Kahuzi Biega national park is located in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and is a unique wildlife habitat. The park has two mountains namely Kahuzi and Biega with lowland and afro-montane forests with bamboo, sub-alpine prairies and heath.
The park is very extensive covering a land area of 600,000 hectares. Mount Kahuzi stands at an elevation of 3,308 and Mount Beiga at 2790 meters above sea level. These mountains and the forests are homes to unique wildlife species most of which endemic to the Albertine rift valley.
Wildlife in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Kahuzi Biega national park is very rich in wildlife making it a unique safari destination in East and Central Africa. The park is home to the endangered Eastern lowland gorillas that are endemics to Democratic Republic of Congo.
There are over 136 mammal species in Kahuzi Biega National Park including the Eastern lowland gorillas and other primates. There are over 13 primates here including Eastern chimpanzees, owl-faced monkeys, colobinae monkeys, olive baboons among others.
Other mammals species in the park include Bush Elephants, Forest buffaloes, Bongos, giant forest hogs, leopards and hylochere. Many of the wildlife species are specific and endemic to the park thus making it an exclusive wildlife destination.
Kahuzi Biega national park is a birders haven with over 350 bird species 42 of which are endemic to the region. Some of the birds seen while in the park include the african green broad bill, Rockefeller’s Sunbird and Congo Peafowl.
Tourist Activities in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Lowland Gorilla Tracking
Eastern lowland gorillas are leading tourist attractions to Kahuzi Biega and lowland gorilla tracking is therefore the main tourist attraction. The activity starts with briefing at the park headquarters about the do’s and don’ts while in the forest.
Just like Mountain gorillas, Eastern lowland gorillas also live in families led by a dominant male called Silverback. Few people are allowed to track a lowland gorilla family per day staying in their presence for an hour.
A lowland gorilla hike in the forest is very rewarding as you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. The hike takes 2 to 4 hours depending on the movement of gorillas. One must also keep at-least a 7 meters away from them.
Those looking for exclusive birding safaris should look no further than Kahuzi Biega national park. The park has many endemic birds especially in the Albertine and central African region.
Birds are often seen while on the trails in the forest with chances of seeing other wildlife in the park. Birding here can be done any time of the year though better experiences are enjoyed in the dry season.
The diverse vegetation in the park from montane forest, bogs, swamps and tropical rain-forests all favor various bird species. The diversity of bird life is seen as you move to the different vegetation types in the park.
Tour Lwiro Primates Sanctuary
This is located 4 kilometers from Kahuzi Biega national park and its a home to orphaned chimpanzees and other primates. The sanctuary has 92 chimpanzees and 108 different monkey species all of which were victims of poaching.
Notable monkeys species at Lwiro Sanctuary include Owl-faced Monkey, Blue monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys, grey-checked manga-beys among others. Lwiro sanctuary provides care and a safe haven for all these primates and wildlife amidst dangers of wildlife trade.
All these are efforts strive at wildlife conservation especially for endangered wildlife species in the Congo ecosystem.
Kahuzi Biega National park can be accessed by road from Rwanda. Its very convenient to fly into Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport and then be transferred to Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bukavu is the nearest major town to the park and its where good accommodation facilities are situated. It takes only a 1 and half hours drive from Bukavu to Kahuzi Biega national park. Once there then one can proceed with general park activities.
The best hotels near Kahuzi Beiga national park are situated in Bukavu town on the shores of lake Kivu in Eastern DRC. Here you can get a wide range of accommodation options from budget to luxury hotels. Choosing a descent self contained lodge would be ideal as with good accommodation you enjoy your wildlife experiences as well.
Some Hotels in Bukavu include Orchids Safari Club, Elizabeth Hotel Bukavu, Panorama Hotel among others.