. Lingala is spoken language almost everywhere even in offices- if you can't understand or speak Lingala, you have to learn very quickly to adapt, thing which traders from China, Lebanon and India have understood, and most of those I saw could speak fluently Lingala. If you don’t want to learn, you will always need somebody who does or at least speak French which is understood by a bunch of people in Kin (as locals universally call it). When communicating here, people speak very loudly which can often be very intimidating - most will debate or argue but violence is never an option. Due to the poor economic conditions here, most people are simply people are simply after a quick "buck" - start high ($50) and end up settling for $10. The vast majority of people in Kinshasa live at a daily rate. You will be blown away by the manner in which traffic operates here, there are no rules so expect a very different experience! You will know how to drive until you get here… You will definitely need a local contact to know how to get around and deal with the police who will stop most vehicles to obtain a bribe. So in short, Kinshasa is an amazing place, a land of opportunity for an entrepreneur like me because all things in Kinshasa are in limited supply compared to the excessive demand due to millions of people in a city that was create for only 1 million people. I saw everyday people including women fighting to get in a taxi, whether it is selling few stuffs down road or investing in the real estate industry, profits will not made not by a differential cleverness by simply by a differential stupidity, a lot ventures can obviously succeed in Kinshasa. The people were amazing, a place that I will oftenly be visiting but only after perfecting my LINGALA.

Is it safe to travel to Congo

All Eastern Congo Safaris tours are fully guided from the moment you step over the border to your departure back home. Almost all our tours start and end in Kigali (the capital of Rwanda), and we ensure that our guests are assisted across the border without any hassle. Members of our team will collect you as soon as you land in Kigali, and will remain with you until you enter Congo – at which point we will meet the Kahuzi Biega National Park team. As the Park is responsible for the livelihood and infrastructure of the four million people who live around it, its officials, rangers and visitors are highly respected by the locals. You’ll be transported in our vehicles but escorted by official parks vehicles loaded with rangers, and will be made to feel safe and warmly welcomed by all whom you encounter.

Is it safe to climb Nyiragongo?

You can’t escape the fact that Nyiragongo is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. So is it really safe to climb an active volcano? I would say yes, but the truth is that you never know. Walking around independently might be dangerous, since volcanic area has fractures emitting gas, but locals know how to avoid them. Goma has its own seismologic observatory monitoring both Nyiragongo and its sister volcano, Nyamuragira, which is titled the most active volcano in Africa. Volcanologists should know well in advance what these giants are up to.

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