The Democratic Republic of Congo is the third largest country in Africa with the largest number of national heritage sites of any country in Africa and hosts an astonishing variety of wildlife including Eastern Lowland gorillas, mountain gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees, forest elephant and much more. It has one of the most ecologically diverse landscapes on the continent: the snow peaks and glaciers of the fabled Ruwenzori Mountains, great lakes tropical lowland forests, the grass land savannas of the Rwindi plains, Albertine Rift Montane Forests and the Eastern Congolian swamp forests.
Virunga National Park in Eastern DRC is one of the most dramatic backdrops for a national park throughout the continent with its active volcanoes Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira and is home to the endangered mountain gorillas. With the mountain gorillas in the Virungas and the Eastern Lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega, DRC has a variety of different opportunities for the traveller.
DRC is world renowned for its ancient sculptures and masks which can be seen in museums all over the world. The variety of art styles and the abundance of its production make DRC a center of exceptional artistic riches and one of the most remarkable in Black Africa in terms of traditional arts. It is indeed Art Collectors Paradise.
When visiting the gorilla parks of eastern DRC it is advised to gain access from either Uganda or Rwanda as proximity to major international airports is far easier. The true heart of Africa, DRC offers the traveller some of the most spectacular scenery you will see in Africa and a true adventure.
Visit the endangered Mountain Gorillas which can be seen in Djomba and Bukima on the western slopes of the Virunga volcanoes where there are currently 3 families habituated. You will also get the opportunity to hike the active volcanoes of Nyamulagira and Nyiragongo. Spend the evening enjoying the view from the craters bubbling with live magma which is a spectacular sight and overnight in tents at the rim of the giant crater high above the active lava lake.
A city tour of Goma will give you an insight into the impact of the 2002 eruption that left Goma resembling a modern day Pompeii with cars and houses trapped in the lava flow. You will visit the touristic market called Virunga, the big cathedral destroyed by the lava, the handicraft shops, the pygmies around the city, the traditional dancers, shop for the sculptures and famous Congolese masks from the local artisans on the sides of the streets.
Located in South Kivu province, just around 30kms from Bukavu; Kahuzi Biega National Park is the home of the Eastern lowland Gorillas, an endangered and intriguing animal. The park is an afro-montane forest area with two extinct volcanoes. It was the first park to habituate gorillas. There are 4 habituated Gorilla groups as well as chimpanzees, monkeys, buffaloes, antelopes and forest elephants.