Kahuzi Biega National Park in Bukavu DR Congo
Kahuzi Biega National Park is situated close to Bukavu town east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and along the western bank of Lake Kivu and Rwanda.
The park was founded in 1970 by a Belgian photographer and conservationist Adrien Deschryver and named after two dormant volcanoes i.e Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega that are located within the park.
It is one of the vast parks in the country covering an area of 6,000 sq kms (2,300 sq mi) and has both montane and lowland terrain as well as the rare species of Eastern Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri).
In 1980, the park was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its diverse biodiversity of rainforest habitat as well as the endangered Eastern Lowland Gorillas. On average, the park receives annual rainfall of 1,800 mm (71 in) with maximum temperatures of 18 °C (64 °F) and minimum temperatures of 10.4 °C (50.7 °F).
The Eastern Lowland Gorillas are the most prominent species encountered here on safari vacation for there are about 125 Gorillas though these have multiplied with time due to appropriate conservation methods and support from individuals as well as other organizations.
Safari Activities to do in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking
Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking is the most prominent safari activity carried out in Kahuzi Biega National Park and just like tracking the other Gorillas, it requires yu to transfer to the Park headquarters for briefing on the Dos and Don’ts around the Eastern Lowland Gorillas then later in groups of 8 with a skilled park ranger, proceed into the forest to track the Gorillas for 3-5 hours depending on their current location in the forest at the time and when you meet them, only an hour is allowed in tier presence taking numerous photos to keep for memories.
Hiking and Nature Walks
Hiking and Nature Walks in Kahuzi Biega National Park are carried out along different trails on which you can see various primates, birds with a skilled park ranger guide. The Trails you can follow include; the Marais Musisi Trail or use the Tshibati Waterfalls trail that go through swamps, bamboo forests and 3 beautiful waterfalls. En-rote watch primates like the chimpanzee and small monkeys. The Nature walks cost about US $35.
Bird Watching is an exceptional safari activity that can be carried out in Kahuzi Biega National park due to the various species of Birds that are sighted in the green forest vegeation habitat around the Park. The Birds seen here include; the African green broad bill, Congo peafowl and yellow crested helmet-shrike etc along the numerous forest trails.
Mountain Hiking in Kahuzi Biega National Park is done along Mount Kahuzi and Biega which are located within the Park and these don’t need any special experience but just the fact that you are physically fit to climb to the top of the Mountain.
Visit Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary
The Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary is located near the Park headquarters making it easier for all travelers intersted in watching the chimpanzees in their natural forest vegetation habitat. For the Center offers opportunities to volunteer and learn about primates and their conservation.
How to Get to the Park
As you are planning to transfer to Kahuzi Biega National Park, you are required to have a Congo Visa which costs US $115. You must have an invitation from the park with Identification documents, Visa and park entrance fees.
The best route is transfer to Kahuzi-Biega National Park is from Kigali to Congo using the border of Cyangungu and then to the town of Bukavu.
Travelers from Burundi can use the Uvira border and those arriving through Goma can use the Lake Kivu road. The Uganda route involves entering Rwanda at the Cyanika border and then resting for the night in Musanze before heading to Bukavu the next day. The road from Bukavu to the park entrance in Tshivanga is good and one can use a bus, taxi or hire a car.