Kahuzi biega national park is one of the biggest protected areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo situated in Bukavu town, in the western bank of Lake Kivu, the Kahuzi biega national park is famous in Congo because it is among few safari destinations that inhabits the Eastern Lowland Gorillas and as well best for the safari destination for Eastern Lowland Gorilla trekking. Kahuzi biega national is composed of the dormant volcanoes that is Mount Beiga and Mount Kahuzi. The park is composed of the unique vegetation cover that is having the forests a montane, still the vegetation has favored the thriving of the eastern lowland gorilla hence making gorilla trekking the most loved safari activity at the park. Kahuzi biega national park was established in 1970 to conserve the Grauer’s gorilla and the park covers an area of 6000 km2, the park is so safe in that it is a safe destination that is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Attractions in Kahuzi Biega national park.
Kahuzi biega national park has variety of the animal species mostly the park has a vast number of the eastern lowland gorillas these are the largest of the gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas are the main attractions to the most of the tourists in Kahuzi Biega national park. Not only the eastern lowland gorillas the park has got wild animals living within its vicinity that can attract and excite visitors for example the African Forest elephant, baboons, monkeys, aquatic civet, bongo, hippopotamus, olive baboon, buffaloes, Maclaud’s horseshoe bat, golden monkeys can also be spotted in the park and also antelopes.
Eastern lowland gorillas (Gorilla Beringei Graueri)
Most of the tourist who visit the Kahuzi Biega national park are mostly impressed with the Eastern lowland gorillas which are the main attraction in the park, the eastern gorillas are largest of all gorilla species and one can easily differentiate them from the mountain gorillas, simply because they are relatively large as compared to mountain gorillas.
Kahuzi biega national park is a birding destination in that the park has got over 349 bird species of which 42 bird species found in the park are endemic to the Albertine Rift, including Rockefeller’s sunbird, Grauer’s broadbill, Ruwenzori Turaco, Helmet-shrike, Congo peafowl, Grauer’s warbler, Shelley’s crimsonwing, Yellow-crested Helmet shrike, African Green Broadbill and many more.
Tourists who visit Kahuzi biega national park are always having the opportunity to explore the most amazing, dazzling and beautiful Lake Kivu, along with its surrounding islands, the marine and bird life. Lake Kivu is located within the Albertine Rift and it lies between the borders of Rwanda and Congo, and the lake among the major great lakes of Africa.
Flora and Fauna.
Kahuzi Biega national park is well known as a home to over 1,178 unique plant species, due to the fact is part of the Congo basin forest, with a rich bio-diversity of both flora like the peat bog, swamp forest, marshland, bamboo and among others then the fauna species includes the eastern lowland Grauer’s Gorillas, bush hogs, forest elephants the list is endless.
Mount Biega and Kahuzi.
Mount Beiga and Mount Kahuzi are also among the major attraction in Kahuzi biega national park in that these provide the most beautiful magnificent views of the park to the tourists who come to visit the park and the mountains provides hiking safari to the guests.
Activities in Kahuzi Biega national park.
Lowland gorilla trekking.
Low land gorilla trekking is the highlight safari activity in Kahuzi biega national park, the thick forests dominating the park acts like homes to lowland gorillas which are spotted on the formal trekking, unlike the mountain gorillas the eastern gorillas are larger in size and they are estimated to be over 145 individuals according to the gorilla census out in 2013. The gorilla trekking in Kahuzi biega national park involves hiking through the dense tropical forests and swamps tracking down the gorillas, the eastern lowland gorillas are always found in various locations in the thick forests which greatly depends on the last location they slept the night before.
Tourists who visit Kahuzi biega national park encounter themselves in the nature walk safari, the park consists established trails which facilitate nature walks in the thick forests while on the foot through these trails you can spot a variety of attractions like the primates that is baboons, chimpanzees, eastern lowland gorilla. Mostly used trails in the park includes the marais musisi trail and the Tshiabati falls trail using these trails during your nature walks you take through bamboo forest tree where you get to spot 3 waterfalls while on the Tshiabati waterfalls trail. During the nature walks the tourists can be able to spot various bird species and animal species in the thick forests.
Visiting Lwiro primate rehabilitation centre.
The Lwiro primate rehabilitation centre is the rehabilitation centre for the chimpanzees situated close to the Kahuzi Biega national park, in that the centre takes care of the orphaned chimpanzees and other primates who lost their loved parents majorly because of poaching, the tourists during their safari to the centre they participate in feeding and nurturing the chimpanzees and also learn more about these primates.
Kahuzi biega national park is a birding haven with over 349 bird species and 42 bird species are Albertine endemics, these bird species mostly reside in the thick forested trees in the park. Some of the bird species that the bird watchers who visit the park are able to spot includes the Rwenzori Turaco, Congo peafowl, Shelley’s crimson wing and many others. The bird watching in the park is done in two ways that is the morning and the evening.
Kahuzi biega national park has got two magnificent volcanoes that create a spectacular scenery in the park, as they are the Mount Biega and Mount Kahuzi which stands at altitude of 3308 meters above the sea level and during the hiking safari it takes a tourist 3 to 4 hours, during hiking these volcanoes you encounter sub-alpine vegetation and the bamboo forest together with a variety of wildlife that is primates and various bird species.
Kahuzi biega national park provides the camping safaris to the tourists who visit the park that is, the campers enjoy the quality and wild nature of the park. The guests get to enjoy the various sounds of birds while whistling, chipping and singing in the morning at the sun rises above the horizons. The tourists who wish to enjoy the nature of the park that is camping must bring along their own tent and the sleeping bag and pitch them in the ground or else you can hire them from the park.
Community or cultural tours.
Kahuzi biega national park cannot be complete without the community or cultural tours, here the visitors have the opportunity to mingle with the locals living near the park. Also the visitors get to learn more about the different ethnic cultures in Congo and how the local people get to spend their day lives, the visitors can get to watch dances and the singing performances from the local dance troupes, here the visitors can participate in their local arts and crafts like beads, baskets, necklaces, earrings and many more and can have the opportunity to learn how to cook their traditional Congolese delicious and get a chance to share a meal with a local family.
Best time to visit Kahuzi Biega national park.
The park has two rainy seasons that is one with the short season starting from October to November while the long rainy season beings from mid-March to end of May. The rainy season in Congo happens to be best time for the guests to track gorillas in the park as well as Virunga national park.
On the side, many of the guests choose to visit Congo between June to September to February since in these months, the amount of rain has reduced and its sunny in most of the destinations, December is one of the busiest month of the year in the most national parks in Democratic Republic Of Congo and its advisable to book gorilla trekking permits in advance as well as hiking permits to climb Mount Nyiragongo.
Where to stay in Kahuzi Beiga national park.
There are various accommodation facilities near Kahuzi Beiga national park that are ranged in to the budget, Mid-range and Luxury accommodations these are such comfortable and suitable to the guests that includes Mount Kahuzi Hotel, Hotel begonias, Lodge Coco, Orchids safari club and many more.