Gorillas, Chimps and Volcanoes
Ever since Stanley emerged from the jungle on his epic trek across the continent, the Congo has held a special place in the western imagination. It has been seen as Africa’s ‘dark heart’ – a land of thick rainforest, surging rivers and isolated hostile tribes.
The undisputed giant of Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most challenging countries to travel through. But, those that make the step will be rewarded with incredible and memorable experiences.
Starting in the Rwandan capital Kigali, our Congo holidays concentrate on the far east of the DRC. This is possibly its most beautiful region and home to an impressive wealth of often unique wildlife.
In the vast Virunga National Park, we track mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. The more energetic can ascend the active volcano of Nyiragongo with its bubbling lava lake – an amazing sight to behold when illuminated against the night sky. We then spend time with pygmy communities on the idyllic island of Idjwi, and meet local fishermen on Lake Kivu.
A second gorilla encounter takes place in the forests of Kahuzi-Biega. Here we trek to meet rare eastern lowland gorillas, the largest of all primate species. Returning to Rwanda we venture into the forests of Nyungwe to look for chimpanzees and colobus, before ending the trip back in Kigali.
This two-week trip shows you the best of Congo and Rwanda’s natural world, as well as giving ample opportunity to meet and interact with local people, gaining insights into their often challenging lives.
The Congo is all too often portrayed as Africa’s ‘heart of darkness’, a foreboding and chaotic failed state with danger around every corner. For those prepared to look beyond the headlines and learn for themselves, our Congo holidays show you another side to this often misunderstood nation.