Pictus Safaris

4.2/5 – 5 Reviews

$6,894 pp (USD)
This tour is offered in GBP. Show rate in GBP

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Arrival (See Getting There for more details)

Arrival (See Getting There for more details)

  • You'll be collected from the airport.
  • Accommodation before the tour starts can be arranged for an extra cost.

Day 1

Kinshasa

Kinshasa

On arrival in Kinshasa you will be met by your Pictus Safaris tour leader and transferred to your comfortable local hotel. There will be a pre-tour briefing in the hotel this evening before dinner, with the remainder of the day at leisure for you to catch up on rest after a long inbound flight.

Main Destination:
Kinshasa (City)
Accommodation:
Pullman Kinshasa
  • Luxury hotel located in or near Kinshasa
Meals & Drinks:
  • Meals at own expense
  • Drinks not included

Day 2

Bombo Lumene

Bombo Lumene

This morning, after breakfast in Kinshasa, we are met by closed 4x4 vehicles for the two-and-a-half hour transfer to the small reserve of Bombo Lumene. Not widely known outside of the expatriate community in Kinshasa, Bombo Lumene is one of the last vestiges of protected forest and savanna within driving distance of Kinshasa, and work done by a local NGO is ongoing to establish Bombo Lumene as an ecotourism destination.

Arriving at our basic tented camp, there will be time to settle in before we head out to explore the reserve this afternoon in closed vehicles. Charcoal burning and poaching means that much of the wildlife here has been extirpated but, remarkably, forest buffalo, black-fronted duiker and even red river hog still persist here and, with luck, we may glimpse them this afternoon.

After returning to camp for a local dinner, we will head out with spotlight for a night drive, where we will focus on forest duikers, as well as brush-tailed porcupine, genet and civet.

Main Destination:
Bombo Lumene
Accommodation:
Bombo Lumene Tented Camp
  • Budget tented camp located inside Bombo Lumene NR
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 3-4

Bombo Lumene

Bombo Lumene

The next two days are spent exploring Bombo Lumene at a sedate pace. Morning, afternoon and night drives will focus on the rare, charismatic species that persist here, most notably forest buffalo and red river hog. When not on drive, walks into the savanna and forest offer superb birding, and this is one of the only reliable places in the world to spot the elusive white-headed robin-chat.

Popular activities also include 'floats' down the river, swimming the in the safe, clear waters of the nearby river, and nature walks. Camp is comfortable, if basic, and is great place to relax as we acclimatise to the Congo.

Main Destination:
Bombo Lumene
Accommodation:
Bombo Lumene Tented Camp
  • Budget tented camp located inside Bombo Lumene NR
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 5

Kinshasa

Kinshasa

After a final morning in Bombo Lumene, we transfer back to Kinshasa and the modern-conveniences of our lovely hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure ahead of a busy few days to come. An afternoon city tour can be arranged today at extra cost on request.

Main Destination:
Kinshasa (City)
Accommodation:
Pullman Kinshasa
  • Luxury hotel located in or near Kinshasa
Meals & Drinks:
  • Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 6

Tshumbiri

Tshumbiri

After breakfast in Kinshasa, we transfer to the city port on the mighty Congo river. This port is exceedingly chaotic, and it will take us plenty of time to safely embark our speedboat for the five-hour journey upstream to Tshumbiri. Eventually, though, our journey will be underway, and we aim to arrive at Tshumbiri beach by mid-afternoon. From here, it is a car journey on narrow trails before we emerge at Nkala Village.

This village has been the site of an admirable effort by a local NGO to bring the benefits of bonobo tourism to the local community, and we are sure of an exceedingly warm welcome. We overnight in basic local guesthouses tonight, in preparation for adventurous days to come.

Main Destination:
Nkala
Accommodation:
Nkala Safari Lodge
  • Luxury self catering accommodation located inside Black Rhino GR
Meals & Drinks:
  • Breakfast & dinner (Lunch not included)
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 7-9

Nkala

Nkala

The next three days are sure to be both memorable and exhausting. Each morning, we arise before dawn, usually at 4am. We meet up with the local bonobo trackers and head into the nearby forest, aiming to intercept a family of bonobos as they descend to the forest floor from their nocturnal roosts.

The chances of a sighting are very high, although we should expect to have to battle through thick forest, wade streams and endure insect bites to do so. Eventually, though, we should emerge with the opportunity to spend time with and photograph these incredibly rare animals. Unlike chimpanzees and gorillas in East Africa, these are not habituated animals and they may sometimes be shy, so three days of trekking is needed to offer a good chance of an excellent sighting. Afternoons are spent in the village resting, and we overnight each night here too. Unfortunately, due to poaching, the chances of spotting any species other than bonobos is low.

Main Destination:
Nkala
Accommodation:
Nkala Safari Lodge
  • Luxury self catering accommodation located inside Black Rhino GR
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 10

Kinshasa

Kinshasa

After breakfast, we return to the river today for our four-hour transfer back down the Congo to Kinshasa. On arrival at the port, we transfer once more to our comfortable hotel where we overnight and recover from a busy and taxing few days tracking bonobos.

Main Destination:
Kinshasa (City)
Accommodation:
Pullman Kinshasa
  • Luxury hotel located in or near Kinshasa
Meals & Drinks:
  • Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 11

Tour End

Tour End

Today, guests transfer back to the airport for their homeward flights.

Main Destination:
Kinshasa Airport (Kinshasa)
Accommodation:
No accommodation (End of tour)
Meals & Drinks:
  • Breakfast (Lunch & dinner not included)
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

End of tour (See Getting There for more details)

End of tour (See Getting There for more details)

  • Additional accommodation can be arranged for an extra cost.
  • You'll be dropped off at the airport.

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Disclaimer

  • This tour is offered by Pictus Safaris, not SafariBookings.
  • This operator reserves the right to change rates advertised on SafariBookings.
  • This group tour requires a minimum of 4 people to run.
  • The exact order, contents and rates of this tour is subject to availability.
  • If an accommodation is fully booked, the operator will suggest a comparable alternative.
  • This tour is subject to the terms & conditions of Pictus Safaris.