Day 1: Arrival & Welcome in Kinshasa
Welcome to Kinshasa, our representative will greet you at the airport, and courteously assist you to your hotel. After you check-in enjoy a fantastic nightlife tour, or evening to rest. (D)
Day 2: Flight to Mbandaka
Fly to Mbandaka city on the Congo River, and get a glimpse at local river life, largely unchanged for countless thousands of years. On arrival take a 4×4 from Mbandaka to Ilema (29 km), where pygmies and the chief of the village give us a warm welcome with traditional dances. We stay here for viewing of nearby natural and cultural attractions, and settle in for an overnight deep in the African rainforest. Understand that regular tourists rarely visit these villages. You are some of the only people they see visit from the outside world. Make a good impression. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Trip to Samba, Buya, and Other Pygmy Villages
After breakfast we leave by 8:00am for a thrilling trip to Samba. On the Road we stop in Buya, where we visit a small village with pygmies. Here we have the opportunity to view their traditional clothes and wooden sculptures. Overnight stay in Samba, with local pygmies and the chief of the village. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Congo River & Nkake Forest Expedition
After breakfast we take a canoe to Nkake (5 hours paddling) and take the time to admire the vegetation in the old and hugely biodiverse tropical jungle. Enjoy fresh fruit, vegetables, and other specialties to taste. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Bikoro Paddling in Ntumba Lake
After breakfast we leave for Bikoro (2 hours paddling by pirogue on the serene Congo River tributary) on Lake Ntumba. We visit forest pygmies here of another tribe and family. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Virgin Jungle Trekking
After breakfast at Bikoro we head into the virgin Jungle to I.R.E.S in a 4×4 jeep (30 km). IRES is an animal protection area that has many attractions including a center for research and climatology, and an outpost for the study of the ecology of tropical fauna and flora. Enjoy a guided excursion in the park where you can find ancient and virgin vegetation, several unique animals and birds, and many more that are not yet documented by science! Finish the evening with a traditional Congolese dinner. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Travel Back to Mbandaka
Breakfast at 7h00, followed by a 4×4 trip to Mbandaka. We stay the night in Mbandaka and enjoy local restaurant food and cold beer. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Final Day – Flight Back to Kinshasa
Fly back to Kinshasa, assistance and boarding formalities (B)
– Day 1: Pick up at N’Djili Airport, Kinshasa. Transfer to Leon. Briefing. Overnight in Leon.
– Day 2: Pick up from Leon for City Tour of Kinshasa including National Museum and the pioneers cemetery in the grounds of the museum which dates back to the 1800’s. Afterwards have dinner in Cher Fleur which has the best Congolese cuisine in Kinshasa.
Overnight in Leon Hotel.
– Day 3: Pick up from Hotel for flight to Mbandaka. On arrival you will be assisted at the airport and transferred to Hotel Nina. Once settled in the guides will assist you in buying supplies for the forest trek. Evening meal and overnight in hotel.
– Day 4 and on: pick up from hotel after breakfast to be transported in a 4×4 from Mbandaka deep into the rainforest, where pygmies and the chief of the village will give us a warm welcome with traditional dances as we move in further.
We stay and explore here for viewing natural and cultural attractions of Congo’s deep heart, and settle in for the nights far in the African rainforest. Understand that regular tourists rarely visit these villages. You will be one of the few outsiders to overnight here!
Meal(s) Include: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner for the entirety of time in forest (unless extended.)
– Day 5, 6, 7, 8 : Forest Time! Staying and Exploring various equatorial pygmy villages and groups (may over-extend longer – roads are terrible or, don’t exist out here) in the deep Congolese rainforest. You are very very far from home or anybody at this point. You may attract a whole lot of attention and so just follow the ques of your guides.
note you can also extend time in the forest here at this point if you’d like for $225 a day on your card for the guide fees, plus you must pay for the food and accommodation and transport of the local guides for extra days you choose to stay.
– Day 9: Breakfast at 7h00 way early, followed by a long 4×4 trip to Mbandaka. (If Optional Bonobos Extension: Stock up on supplies for the next exciting part of the adventure to view the Bonobos in the wild and/or at the point of their release into the wild if they are nearby timing-wise.) We stay the night in Mbandaka and enjoy local restaurant food and cold beer.
– Day 10: Congo River time! pick up from Hotel after breakfast to begin the river journey to Basankusu by motorised pyrogue. Overnight in hotel or tent if preferred.
(Note: Nina is THE best hotel in town but sometimes the shower does not work. -This would be at your expense for you and the guides but rooms are very cheap here)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>BONOBOS (This is a direction only, not an itinerary that should be specifically counted on as things move according to tons of obstacles, but this is a working action plan of where you will go and what you will do!) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
– Day 11: Basankusu to Lingunda. I day trip by motorised pyrogue. ( There will be amazing views of the forest during the river journeys)Overnight in tent.
– Day 12: Lingundu to Iyema (2 hours by river). We arrive at Bosolomua and hike for tens of km into the forest where the Bonobos can be viewed, which is very early morning. Overnight camping in reserve.
– Day 13: after taking breakfast we head back to the river to begin return journey to Lingundu. Overnight in tent.
– Day 14: after breakfast we begin journey back to Basankusu. Overnight in hotel or tent.
– Day 15: after breakfast we begin river journey back to Mbandaka. (All meals are prepared by cook during the expedition). Overnight in Nina hotel.
– Day 16: free day in Mbandaka to chill out at the hotel and stroll around the town and maybe buy some souvenirs.
– Day 17: after breakfast transfer to airport for return flight to Kinshasa. Transfer to Leon Hotel. Overnight in hotel.
– Day 18: option of doing more local tours in Kin. Last Day of Tour and dropoff at chosen hotel or airport
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