Explore the sweeping forest steppes of the African Great Lakes region, and its most important and beautiful lake towns and National Park. Nestled in Congo-Kinshasa’s eastern region, this jungle hub is the launching point to Kahuzi-Biega National Park for lowland gorilla and chimpanzee spotting. Meet more of your relatives in one of Jane Goodall's famous chimpanzee sanctuaries and protection zones. Finally, gaze at Chibati waterfalls set in an equatorial jungle straight out of Michael Crichton's Congo, and Idjwi, Africa’s second largest inland island, below you.

The forests of eastern DRC are among of the most important regions on earth for biodiversity. The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) with funding and help from the Congolese government and multiple foundations is leading a conservation action planning (CAP) process in the region. The CAP process targets more than 66 million acres, including the areas on this tour, which contain more than 35,000 chimpanzees and somewhere between 2,500-3,000 gorillas. You will be directly participating in their survival by showing interest and incentivizing locals to protect them, and you will enjoy an experience distinct from and in many ways superior to Virunga or Rwandan Safaris next-door.

Why Us?

We work directly with the Kahuzi Biega National Park Authority (kahuzibiega.wordpress.com) and ICCN to bring tourists and grant visas to incomers and provide secure transport and safari guides, and are a supplier and supporter of the KB and local lodges, staff, and conservation efforts, and supply about half of their operators too in the Congo with logistics and materials in the region. Our mission is literally to promote the park to you.

We can arrange everything from your before-and-after hotels to custom requests.

We have experience in many different situations in the region, in many different challenges and local circumstances, know all routes in and out and safety procedures, have guides and friends in the parks with deep education and experience in the wildlife and their movement, and have long standing contacts within the many different groups and cultures in the Kivus region. - Decades' worth.

This tour can start in Kigali, and we can arrange transportation and visa for all tourists, and with pickup at all hotels and locations in Kigali.

Day 1: Arrival and Welcome, African Great Lakes Cruise and Islands Scenic Tour

Welcome to your CTT Kahuzi Biega Luxury Lodge Tour. Start from Kigali today at your hotel and take the 3 hour drive to the frontier with the border where you will be granted a DRC Visa on arrival (we can also arrange it in advance at your home embassy to save time this day.) Our next DRC-based representative picks you up in Goma or Gisenyi, and you transfer over the afternoon to Bukavu over the Lake Kivu and past all of its islands in the lake to Orchids Safari Lodge (4 Star.)

After you comfortably check-in to your hotel, you have an option of a short tour, or just enjoy a rest and refreshment after a briefing from the local guide. The staff will attend to your turndown service this evening and you can relax.

Overnight at The Orchid Safari Lodge

Day 2: Mountain Gorilla Tracking 

Early wake in Bukavu where you’ll get a full panoramic view of the volcanoes and valleys where the gorillas reside. Take a four hour trek through the rainforest to share what is sure to be a memorable moment with the lowland gorillas in their natural environment in the Kahuzi Biega National Park. This activity will take most of the rest of the day. 

Overnight at The Orchid Safari Lodge

Day 3: Jane Goodall's Chimpanzees at Lwiro Forest

After breakfast head to the beautiful Lwiro Forest with a view overlooking the park - a walk of about three hours awaits you. Accompanied by a guide you will optionally discover more walks and birding tours and animals nearby crossed by a river and really enjoy watching our cousins the chimps interact and go about social life in their real habitat, a wilderness they were born and raised in. Finally head back along the beautiful Lake Kivu Lakeshore and stop at numerous village fruit stands and street snacks overlooking the islands. 

This afternoon you will have the chance if open to visit a beautiful library preserved since Belgian Colonial time, a timepiece snapshot of Africa decades ago, preserved like a museum piece. (The library is quite famous with visitors since around 2014, so is a nice diversion but not mandatory.)

Overnight at The Orchid Safari Lodge

Day 4: Mt. Kahuzi Guided Summit Hike

This morning depart to Mt Kahuzi one hour from Orchid Lodge and up towards the summit, through the valley jungles and flocks of birds and butterflies. You will climb, during 4-7 hours, the Kahuzi volcano. 

After admiring the once-in-a-lifetime vista: the masses of swirling clouds glazing the valleys below you, gaze out between the sister volcanoes of Kahuzi and Mt Biega, and after taking a hearty lunch in the frigid air, you will walk down the volcano amidst beautiful and highly diversified volcanic flora, and some positively alien and bizarre plants. Jump in the 4x4 and make your way back to Orchid Lodge to rest your legs and relax tonight with a final sendoff cocktail.

Overnight at The Orchid Safari Lodge

Day 5: Back to Kigali and Farewell from DRC and Virunga

After a delicious departing breakfast at Orchid Lodge, spend the morning enjoying the park and seeing some last vistas of the Great Lakes and the Mountains. In the late morning you take the boat back north across the lake to Goma and on (if requested, to Kigali to be dropped off and waved goodbye.)


Notes and Optional Additions:

-CTT Can arrange your roundtrip private transfer (RT) from anywhere in Kigali on Day 1 & 6 for $399 for a car with 3 people
-CTT Can arrange your visa for DRC on arrival at the park (at the Goma/Gisenyi border) or in advance in any DRC Embassy
-Yellow Fever Vaccination is required for entrance into DRC, as well as any other mandatory vaccinations (Ask Us.)
-Kahuzi Biega is visitable year-round and the park is currently open and safe for tourists.