The Virunga volcanoes are a chain of eight which straddle the DRC, Rwandan and Ugandan borders. Within the Virunga national park alone there are two of Africa’s most active volcanoes, including Nyiragongo which contains the world’s largest lava lake. The region’s tectonic movements have created enormously varied topography with fertile volcanic soils which promote the growth of diverse jungle habitats. Although this expedition takes place during the dry period, teammates should still expect deep mud in the jungle and slow progress at times. The jungle vegetation at lower levels gives way to African alpine vegetation and rocky lava flows at higher altitudes. Our expedition will involve challenging scrambling in addition to trail blazing through the jungle.
Nearly half of the world’s 700-some remaining mountain gorillas live in Virunga. A highlight of this expedition is a day trek to visit mountain gorilla families living on the lush volcanic slopes surrounding Goma. Following the Rwenzori trekking phase, your team will cross the border into Uganda for an afternoon safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Set against the backdrop of the Ruwenzori’s, this famously ecologically diverse park is known for its big game such as buffaloes, hippos, elephants, leopards, crocodiles, chimpanzees and Uganda’s famous tree-climbing black-maned lions.
Navigating the dense jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, home to the critically endangered mountain gorillas, is hailed king of many a bucket list around the world. Join the expedition to explore Virunga National Park – You’ll hike to the smoking lava pools of Mount Nyiragongo and camp on its crater rim before exploring the gorillas’ natural habitat. Then to the soaring peaks of the Rwenzori mountains with their glaciated summits, dubbed the Mountains of the Moon, for a full scale confrontation with the extent of Central Africa’s dramatic scenery.
This expedition aims to climb volcanic Mount Nyiragongo within Virunga National Park, camping on the crater rim above the world’s largest lava lake before heading into the forests of the national park in search of the critically endangered mountain gorillas and the dedicated rangers who protect them. The expedition’s secondary aim is to trek into the little-visited DRC Rwenzori Mountains towards the foot of Mount Stanley, Africa’s third highest mountain. This is located amongst the world-renowned Mountains of the Moon whose glaciers are a source of the Nile.