African Volcano Expedition:

D.R Congo & Rwanda

Nyiragongo Volcano, D.R. Congo.

Join Lupine Expeditions on an intrepid journey into the heart of Africa.

The adventure will take our team to the summit of five towering volcanoes in the Democratic Republic of Congo & Rwanda. We will trek through jungles, and along trails of hardened lava, explore the otherworldly city of Goma, gaze down into the largest lava lake in the world, and witness man’s closest, but most endangered relative in the wild: the mountain gorilla. For the fit and intrepid adventurer, this will be an expedition like no other.

  • check_circleIncludes
    Lupine Expeditions leader throughout

    All transport

    Gorilla permit

    All volcano and national park permits

    Local guides where necessary

    3 and 4-star hotel accommodation when not camping

    All breakfasts

    Airport pick-up in Kigali

  • cancelExcludes
    International flights

    Lunches and dinners

    Visas fees (we will arrange your DRC e-visa (costing $105), and can assist with your Rwanda visa if required)

    Onward travel at the end of the tour

    Tips for guides

    Single room upgrade (contact us for pricing)

  • assignment_indVisa Information

    Lupine will apply for and arrange your DRC e-visa and can assist with your Rwandan visa if required.

  • Day 1 hotel flight_land
  • Arrive in Kigali, Rwanda. If flying, you will be greeted at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Overnight in Kigali.
  • Day 2 directions_bus remove_red_eye free_breakfast
  • After breakfast, you will meet your expedition leader and teammates for a briefing. The team will then embark on a short morning tour of Kigali to get acclimatised to this vibrant and fascinating country. In the afternoon, we will travel to a hotel in the town of Musanze, on the edge of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
Sunrise views from the Nyiragongo crater rim.
  • Day 3 hotel terrain directions_walk
  • We will make an early start for our first volcano climb of the expedition. The team will ascend Gahinga (3474m) from the Rwandan side, aiming for a one-day ascent. Overnight in Musanze.
  • Day 4 hotel terrain directions_walk
  • Another early start for our second volcano climb. We will ascend Bisoke (3700m), a conical volcano with a large water lake in the summit crater. This will be challenging one-day ascent. Overnight in Musanze
A Virunga Park ranger guides our trek towards a family of mountain gorillas.
  • Day 5 hotel remove_red_eye
  • The team will now be feeling the benefits of our gradual altitude acclimatisation program. We will use day 5 as a rest day in advance of the most difficult climb of the expedition. It may also serve as a contingency day. We will have the chance to explore the town of Musanze or relax in the hotel.
  • Day 6 hotel terrain directions_walk
  • The team will travel to the base of Muhabura (4127m), a steep, densely forested and alluring volcano on the eastern edge of Volcanoes National Park. This is where your prior fitness training will really come to the fore. We will ascend over 1500m and be walking for up to twelve hours. Please note that although the climb is steep and arduous, it is non-technical and the trail is unexposed. It will, however, be a tough and rewarding day on a scarcely climbed mountain. Overnight in Musanze.
Curious locals greeting our group in Rwanda.
  • Day 7 terrain directions_walk directions_bus
  • After a well-earned rest, we will travel to the nearby Karisimbi. At 4507 metres, Karisimbi is the highest mountain in Rwanda, and the eleventh highest mountain in Africa. The team will climb for around six hours before stopping and sleeping at camp one (3700m), in preparation for summit day.
  • Day 8 directions_bus terrain directions_walk
  • We will continue to the summit of Karisimbi, before descending to the base of the mountain. The team will then transfer to the picturesque Rwandan lakeside town of Gisenyi.
Sunset over Lake Kivu from the beautiful Rwandan town of Gisenyi.
  • Day 9 hotel photo_camera remove_red_eye
  • After four challenging volcano climbs, today will serve as a rest day in Gisenyi, or a contingency day. Sitting on the shores of the beautiful Lake Kivu, Gisenyi is the perfect place to recharge our batteries before the next phase of the expedition.
  • Day 10 hotel directions_bus remove_red_eye
  • We will have the morning at leisure in Gisenyi. Around midday, the team will make the short journey across the nearby DR Congo border and into the otherworldly city of Goma. After checking-in to our hotel, we will head into the city, exploring the bustling lava-coated streets of Goma on an afternoon tour. We will also have the opportunity to visit a unique craft store, where local artisans sell Congolese masks and carvings. We will overnight in the hotel in Goma.
Vibrant dawn views from the summit of Nyiragongo.
  • Day 11 hotel remove_red_eye directions_walk
  • This morning, we will make an early start for one of the real highlights of the expedition: an opportunity to trek into Virunga National Park and visit a family of mountain gorillas. After trekking into the jungle, accompanied by local rangers, we will spend one hour at close quarters with the gorillas. Sadly, only 880 mountain gorillas remain in the wild, but by visiting them in DR Congo, we will make an invaluable contribution towards the Virunga National Park efforts of preserving this fascinating species. Overnight in at a lodge in Virunga National Park.
  • Day 12 style terrain remove_red_eye
  • Today we will get to witness one of the greatest spectacles on planet earth: Nyiragongo. Standing at 3470 metres, and towering over the nearby city of Goma, Nyiragongo has the largest active lava lake of any volcano in the world. Indeed, its lava lake is so big, that all the world’s other lava lakes combined could fit inside it. Climbing Nyiragongo is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We will begin our climb at around 2000 metres. From there, the trail snakes up the mountainside, through jungle and over volcanic rock, to reach the colossal crater rim. We will camp in huts on the crater rim and get to enjoy the mesmerising lava lake at night as it turns the sky red.
The Nyiragongo lava lake at night: one of the most incredible spectacles on planet Earth.
  • Day 13 restaurant directions_walk
  • In the morning, we will descend from Nyiragongo and arrive back in Goma at midday. In the evening, we will enjoy a celebratory meal to mark the end of our expedition.
  • Day 14 flight_takeoff map
  • Today the tour ends. Your expedition leader can help you to organise your onward travel plans.
  • Beyond Day 14 live_help
  • We are working on the possibility of an optional expedition extension to a barely explored volcano in Virunga National Park. This is not yet confirmed, but more details can be obtained upon request.
Watching the sunrise from outside our huts on the crater rim of Nyiragongo.