How often do you get to tick off two bucket list items in one safari? Well, if seeing Endangered mountain gorillas AND sleeping on the ridge of an active volcano floats your boat, then we have just the safari for you – and it’s one of our most popular safaris at the moment.
Our guests, Fatima and Dane Harvey answered some questions about their awesome safari: climbing Mount Nyiragongo, mountain gorilla trekking and visiting Lake Kivu.
What was your favourite moment?
That first moment we saw the gorillas AND watching the volcano at night.
How were the guides?
The park rangers were wonderful; learning the town’s background, the forest and the gorillas was interesting.
What was your accommodation like?
The hospitality was incredible, and the food and service were great. We really enjoyed the lakeside location and furnishings in the common area. The rooms were basic but comfortable. We enjoyed the live show and music in the evenings. Accommodation on the volcano was basic (as expected), but the staff were wonderful – the porters were a godsend, and we adored our cook, Amani.
Was it worth the money? Would you travel with Africa Geographic again? Would you recommend Africa Geographic to others?
Yes, yes, yes!
3 tips from the Harveys
1. Invest in a good pair of hiking boots.
2. Layers of clothing are essential – you’ll experience sunshine, rain and cold in one day!
3. Ensure you bring enough local currency to tip porters, cooks and drivers – they work hard!
A brief overview of their safari
Their five-day safari started off in the modern and thriving capital city of Kigali in Rwanda, where highlights included the Kigali Genocide Memorial, which is a vivid testimony to the Rwandan people’s reconciliation achievements, and the Kimironko City Market, where all sorts of colourful and tasty food is on display.
The next leg of the safari was a short drive away – Volcanoes National Park – for the main event. Gorilla trekking was enjoyed in stunning forest scenery, which made up for the physically demanding one-to-six-hour walk.
Once the gorillas were located, all fatigue was forgotten as they enjoyed time with our enigmatic and dignified close relatives. This is one of the world’s most poignant and profound natural history experiences.
This unique safari’s final leg was across the DRCongo border – a four to six-hour hike to the lava cauldron of Mount Nyiragongo. After several hours of lush forest walking, their party emerged onto a plateau that felt like it was at the top of the world. They felt like the great explorers Burton, Speke and Livingstone as commanding views stretched across Lake Kivu, Rwanda and Burundi.
From there, the vegetation became low and flat as they summited Nyiragongo’s crater and gazed into the boiling cauldron below. That night, spent perched on the lip of the crater, is likely to be etched onto their memories forever. The dark of night emphasises the drama and spectacle of this active lava cauldron as it spits, flares and fountains in one of the greatest shows on Earth.
Their transfer back to Kigali was likely in silence as they contemplated what is one of Africa’s most iconic safaris.
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