Kahuzi-Biega National Park is found on the eastern side of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), close to Bukavu town, on the western bank of the Lake Kivu and Rwanda border. The park was established by Adrien Deschryver – a Belgian conservationist and photographer in 1970 and inherits its name from the two dormant volcanoes; Mount Kahuzi standing at 3,308M and Mount Biega standing at 2,790M covering an area of 6,000 square kilometers which makes it one of the largest national parks in Congo with both the lowland and mountainous terrain.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park was inscribed in 1980 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique biodiversity of the rain forest habitat and being home to the lowland Gorillas – known as Gorilla beringei graueri and considered to be highly endangered. The smaller portion of the park is mountainous whereas the bigger part is the lowland.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park is one of the most important sites in the Albertine Rift Valley and one of the most ecologically rich areas in Africa and the world at large with exceptional diversity in its plant and wildlife (flora & fauna). It is one of the rare areas in Sub-Saharan Africa where the transition in vegetation zones from the lowland to Highland is clearly observable with six distinguishable primary vegetation types that are; swamp and peat bog, swamp forest, high-altitude rainforest, the mountain rainforest, bamboo forest, and subalpine heather as well as the endemic plant Senecio kahuzicus found on the summits of Mount Kahuzi and Biega at altitudes above 2,600 meters.
Eastern Lowland Gorilla Tracking
Most tourists who go to Kahuzi-Biega National Park do so to spot Grauer’s gorillas. Eastern lowland gorillas are larger than mountain gorillas. The species is making one of its last stands here and faces the possibility of extinction. The census of 2013 discovered 145 individuals in the highland sector of the park, a great decline from the 600 first counted in 1990.
Grauer’s gorillas face threats from poaching (young gorillas for trade), illegal cutting down of trees, encroachment on land for farming, and mining coltan. Three Grauer’s lowland gorilla groups are fully habituated and open to tourists in the highlands. Gorilla Trekking in Congo involves hiking through the dense tropical rain forests, swamps, and even highlands depending on the last location of the gorilla group.
While tracking the gorillas, it is important to listen to the instructions of the rangers at all times. Tracking can take anywhere between thirty minutes to 6 hours. You are only allowed one hour with the gorillas. Use this time to observe the family keenly. You should be able to spot juveniles playing, females nursing the young ones, and the dominant silverback looking out for any danger to the family.
You should also be able to identify the different individuals, personalities, and group dynamics. By the end of the activity, you will realize just how similar human beings are with gorillas and the more reason why we should protect them at all costs. Permits for gorilla tracking cost $400.
OTHER ACTIVITIES DONE IN KAHUZI BEIGA NP
The Park now has well-established trails that take you to see the primates and birds. These are the same trails used for tracking the gorillas and border patrols by the park rangers. In the company of experienced park guides, you can use the Marais Musisi Trail or use the Tshibati Waterfalls Attractions in Kahuzi-Biega National ParkTrail that go through swamps, bamboo forests, and 3 beautiful waterfalls. Watch out for primates like chimpanzees and small monkeys.
Hiking up to the summit of Mount Kahuzi offers breathtaking views of the town of Bukavu and Lake Kivu. Reaching the summit (3,308 meters) takes about four hours while climbing down takes three hours. Why climbing and descending, you will bypass sub-alpine vegetation and bamboo forests filled with birds and other creatures. Mount Biega is 2790 meters high and it takes about six hours to climb up and down the mountain. The vegetation spotted while climbing up mount Biega is quite different from that found in Mount Kahuzi. Another mountain suitable for hiking is Mount Bugulumiza. At 2400 m high it offers great views of the surrounding landscape including the mountains Biega and Kahuzi as well as the vast tropical rain forests of the park. Climbing up and down mount Bugulumiza takes 3 hours.
There are morning and evening birding schedules to spot species like the African green broadbill, Congo peafowl, and yellow-crested helmet-shrike among others. Bird-watching can be done during the forest and nature walks.
Visiting the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre
This center is close to the park headquarters. The Centre takes care of chimpanzees and other small primates that have lost their parents mainly due to poaching. This center offers opportunities to volunteer and learn about primates and their conservation.
