Democratic Republic of Congo - 15 days
Gorillas, chimps and volcanoes
Prices from £4,799

Ever since Stanley emerged from the jungle on his epic trek across the continent, the Congo has held a place in western imaginations 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 undoubtedly one of the most challenging countries to travel through, yet those that make the step will be rewarded with some of the most incredible experiences the continent can offer. Starting in the Rwandan capital Kigali, this Congo tour concentrates on the far east of the DRC, perhaps it’s most beautiful region and home to an impressive wealth of wildlife, much of which is found nowhere else. In the vast Virunga National Park we track mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, and the energetic can ascend the active volcano of Nyiragongo with its bubbling lava lake – am 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, where 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’ – we show you another side to this much misunderstood nation.