Imagine being in Rusizi, southwestern Rwanda, on the last evening of 2021… On the other side of the Lake Kivu bay, there is a city so beautiful and huge that you can easily think it is the capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Colourful multi-storey houses sit on green peninsulas; if you were a bird flying over the lake, you would see an interconnected urban area extending to both sides of the Rusizi river into two countries. You would never get tired of looking at this view!
At midnight fireworks begin, on both sides of the border, to unite the people of Rwanda and the DRC in their desire to step into a new year free of viruses, challenges and disagreements!
“Happy 2022!” we wish each other.
Next day, on 1 January, we step into Bukavu, and it is my first time in the DRC! I have visited this point many times before but never crossed the border… We begin 2022 with a grand brunch, enjoying fabled Congolese hospitality. We spend a couple of nights in the city, and then visit Kahuzi-Biega National Park, the only place in the world where you can see Eastern lowland gorillas.
But it doesn’t end there!
We take a speedboat to the other end of Lake Kivu, to Goma, and the strongest among us climb Nyiragongo, an active volcano on whose brim you spend your night in iron cottages.
… And you know what the craziest part of this is? That what I have just described is only one little part of an adventure like no other, the GH Mega Trek!
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Gorilla Highlands initiative, our veterans and Gorilla Highlands Experts members will get an opportunity to hike, cycle or drive from Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda to Rwanda’s Congo Nile Trail and finally into Congo itself.
This is a modular trip, you can take any part of it that suits you in any way you want. But if you are a strong hiker you will walk it in three weeks:
12/12: arrival at Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda
13-15/12: trek from Lake Bunyonyi to Lake Burera, Rwanda
16/12: Lake Burera — one day break
17/12-19/12: trek from Lake Burera to Rubavu (Gisenyi)
20/12: Rubavu (Gisenyi) — one day break
21-24/12: Congo Nile Trail from Rubavu to Karongi
25/12: Karongi (Kibuye) — one day Christmas break
26-31/12: Congo Nile Trail from Karongi to Rusizi
Today we are simply publishing the dates so that you may begin dreaming … and planning? You can join us on any date mentioned, and we will help you arrange bicycles, motorbikes or cars for whatever leg you are interested in.
We certainly can’t guarantee that Covid regulations or unforeseen events won’t eventually make doing the whole GH Mega Trek impossible. The Congo Nile Trail from 21 to 31/12 you can definitely already count on, however!
Let me finish this announcement with something about me, your GH Mega Trek organiser:
My name is Olivier Tuyisenge, born in Rwanda, a tour guide based in Musanze. I am especially experienced in mountain biking on the Congo Nile Trail, where I used to work for Rwandan Adventures. I have also guided for Lava Bike Tours and Chameleon Hill, both cycling and hiking trips. Marcus Westberg will help me with organisation on the DRC side.
See you in Rusizi on 31/12/2021!?!?!
video still by Francis Mweze, Bukavu Explorer