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Virunga. Photo Credit ©World Wildlife Fund

© World Wildlife Fund

  • Summary
  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Rates
  • Operator
  • Enquiry Form

DRC Virunga Trekking Expedition

Apply to join a expedition group to climb volcanic Mount Nyiragongo; to camp inside its crater above the world’s largest lava lake; and to trek in the DRC’s Rwenzori mountains for a view of Mount Stanley.

On this remarkable Virunga trekking expedition you’ll find endangered mountain gorillas, smoking volcanoes, and quickly learn that survival is a daily battle for all of the inhabitants.

Highlights

  • Climb Nyiragongo volcano, overnighting inside its crater
  • Enjoy a gorilla trek in Virunga National Park
  • Explore the Rwenzoris (DRC side): the Mountains of the Moon
  • See the world’s largest active lava lake
  • Safari in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Discover the ecological diversity of Africa’s oldest national park

This is a 14 day journey into the heart of DRC’s Virunga National park. The New York Times listed this area as one of 2016’s Top Places to go and many intrepid travellers have their interest peaked. The aim of this 2017 expedition is to climb volcanic Mount Nyiragongo; to camp inside its crater above the world’s largest lava lake; and to trek in the DRC’s Rwenzori mountains for a view of Mount Stanley.

Following the Rwenzori trekking phase of the expedition cross the border into Uganda for an afternoon safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here you’ll have the chance to see big game such as buffalo, hippos, elephants, leopards, crocodiles, chimpanzees and Uganda’s famous tree-climbing, black-maned lions

A chain of eight volcanoes straddle the borders between Rwanda, Uganda, and DRC. They follow the Albertine Rift which is a branch of one of Earths largest geological features: the East African Rift. At 4000 km long, the tectonic movements in the area have created a unique topography throughout the park. You’ll find that the fertile volcanic soils have given rise to spectacular jungle habits and diverse wildlife populations.

This adventure is extremely challenging and has been given a rating of moderate to high level of difficulty by your guides. If you’re active and lead a healthy lifestyle, with a great sense of teamwork, then this is the perfect expedition for you. There will be tough ascents over several continuous days and team members will need to walk up to 25km per day, carry up to 15kg’s, and be comfortable crossing narrow rocky paths, exposed ascents and descents, and in potentially poor visibility. While out on the trail you’ll stay at permanent and temporary camps in tents or hammocks.

Apply to be part of this rare trekking expedition by making an enquiry today.

Itinerary

Outline itinerary

The team will assemble in Kigali, Rwanda before travelling across the border into DRC at Goma. After an acclimatisation trek to the lava-filled crater of the active Nyiragongo volcano (chance to sleep on the summit and witness the midnight fireworks display!) the team will trek deeper into the park for an exploration of up to three other volcanoes, including an attempt to summit Mount Mikeno, the highest of the Virunga volcanoes wholly within DRC.

Terrain

The Virunga Volcanoes are a chain of 8 volcanoes which straddle the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda borders, along the Albertine Rift, a branch of one of the largest geological features on the planet, the 4000km long East African Rift. The huge tectonic movements of this region created enormously varied topography across the park along with extremely fertile volcanic soils which have promoted the growth of diverse jungle habitats, home to an abundance of wildlife including the now critically endangered mountain gorillas.

Although we will be visiting during the dry period, you should still expect deep mud in the jungle and slow progress during the expedition. The jungle vegetation at lower levels gives way to African alpine vegetation and rocky lava flows at higher altitudes. The volcanoes themselves are very steep sided, reaching up to 60-degrees in places, and our expedition will involve challenging scrambling in addition to trail blazing through the jungle.

Throughout the whole trip you will have (weather-permitting) a vista of the other summits that you will be attempting or have already climbed, making this a unique adventure to the majestic and seldom explored interior of Virunga National Park.

More Details

SUITABLE TEAM MEMBERS

Team members should be willing to be part of a team working together to achieve the goal of the expedition: in this case to summit several remote volcanoes in challenging and wildlife-rich environments. They should have an adventurous and robust spirit. All our expeditions are achievable by people with an active and healthy lifestyle. This expedition is the same. It will be tough at times as the ascent travels through rough mountainous terrain over several continuous days.

You will be required to be fit enough to deal with:

  • Distances: up to 25km a day
  • Weight carried by each team member: approx. 15kg
  • Terrain covered: challenging terrain including narrow, uneven paths; rocky, mountainous ad occasionally exposed ascents and descents potentially in poor visibility; a variety of volcanic terrain.
  • Climate: a hot but comfortable climate.

ACCOMMODATION

In urban areas (Kigali and Goma) we will be staying in small hotels or guesthouses. Beyond urban areas once on the trek element of the expedition (in Virunga National Park) we will stay in a combination of basic but permanent campsites, and temporary campsites using our own tents or hammocks (provided by the trip operator).

FOOD

In any urban areas (Kigali and Goma) we will likely eat in local restaurants and cafés. On the expedition the team will eat dehydrated foods from Expedition Foods, which team members will be given on arrival to add to their own personal kit to carry.

   

Dates: 7 – 21 July 2018
Price: TBC. Get in touch for details.

Enquire for full details and to make an application to join this group.

WHAT IS INCLUDED

  • Tour leader(s).
  • All local guides and drivers.
  • All transport outlined in the itinerary (including internal transfers and flights).
  • All accommodation (including hammocks).
  • All food/meals.
  • All Virunga National Park and other permits and permissions.


WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

  • International flights.
  • Visas.
  • Tips to local guides (discretionary).
  • Alcohol.
  • Personal equipment (full list will be provided upon booking). 

Operator

When it comes to getting off the beaten track these guys can’t be beaten. They lead pioneering expeditions to some of the most remote regions on earth. The organisers are dedicated to creating imaginative experiences for adventurers around the world and their team of expert military guides are some of the most experienced in the industry.

Nowhere is off limits and no idea is too crazy. They have achieved ground breaking world firsts such as mountain biking in Afghanistan and mountaineering in Iraq and their first ever expeditions to walk across Madagascar and pioneer white water rafting in South Sudan both made the headlines…. and a bit of history.

Being wild and wacky is one thing but with their background as commanders in the British Army and experienced team of specialists in every kind of terrain and environment means that all of their adventures are thoroughly planned and the safety and security of teams is always their highest priority.

Expeditions can be inherently risky, but they do everything possible to minimise potential hazards and for that, and the utterly extraordinary trips they put on, we salute them.

Enquiry Form

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