Opened in 2015, Tchegera Island Camp is the greatest Congo safari accommodation in Virunga National Park places used by travellers on Congo safaris including Congo gorilla safaris and Congo hiking safaris. Tchegera Island camp is one of the best places to be and escape the hustles of the city more so after your Nyiragongo hiking safari or a place to relax after your gorilla tour Congo. The camp offers a simple safari-style tented mid-range lodge in Virunga National Park. It is one of the best, yet least known destinations in Congo and offers perfect relaxation and exclusion.
Tchegera Island tented camp is situated on the northern shores of Lake Kivu in Virunga National Park Congo and it offers some of the best views of the lake giving you also the best view of four of the eight Virunga Volcanoes. Lake Kivu is shared by Rwanda and Congo. On clear nights, Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes offer stunning views; they turn the night sky red with their glowing lava. It becomes totally magical! The main shared area is a simple mess tent and includes a lounge, space to eat communally, and bar.
During the day, you can immerse for your feet in the water or swim in the croc-free bay. Interested in more Congo tour exciting water activities, there are kayaks available for use. Bird viewing on the island is great and the most common birds there include heron, cormorants, African eagles and gulls.
Whether you’re travelling as a family, friends, or solo travellers, this Island tented camp has eight safari-style tented rooms which can be set up as either single, double or twin, that sit on the black sandy shore of the island. The tents are simple but comfortable, with flushing loos, bucket showers and power from a generator. Each has a small veranda for sitting outside and watching the sun go down over the lake.
Food and Service
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided at Tchegera Island Camp and served communally in the main mess tent. After dinner, hurricane lamps and a campfire are often set up on the beach, where Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira volcanoes turn the night sky red.
To access Tchegera Island, you must purchase a permit and secure round boat transfer. You have to show that proof before setting off to the island and the charges are per person. So, transportation to Tchegera Island is only by boat but you have to find your way to Goma first.
A Glance about Congo Gorilla Trekking safaris in Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park has been severely threatened by armed conflict in the past, but with financial support and the dedication of park rangers the park and Tchegera Island Camp has survived and the biodiversity of the park has been protected. In the park are six habituated gorilla families available for gorilla safaris in Congo. Kabirizi is the largest family in the national park with approximately 32 members including 10 babies, 4 sub-adults, I black back, 11 adults, five juveniles and 1 silverback named kabirizi. The other gorilla families in the national park are Rugendo, Munyaga, Humba, Mapuwa and Lulengo families. Gorilla trekking safaris in Congo are an all year round activity and a total of 8 tourists are allowed to trek a single gorilla family each day. Mountain Gorilla trekking starts at 8:00 am each morning and takes about 6 hours though only a maximum of 1 hour in the presence of the gentle giants. To trek a gorilla family in Congo, a traveller needs a Congo gorilla trekking permit. A Congo gorilla safari permit costs USD 400 per person per trek which is far less than both the price for a Uganda or Rwanda gorilla safari permits.
Popular Short Congo gorilla safaris
- 2 days Congo gorilla safari to Virunga National Park
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- 3 days Mountain Gorilla safari Virunga National Park Congo
- 4 Days Congo gorilla safari & Nyiragongo hike
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Nyiragongo Hiking safaris in Congo
Mount Nyiragongo is situated within the Virunga massif close to the Albertine rift a region that is very rich in diversity within Africa. Mount Nyiragongo is about 3,470m high with two distinct lava benches one about 3,175m (10,417ft) and the other at 2,975m (9,760ft). Mount Nyiragongo is one of Africa’s recently active stratovolcanoes with a lava lake once known as the most voluminous.
The most common activity on mount Nyiragongo is hiking especially done alongside gorilla safaris in Congo in Virunga National Park. This amazing Volcano is 20km north of Goma town (capital of the North Kivu province in the Eastern DRC) and just west of the border with Rwanda. From 1882, Mount Nyiragongo has erupted at least 34 times. In 1977, there was an active volcanic activity when the walls fractured and the lava lake drained in one hour creating the fastest lava flow recorded (40mi/h). Mount Nyiragongo is one of the recent active volcanoes and for this uniqueness, many are always daring to hike Mount Nyiragongo and never have they been disappointed, the lava and hike experience are 2 different and memorable Congo safari activities.
A hike to Mount Nyiragongo is briefly a single day Congo safari tour hike and a single day descend with a night spent at the summit. You can decide to take the Nyiragongo volcano hike either as a stand-alone trip or tailor it with a gorilla trekking tour in Congo to Virunga National Park. For a Mount Nyiragongo trek, you arrive from your destination probably Kigali International Airport which is the closest airport with daily flight then transfer to Goma town.
On the first day of the trek, you are expected to be at the hike start point by 8:00 am Congo local time. The ascent up the volcano starts at around 10:00 am with most climbing groups reaching the summit by 5:00 pm. The trek is split into five legs, so you get four rest stops of about 20 minutes each as you regain your strength and collect your breath. On arriving at the summit, you will spend the night on the crater in small summit cabins just enough for your rest through the cold night. Early morning before sunrise after taking memorable pictures of the lava at the summit, by around 6:00 am getting you then start the descend back to the hike start point going through the steep rocky trail. In case you need help with the hike and your luggage, hiring a porter at a fee is the best option.
How to get to Congo
For tourists planning to travel to Congo, you can get into the country by either air or road. If you are flying directly into Congo, Ethiopian Airlines is the best means of transport to use however the airline goes to Goma once a week and returns in Seven days. If your safari is not taking this long then the neighbouring Kigali International Airport in Rwanda is the best option since the Airport has daily flights. After your safari, you can be driven to Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport for your flight back home. If you are arriving into DRC using a safari vehicle, for instance, connecting from Rwanda or from a Uganda, the entry point for visitors is through the city of Goma at the Grand Barriere border crossing.
Similarly, just like Congo, Uganda also offers exciting mountain gorilla safaris in two National Parks; Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Taking a 2-3 hours trek (minimum) up the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks’ bamboo forest, gives you an opportunity to encounter these gentle apes. At an elevation ranging from 1160 to 2600 meters above sea level Bwindi Impenetrable Park forest is blessed with half of the world’s remaining mountain Gorillas. Mountain gorillas are undoubtedly the highlight of a most Africa safaris/ Africa tours to Uganda. It is very hard for a traveller on a Uganda safari to leave out a Uganda gorilla trekking safari in their itinerary. Spending one hour with these gentle apes is worth every penny paid to see them. Mountain gorillas are a must-see, well worth including on your bucket list.
When you drive to the northwest of Kigali just a few hours from the city, you will find the stunning Volcanoes National Park; home to the incredibly beautiful and endangered mountain gorilla. Unlike Uganda’s $600 dollars for only $ 1,500 dollars per person, you got the chance to trek through the jungle and spend some time with these majestic apes in their natural habitat. During your Rwanda gorilla tour, you will spend up to one hour observing these very humanlike creatures, observe, take pictures; a magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience that should not be missed if you can afford the luxury.
Popular Congo gorilla safari packages