Kahuzi Biega National Park
Covering about 6000km2, lies Congo’s largest protected area, Kahuzi Biega National Park is located in the Bukavu town, which is spanned in the Southern part of Lake Kivu. The majority of the national park is in flat terrain, with a small portion in the Albertine Rift Valley and the Mitumba Mountain range. The park is made up of two inactive volcanoes of Kahuzi and Biega standing at 3308m and 2790m respectively from which it got its name.
By fur, Kahuzi Biega is the most iconic destination for Eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Congo. This is due to the presence of a variety of gorillas amounting to over 250 individuals to be encountered during their quest by the tourists/ trekkers. Before being extended to 6000km2 in 1975, the first covered 600km in 1973. Kahuzi Biega national park was established as a World Heritage site in 1980 by UNESCO and later added to the sites in ganger in 1997. This hardly encouraged Congo government to work together with other organizations to conserve wildlife including the lowland gorillas.
Besides the gorillas, Kahuzi Biega national park has over 347 bird species where 42 are endemic to the Albertine rift. Among other wildlife to be found within the park include chimpanzees, bush buffaloes, include ng the rare dwarf buffaloes, bush elephants, bongo antelopes to mention but a few.
The park is made up of swamp vegetation, marshes, and bog vegetation with different altitudes. A big part of the forest in the park is made up of continuous vegetation from the peak of the mountain to the lowland terrain connected by a corridor.
Things to do in the Kahuzi Biega National Park
Eastern lowland gorilla trekking:
Due to the presence of lowland gorillas in the park, Kahuzi Biega has become most interesting activity in the park. These types of gorillas are distinguished from all other types by their thick bodies and large hands. The gorilla trekking age limit for Eastern Lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega is 15 years and below
this is yet another activity to be enjoyed by travelers on their visit to the park in Congo besides Eastern lowland gorilla trekking. This activity is carried out at Lwiro sanctuary located in Bukavu in the Southern part of Lake Kivu. This sanctuary gives tourists chance to see the habituated chimpanzee groups in their natural habitat as they learn more about their conservation. This activity costs an individual 40 $ as the rehabilitation center.
Hiking Mount Kahuzi and Biega
Hikers are in for a feast at the park. Getting to the ranges of Mitimba mountain gives travelers un beatable experience. Besides, the presence of different vegetation types like bamboo, harbor other wildlife species like monkeys, and birds that can be seen during the hike.
The park also serves a great spot to birders. The park has over 342 birds species where tourists can encounter some on their visit to the park. Among them include African Green broadbill, Congo Peafowl, Yellow crested helmet shrike, Ruwenzori turacos, sunbirds among others. photography sessions will be able at this point.
Visiting Lwiro conservation Centre:
This site is located near the park and is regarded as the third significant site for conserving, rehabilitating, conservation education about the chimpanzees in the East. At the site, there are 13 monkey species
Accessibility to Kahuzi Biega national park
Kahuzi Biega is easily accessible because it is located 40 kilometers from Bukavu town, and the mode of transportation depends on the tourist’s interests. However, due to the rough terrain, most visitors prefer to travel by road, which takes 90 minutes to reach the park.
By road, the park can be accessed by flying to Kigali International airport and then drive to Nyungwe at the Rwanda border with DRC( Congo) in Bukavu and Ruzizi. In this towns it is recommend that travelers should spend a night on the Rwandese side before crossing to Congo the following day which takes about 6 hours.
By air, domestic flights can be chartered to Ruzizi from Kigali. After crossing to Bukavu town of Congo, you will then be driven to the parks for about 1.5 hours.