Going on a gorilla trek Africa is a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it is at the top of many people’s bucket list. There is nothing as thrilling as being amidst the great apes, which share 98% of human DNA, in the middle of an impenetrable jungle.
Gorilla trekking in the D.R.C involves hiking deep into the mountain jungles to observe a gorilla family in the wild. Visitors will be led by guides and national park rangers who keep records of the gorillas for conservation purposes and help protect them from poachers. They can determine the general area where a gorilla family will be and are skilled in tracking them.
Your gorilla trekking adventure in the D.R.C will begin early in the morning and you will be driven up to the gorilla trekking tours point at Bukima – a ranger’s station in the mountains of the Virunga National Park, outside the city of Goma. The small agrarian villages you’ll pass, and the people who run to the road to wave at you, will give you a glimpse of a different way of life.
The length of the trek is entirely dependent on the gorillas — sometimes the guides can track them down in less than two hours, other times it takes much longer. Mountain gorillas are nomadic, traveling the jungle in families and staying in an area just long enough to clear it of food. They also don’t follow a clear path, and you’ll realize when tracking them that they like to meander.
On your first sighting, you may see mothers holding their babies, juvenile gorillas playing, or dominant silver backs keeping an eye out for their family!
Tchegera islands camp definitely one of its 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.
Like most safari camps, communal meals are served in the main mess tent – a light and airy canvas room, surrounded by wooden decking, beyond which lies the beach. At night the camp really comes into its own, as hurricane lamps add atmosphere. A campfire on the beach is the perfect place to watch the glow of the Nyiragongo volcano in the distance, under a full moon reflected in the lake.
Around 15 minutes boat ride from the harbour of Goma, croissant-shaped Tchegera Island sits smack bang in the middle of Lake Kivu, a collapsed volcanic caldera that’s now partly submerged in shimmering blue water. Return your heart rate to normal with a few days here after gorilla trekking in the Virunga or climbing Nyiragongo – the island is a haven of tranquillity and with nothing but the eight tents of Tchegera Island Camp, you can expect peaceful nights and the most wonderful kind of silence in the stunning natural surroundings.