Before traveling to Kahuzi Biega National Park, one needs to acquire a Congo Visa. Apart from Identification documents, Visa, and park entrance fees, one will also need an invitation from the park to be allowed inside. This is a different procedure from that followed by parks outside DR Congo. The volatile situation in the Eastern part of the country has led to stringent security measures to protect the park, its officials, and tourists. Crossing to Congo is also strictly supervised compared to Uganda, Rwanda, or Kenya. The best way to cross the border is to arrange your tour with a tour company. If you are alone you need to move with an individual known to the Congolese border officials.
There are two options to get to Kahuzi-Biega National Park but either way, you need to get to Goma or pass through Cyangungu from Rwanda;
Get to Goma and take a fast ferry from Goma to Bukavu, covering a distance of 100 kilometers in 2 hours and 45 minutes and that is the quickest option available. The ferry operates twice daily (7:30 am and 2 Pm).
The other option is traveling by road; the distance by road between Goma and Bukavu is 209 kilometers and will take you 3 hours and 30 minutes with some difficult stretches of the road between Kalehe and Kabibwi.
Once in Bukavu, you will most probably need a place to stay for the night and there are various reasonable places to stay. The next morning, you take a speed boat from Bukavu to Kahuzi-Biega National Park where you will be collected by the park staff and proceed for your day’s planned activity. The same boat returns in the afternoon to Bukavu.
L’orchids Safari Club
Coco Lodge Bukavu
Hotel Begonias Bukavu
Lake Side Hotel Bukavu
In conclusion, the 4×4 Safari jeep will ensure you get to the destination on time to enjoy the gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park.Read More
Congo is found in Central Africa and is under the president called Joseph Kabila. Though gorilla trekking in Congo is not at a high level, there are a few places where gorilla trek can be practiced in.
One of the most famous places for gorilla trekking in Congo is the Virunga national park. The park stretches from the Virunga Mountains in the South to the Rwenzori Mountains in the North and it was the first established national park in Africa in 1925.
For anyone to go gorilla trekking while in Congo, the best place should be Virunga national park. Gorilla trekking tours in Virunga national park is more enjoyable when you travel with us but if it comes that you are from far or even when you are in Congo yet you want a safari, you don’t have to worry for there are the best companies in Africa Nature Adventure Africa Safaris which will provide you with cars on agreed price between you and them.
This company ranked one of the best companies in Africa due to its best services to tourists who explore Africa.
To book a safari
You will need to talk to each other and you both agree before you are given a vehicle. You will talk to the company consultant Moses who will tell you the rules and regulations you will need to follow before you go on safari and some of the rules include:
The vehicle will be inspected before you take it in that to ensure that you enjoy the safari.
After agreeing with your safari consultant, you will need to pay at least a 30% booking fee in order for you to secure your booking simply because the company is ever busy and the balance is paid on your arrival. The company also offers trained driver guides who will offer you the best information about the tourist destination.
After securing your tour, they will also book for you the best places you can stay before and after gorilla trekking. One of the best places around the Virunga National Park is the Mikeno Lodge which is found in the center of Virunga with spectacular views of the forest, Nyiragongo, and the Mikeno volcanoes. The lodge is one of the best places to stay in while in Congo but there are also other places you can stay during your gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park such as Lulimbi Tented Camp, Bukima Tented Camp, Tchegera Island Tented Camp, and Nyiragongo Volcano Summit Shelter plus many more but all these will be organized for you even when you are still in your homeland whereby by your arrival after when you have completed all your bills, they will just take you to the place where you will rest from.
The following day you will then wake up take a bath or brush your teeth and take your breakfast which is offered to you in one of the lodges you will be in, and after you will depart to the park where you will be given well-trained park guides to help you through the gorilla trekking activity.
Gorilla trekking is one of the most enjoyable activities to practice while in the park but this activity takes place very early in the morning when the gorillas have just woken up being trekking of gorillas in the morning the easiest way of seeing gorillas.
