• From: $4,950pps
  • Duration : 8 Days
  • Highlights : The great apes of the Virungas - Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees, Nyragongo Volcano
  • Location : Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Types of Photography : Wildlife, Landscapes
  • Group size : 6 Max


e are proud to present a safari put together by our experts at Pangolin Photo Safaris to arguably one of Africa’s most thrilling wildlife photographic destinations in Africa – the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This 8-day wildlife photographic experience is an opportunity to photograph the biggest lava lake in the world and the Gorillas and Chimpanzees of the Virungas. Gerhard “Guts” Swanepoel and specialist primate photographer Nelis Wolmerans will lead this spectacular photographic safari.


Day 1

When you arrive in Rwanda at the Kigali International Airport, you will meet your Pangolin Photo tour leader. A transfer from the airport will take you to your Kigali hotel. After lunch you will be taken on a city tour of Kigali and visit the Genocide Memorial. During dinner at the hotel there will be a short briefing on what to expect over the next few days.

Day 2 – 4

On the second day, we will take a scenic drive through Rwanda and make our way to the Bukima Tented Camp, the base for treks where you’ll spend time photographing the Mountain Gorillas of the Virungas. We will be doing two treks to these magnificent animals on two separate days days as one group of eight (the maximum allowed per day). Nelis and Guts will be on hand each time to help you make the most of these encounters. On the fourth day, after an hour with the Gorillas, you’ll have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the breathtaking views from your accommodation while browsing through your photographs. You’ll then be taken on a drive to the luxurious Mikeno Lodge, situated in a forested hillside at Virunga National Park Headquarters.

Day 5

The day will start at 6am where you’ll set off to visit the chimpanzees in the forests around the lodge as part of the animal habituation project. Chimps are amazing photographic subjects and this will be an amazing opportunity to photograph large families in their natural environment After lunch, there will be an opportunity to visit the Senkwekwe Mountain Gorilla Orphanage, which is the only place for orphaned Mountain Gorillas in the world.

Day 6

After breakfast, you’ll be taken to the foot of the Nyiragongo volcano, which features the world’s largest lava lake and you’ll start the trek to the summit of Nyiragongo volcano at the Kibati patrol post. The trek should take around 4 – 6 hours. We will camp at the basic but comfortable huts at the top of the volcano which affords opportunities to photograph the lava lake at night – from a safe distance of course.

Day 7 – 8

Following the descent from Nyiragongo, you will be transferred to Tchegera Island on Lake Kivu. Tchegera Island offers spectacular views of the volcanoes and the lake and you’ll spend the night at the Tchegera Island Camp.There will be time for some rest and relaxation as well as image review and post production with Nelis and Guts. For those still looking for more subject matter Tchegera has some stunning birdlife. On the final day, you’ll be transferred to Kigali International Airport and board your flight to your next destination.

Photo Tip

When considering what camera gear, and specifically lens choice, to take on this trip it’s good to bear in mind that there is an element of uphill where those big fixed lenses will be way too cumbersome and unnecessary. The maximum focal length that we recommend would be 300mm with a good wide angle lens for the landscape shots. You mights also consider a monopod which not only offers stability but will also aid in the hiking too.


  • 1 night at a Kigali Hotel (tbc)
  • 2 nights Bukima Tented Camp
  • 2 Gorilla permits
  • 2 nights Mikeno Lodge
  • Nyiragongo Volcano permit and accommodation
  • 1 night Tchegera Island Retreat
  • Tchegera Island Retreat boat transfer and park fees
  • Nyiragongo Volcano packed meals and overnight gear
  • All transfers per itinerary
  • DRC visa


  • Porter fees
  • Air fares
  • Gratuities
  • Laundry and items of a personal nature
  • Drinks and meals other than those specified

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