Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Kahuzi-Biega National Park

It is located in Bukavu region of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on the south-western banks of Lake Kivu and well known for homing the biggest population of low land gorillas in the natural habitat. Amazingly, the park is safe to be visited since it is under the protection of wildlife conservation society, covering an area of 6,000 square kilometres, making it one of the biggest D.R. Congo national parks.

It was established and gazetted in 1970 by a conservationist and photographer called Adrien Deschryver from Belgium aimed at protecting the low land gorillas mostly referred to as Grauer’s gorillas. You need to know that the park got its name from the two extinct volcanic mountains – Kahuzi and Biega Mountains. This doesn’t mean that the park is made up of mountains but the smallest area of the park is mountainous and the biggest area is lowland.

Are you planning for a safari in Kahuzi-Biega national park, the safari can take only 3 days of adventure where you can explore and trek low land gorillas while sleeping in any type of accommodation for your choice. The park is covered with mountain forest which is the most densely populated area in the country.

Therefore, the park boasts over 136 mammal species and the low land gorillas stand out first, 13 are primates like the colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and also the giant forest genet, bush buffalos, elephants among others can be spotted. It has over 360 bird species of which 43 are endemics, the Albertine rift valley which gives a great view accompanied with different vegetation from the low land to the highland and much more.

What to do in Kahuzi-Bega National park?

Visiting this park is worth it and you can take part in different activities such as the following.

Eastern low land gorilla trekking.

Taking a gorilla trekking experience in this park is worth a lifetime adventure where you will head in the forest to get in contact with these low land gorillas and witness the differences from the mountain gorillas. These are in terms of hair, height, size among others.

Bird watching.

Since the park boosts over 360 bird species, bird watching is possible in the forest and you will be able to spot birds like African green broadbill, Congo pea Fowl, Ruwenzori turacos, yellow-crested Hamlet shrike, Rockefeller’s sunbird among others. A bird watching safari is worth it in Kahuzi-Biega national park.

Nature walks.

These will take you to Tshibati falls and it is through the community as you approach the park. It rewards visitors with nature, mist splashes from the waterfalls among others.

Hiking.

This is possible due to the park comprised of two mountains such as Kahuzi Mountain and Biega Mountains and the summit gives a breath-taking view. Also, the climb is through the thick forests, waterfalls like Kibatu as you spot different wildlife in the park.

Community tours.

The visitors interested in African cultures, this is the chance to explore some while in Kahuzi-Biega national park. You visit some of the local communities that live in the park and interact with the locals as you learn about their lifestyles and again gaze at the traditional dances and music, storytelling, traditional games among others and this means you will act a be like a local.

Other activities in the park are chimpanzee habituation, boat cruise on Lake Kivu and camping.

How to access Kahuzi-Biega national park in Congo?

The park can be accessed in two different ways;

By water. On reaching Goma take a ferry to Bukavu, via Kamembe port which takes about 3 hours on the water. This will be on Lake Kivu and there are two shifts morning and afternoon. This is the fastest means of transport to reach this park.

An alternative is by road where you drive from Goma to Bukavu a distance of 209km taking over 4 hours’ drive. You are advised to begin your safari from Kigali since the airports in D.R. Congo are not safe and far from these destinations.

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