Gorillas are seen from a certain distance like at least 8m away from them to prevent inconveniences like gorillas can get some air diseases of humans and this is why they are viewed from a certain distance. After your gorilla trekking, you will then go back to your lodge and take a rest.
After the gorilla trekking in Congo, you can also extend your tour and take a holiday at Lake Kivu where you will enjoy many things from there and even learn more. You will find local fishermen at the lake when some are even fishing and in terms of enjoyment, you can also get hooks from the anglers and you also start fishing though it is very difficult for an inexperienced person to get even a single fish. By any chance of getting a fish, some of the species caught include tilapia, Nile perch, and so many other species.
You will learn many things which are done from the Lake such as methane extraction which takes place at Lake Kivu.
You will also be able to see the 10th largest island in the whole world (Idjwi) which is also found on that particular Lake (Lake Kivu). The Lake lies on the border between Rwanda and Congo and is also in the Albertine Rift Valley. It empties into River Ruzizi.
Therefore, while in Congo for gorilla trekking, you are advised to prolong your holiday at Lake Kivu where you will get involved in many activities such as boat drives, fishing, and bird watching among others.Read More
Planning to explore Congo mountain gorillas and hike Nyiragongo volcano all in Virunga national park? Select the gorilla trekking tour & Nyiragongo trek Climbing offered to you to enjoy the gorilla watching in the wild. Congo gorilla tour will start from Kigali international airport and may end either in Goma or Kigali Again depending on the travelers interests and needs (Tailor Made Safari) Travel with experts from Eco Tours Rwanda to customize the gorilla safari adventure in Democratic republic of Congo. Democratic republic of Congo has been the top Destination for gorilla trekking at the cheap Gorilla Permit of Only 400 USD.
Are you looking to a great expedition in Africa, Enjoy the discounted Gorilla tours to Congo with Experienced tour Guides. Congo gorilla safaris can be tailored to make an extra ordinary gorilla trek in Africa either visiting the lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park or mountain gorilla trek & Nyiragongo hike in Virunga Park with extension to multi country adventures.
On your arrival to Kigali international airport, you will be picked up by our professional driver guide who will transfer you to Mikeno Lodge in Rumangabo in DRC. The drive journey of about 3-4 hours without en-route stopovers to Mikeno lodge in Virunga national park will take through majestic landscape sceneries venerated with unique natural setting and local populations. On arrival to the park, you will advance to the lodge to check-in, have dinner and overnight.
After an early morning relaxed breakfast, you will be driven to the Bukima park station in the Virunga National Park area where trekkers assemble at 7:00am to be allocated a gorilla group, be briefed on how to ”behave” while staying with a gorilla group. After the briefing, you will proceed to the appropriate starting point for the trek to confront the gorilla group you have been allocated. The length of the trek varies depending on movements of the gorillas as well as weather conditions. Meeting these gentle giants in their natural habitat is a unique and wonderful experience. When you meet these ape species, you will be given one hour to observe and take photos of these stunning Apes. After the one magical hour allocated to you, you will retire back to the trekking base and thereafter retreat back to your hotel/lodge for the late lunch, relaxation.
Nyiragongo Volcano Hike; wake up very early in the morning ready to cross the border for the most memorable safari activity loved by travelers in Virunga National park. we understand the Congo border crossing may give you hard time but the guide will be there ready to help you cross the border smoothly and later, you will be transferred to Kibati the starting point for Nyiragongo Hiking and you should be there by 9:00am as the Climbing activity may last for 5-6 hours depending on the size of the group and the speed of the group hiking. All travelers booked with Eco Tours Rwanda will include Mikeno package that will include all the important items to be used by hikers, reach at the top and view the top lava crater of Nyiragongo volcano. Dinner and overnight Nyiragongo Cabins Tented based on full board meals on the day.
Descend Nyiragongo & Transfer to Gisenyi. You will be offered simple breakfast by our chief from Mikeno lodge and start to descend downhill and reach at the starting point at around 11:00am and drive to Goma( if lucky enough visit the Congo caves in Goma) and later transfer to cross the border to Rwanda, Transfer to Kigali for the flight back home.Read More