Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Baby gorilla, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Primates and Volcanoes

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

Day

Prices Start from

£5,500pp (ex. flights)

This pioneering adventure to DRC explores two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – home to great apes, active volcanoes and the world’s largest lava lake. Have the unique chance to trek for two subspecies of gorilla, as well as chimpanzees.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Mountain gorilla, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo 1

Gorillas and Chimps

Encounter mountain and Grauer’s gorillas, as well as chimpanzees

Nyiragongo molten lava, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo 2

Nyiragongo Volcano

Spend a night on Mount Nyiragongo, home to the world’s largest lava lake.

Bbay gorilla playing, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo 3

Gorilla Orphan Sanctuary

Visit the Senkwekwe Mountain Gorilla Orphan Sanctuary.

Anti Poaching Bloodhound and Ranger, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo 4

Anti-Poaching

Meet the bloodhounds that help track poachers in Virunga National Park.

Why we like it

DRC’s dramatic eastern region, shaped by tectonics, has a wild allure. Underdeveloped and rarely visited, it redefines off the beaten track; any trip here is an adventure. However, the wealth of wildlife – including two endangered gorilla subspecies – and the spectacular landscapes, make this journey worth the extra effort.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Kigali - Nyungwe Forest National Park

  • Day 2

    Nyungwe Forest National Park - Bukavu

  • Day 3

    Kahuzi-Biega National Park

  • Day 4

    Lake Kivu - Goma

  • Day 5

    Goma - Virunga National Park

  • Day 6

    Virunga National Park

  • Day 7

    Virunga National Park

  • Day 8

    Virunga National Park

  • Day 9

    Virunga National Park - Tchegera Island

  • Day 10

    Tchegera Island - Goma - Kigali

Day 1

Kigali - Nyungwe Forest National Park

Day 2

Nyungwe Forest National Park - Bukavu

Day 3

Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Silverback eastern lowland (Grauer's) gorilla, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Grauer’s Gorillas

Encounter the largest subspecies of gorilla in Kahuzi-Biega National Park.

Day 4

Lake Kivu - Goma

Day 5

Goma - Virunga National Park

Day 6

Virunga National Park

Bbay gorilla playing, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Gorilla Orphan Sanctuary

Visit the Senkwekwe Mountain Gorilla Orphan Sanctuary.

Day 7

Virunga National Park

Anti Poaching Bloodhound and Ranger, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Anti-Poaching

Meet the bloodhounds that help track poachers in Virunga National Park.

Day 8

Virunga National Park

Day 9

Virunga National Park - Tchegera Island

Nyiragongo molten lava, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Nyiragongo Volcano

Spend a night on Mount Nyiragongo, home to the world’s largest lava lake.

Day 10

Tchegera Island - Goma - Kigali

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Eastern lowland (Grauer's) gorilla, Kahuzi Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Starting in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, the last remaining habitat for Grauer’s gorillas, base yourself in the colourful town of Bukavu. Here, faded colonial mansions sit on the lakeside peninsula, bougainvillaea flowing down across the gardens to the shores of Lake Kivu. A drive to the gorillas takes you past traditional fisherman on the shores of the lake and on into the lush forests, which are also home to elusive forest elephants and the Congo peafowl.

Looking down from Nyiragongo towards Goma and Lake Kivu, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo
Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Virunga National Park

Continue north across the lake by boat, to the city of Goma, a town built on a lava flow. Then enter Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest, containing half of all the biodiversity in sub-Saharan Africa and three habituated groups of mountain gorillas.

Trekking the mountain gorillas here though is only the start of the adventure. Encounter chimps, visit the world’s only mountain gorilla orphanage, meet Virunga’s anti-poaching rangers and spend a night on the top of Nyiragongo volcano for a spectacular display of the world’s largest lava lake. This is a thrilling journey through one of Africa’s wildest regions.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Mikeno Lodge £££££

  • Democratic Republic of Congo

This is a great little lodge and the only small, boutique-style property in the area. Each of the 12, solid lava stone and natural thatch bungalows sit in the heart of Virunga National Park, overlooking the forest or valley with Nyiragongo and Mikeno volcanoes in the distance. Inside each of the large rooms, the Congolese decor and warm fabrics are mixed with simple, but very comfortable African furniture, sleek stone-carved baths and en-suite showers. Given the rainforest environment, large open fires in each room, help keeps the chill at bay.

