Kahuzi Biega national park is one of the oldest and largest national parks in East Africa and it is situated in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo close to one of the biggest towns in the country commonly known as Bakavu town. The park is located close to the western edge of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan borders. Before in 1937, it was upgraded as a forest reserve and later in 1970 it became a game reserve that was established by the famous European governor Adrien Deschryver. The park has mountainous and lowland areas but it was named after the two dominant Volcanoes of mount Kahuzi which measure 3330 meters high and Biega raises 2,790m high which is created within the park. Kahuzi Biega national park is the biggest park and approximately measuring 6000 square kilometers of its low land and is one of the protected areas where you can find rare endangered species of eastern lowland gorillas.
The park is among the famous destinations with rare apes in Africa and worldwide. These are the eastern lowland gorilla which can only be seen in Congo. The park is also sanctuary with a large biodiversity of species of over 181 eastern lowland gorillas. Other primates like the olive baboon, L’hoest’s monkeys, Red and white colobus monkeys, owl-faced monkeys, common chimpanzees, horseshoe bat, bongo antelope, civets, Alexander’s bush squirrels, and many more. The forest has 136 mammals such as bushbucks, Eastern needle-clawed galago, giant forest hog, Albertine owlet, African forest elephants, dwarf galago, Ruwenzori least otter shrew many others. 1There are 178 species of plants. To those who prefer birding safaris, Kahuzi Biega national park will be the best destination for your tour, which varies over 349 species of birds such as Congo peafowl, African green broadbill, Rockefeller’s Sunbird, yellow-crested helmet shrike, Ruwenzori Turaco, Grauer’s warbler and very many other species. It was recently recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Kahuzi Biega national park is a large park covering 6000 square kilometers of its land and rich in biodiversity of all kinds of species. It has many activities which will give you a joyful and memorable experience such as the low land gorilla trekking, nature walk, volcanoes hiking, bird watching, visiting the Lwiro sanctuary, community tours, boat ride and fishing along Lake Kivu.
Low land gorilla trekking: The park has got two great trailheads where gorilla trekking can be conducted. Mpungwe gorilla family and Chimanuka gorilla family are the biggest families with over 36 individuals. Low land gorilla trekking takes 1 to 7 hours within the forest. This is so because the gorillas keep on moving around. 8 people are allowed per group for trekking. Low land gorilla trekking safaris have contributed a lot to the economy of Congo most especially to the tourism hub. This is because the number of tourists increases day by day as they come to explore these mightier experience. Congo Gorilla Trekking permits cost $400 only per person per day.
Volcanoes hiking: Kahuzi Biega national park has got two dominant volcanoes such as Kahuzi which measures 3308 meters high above the sea level and Biega raises 2,790 meters high above the sea level. Both volcanoes will give you a good hike and when you reach the top you will have a great view of lakes, swamps, mountains, and the green vegetation plants.
Guided nature walks: The park is a forest reserve which is a habitat to various species of mammals, birds, trees, plants and many more. On these guided nature walks in the bamboo forest, you can get an opportunity to see primates like olive monkeys, Red and white colobus monkeys, bongo antelope and civets. You can as well see mammals across the Albertine valleys such as African forest elephants, leopards, African bush buffaloes, bushbucks and as you are moving through the forest, you will be listening to sweet melodies of the birds.
Things to carry when you’re visiting Congo safari destination include Sunscreen glasses, mineral water, hiking boots, sweater, long sleeved shirt, some snacks, and others essentials.
Kahuzi Biega national park offers unique hotels and lodges ranging between luxury, midrange, and budget which are located near Bukavu the closest town to the park. These include Coco lodge, lakeside hotel, Exodus hotel, Orchids safari club and many more, but it will depend on your budget.
Best time to visit Kahuzi Biega national park is in dry seasons from the month of January, February, March, May, August, September and December because the trails are dry enough during this period.
The park can be accessed from Bukavu within 1 hour and 30 minutes by road or from Goma near Virunga national park taking 5 to 6hours by road. You can reduce your driving hours by flying to and from Goma Airport which takes 2 hours only.