9 Days Okapi and Gorilla Tracking in Congo
In this safari,you will have to track Gorillas and at the same time have a chance of viewing the Okapi.This cud-chewing hoofed mammal that is placed together with the giraffe in the family Giraffidae serves as the flagship species for the Ituri forest in the DR Congo.This shy,solitary elusive mammal majorly preyed on by leopards,though related to the Giraffe,the Okapi has a short neck and shorter legs.Below is the itinerary of this safari;
Day 1: Arrival
Pick up from Kanombe airport in Kigali by our company driver.Depending on the time of your arrival, there is an option of visiting the Genocide memorial at Gisozi and then after wards proceed to Beni in the DR Congo and check in at Labrisse hotel.Meals here are based on H/B
Day 2:Transfer to Epulu
Wake up very early in the morning and have breakfast then afterwards take along drive on Beni road to Epulu the home of Okapi wildlife reserve in the Ituri forest located in the north-eastern part of DR Congo.Reach in the evening and check in at hotel Beni. Meals here are on F/B basis
Day 3: Okapi Tracking
Rise up very early in the morning and have breakfast.then together with packed lunch move to the okapi station which is the starting point for tracking these rare specie of animals.Though these animals are very shy,solitary and elusive you will spend some good time with them and take their pictures as well.This exercise will take almost a whole day since it also includes looking for some other animals within this forest and other rare bird species.Retire in the evening and take the vehicle back to your hotel for dinner and overnight.Meals are based on F/B.
Day 4: Hunting with Bambuties.
Bambuti are pygmy hunter-gatherers, and are one of the oldest indigenous people of the Congo region of Africa.While hunting, the Bambuti have been known to specifically target the giant forest hog. The meat obtained from the giant forest hog is often considered kweri, a bad animal which may cause illness to those who eat it,but is often valuable as a trade good between the Bambuti and agriculturalist Bantu groups.They have a vast knowledge of the forest and the foods it yields. The Bambuti men use large nets, traps, and bows and arrows to hunt game. Women and children sometimes help out by driving the animals into the nets. Both men and women gather and forage. Each band has its own hunting ground, although boundaries are hard to maintain.We will be permitted to follow a hunting group into the forest and, where possible, take our tents and set up our camp near to their bands. The evening will be spent around the camp fire, listening to the Bambuti tell hunting stories whilst they smoke water pipes under a beautiful blanket of African stars.The night will be spent under the tents that will be erected in the forest.
Day 5: Return to Goma
Wake up not so early in the morning and enjoy leisure.Then in the afternoon after lunch embark on the long drive to Goma through Beni and Butembo.Check in at hotel ihusi[luxury], lac Kivu lodge[mid range]or VIP palace Goma[budget].Meals here are on F/B basis.
Day 6:Gorilla Trekking
This is another rewarding day of this entire safari.With packed lunch,and various refreshments head for the mountain gorilla tracking in the virunga national park.After the briefing from the authority of the park,set off for the memorable gorilla tracking adventure in the tropical rain forest searching for the habituated gorilla family.This adventure takes a full hour observing and photographing them.After this hectic exercise,return to the hotel in Goma for dinner and overnight.Meals here are on F/B basis
Day 7: Hiking Nyiragongo Volcano
Rise up very early in the morning and have your breakfast and with packed lunch,drive to Nyiragongo volcano trail in virunga national park.The climb up this volcanic hill takes around five hours which is coupled with burning some calories,watching some rare bird species,some small mammals and the view at the top is very stunning.The night will be spent in tents on the rim of the giant crater, high above the active lava lake.
Day 8: Back to Goma
After breakfast at around 7am,start descending back from the mountain and reach down in Kibati village at around 10 or 11am.Link up with the driver and drive back to Goma and proceed to Gisenyi reaching there in the evening and spend the night at Lake Kivu Serena hotel.Meals here will be based on H/B.
Day 9: Departure
This is the last day of the safari and it only necessitates to just have breakfast and then drive to Kanombe airport in Kigali and kiss bye bye to the safari.
The package includes;
- Transportation vehicle
- Accommodation and meals as per the itinerary
- Park entrance fees
- Game drives
- Cultural visits
- Drinking water
- Drinks,tips, laundry,telephone,cigarettes.