View Property

Bukima Camp £££££

  • Democratic Republic of Congo

Bukima means the place where there are monkeys and whilst it was originally built as a base for researchers, it is now used as the starting point for Virunga mountain gorilla treks. The six, large meru-style safari tents (4 doubles and 2 twins) are all en-suite (flushing loos and bucket showers) with a small dresser and simple safari chairs, with a similar, but much larger main mess tent, where wholesome, simple meals are taken and where batteries can be charged. This is very much a base canvas and wooden camp from which to explore the surrounding area and whilst simple, it is clean, comfortable and well located for access to the gorilla trekking.

View Property

Tchegera Island Lodge £££££

  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Tented Camps

Definitely one of a kind, this excellent tented camp sits on the exposed ridge of a collapsed volcanic caldera in the middle of Lake Kivu. The handful of safari-style Meru tents lie directly on the black sandy shores, with small verandas under canvas. From here you can sit back and admire the view or watch birds and butterflies amongst the trees, which help provide shade and privacy. Inside the tents are simple, spacious and clean, with flushing loos, bucket showers and power from a generator.

View Property

Nyiragongo Summit Shelter £££££

  • Democratic Republic of Congo

They are very much shelter and not much else. These fibre-glass huts keep out the wind and stay surprisingly warm but are very spartan. Inside each hut are small foam mattresses, which lie directly on the floor. However, after the hike to the top, they will feel like a king-size bed.

View Property

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From £5,500 Per person

When to travel

Democratic Republic of Congo in January

January and February is the short dry season, so it is a good time to visit. It is hot, so if you are planning to climb Nyiragongo it will be slightly less cold on the top. However be prepared for rain at any time of year though, as the DRC has a tropical climate.

Democratic Republic of Congo in February

January and February is the short dry season, so it is a good time to visit. It is hot, so if you are planning to climb Nyiragongo it will be slightly less cold on the top. However be prepared for rain at any time of year though, as the DRC has a tropical climate.

Democratic Republic of Congo in March

March to May is the short rainy season, so you’ll definitely need to bring a raincoat if you plan to travel at this time. It is the quietest time of year though, so you can have your pick of the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in April

March to May is the short rainy season, so you’ll definitely need to bring a raincoat if you plan to travel at this time. It is the quietest time of year though, so you can have your pick of the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in May

March to May is the short rainy season, so you’ll definitely need to bring a raincoat if you plan to travel at this time. It is the quietest time of year though, so you can have your pick of the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in June

June to September is definitely the driest time of year to explore Virunga and Nyiragongo. It will be cooler and less humid, so easier for trekking. However, you will need all your layers on the top of Nyiragongo. The most popular time to travel so is prepared to book in advance to secure the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in July

June to September is definitely the driest time of year to explore Virunga and Nyiragongo. It will be cooler and less humid, so easier for trekking. However, you will need all your layers on the top of Nyiragongo. The most popular time to travel, so be prepared to book in advance to secure the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in August

June to September is definitely the driest time of year to explore Virunga and Nyiragongo. It will be cooler and less humid, so easier for trekking. However, you will need all your layers on the top of Nyiragongo. The most popular time to travel, so be prepared to book in advance to secure the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in September

June to September is definitely the driest time of year to explore Virunga and Nyiragongo. It will be cooler and less humid, so easier for trekking. However, you will need all your layers on the top of Nyiragongo. The most popular time to travel, so be prepared to book in advance to secure the best accommodation.

Democratic Republic of Congo in October

October to December is the long rainy season. November is the wettest month, so if you do plan to travel at this time you’ll need to be well prepared with all-weather gear. However, accommodation is easier to come by and you may be able to save money on gorilla permits and hotels.

Democratic Republic of Congo in November

October to December is the long rainy season. November is the wettest month, so if you do plan to travel at this time you’ll need to be well prepared with all-weather gear. However, accommodation is easier to come by and you may be able to save money on gorilla permits and hotels.

Democratic Republic of Congo in December

October to December is the long rainy season. November is the wettest month, so if you do plan to travel at this time you’ll need to be well prepared with all-weather gear. However, accommodation is easier to come by and you may be able to save money on gorilla permits and hotels.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?


Read More

Get in touch

  • This page is attached to this enquiry