The Kahuzi-Biega National Park is found near Bukavu town in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The park lies in the western bank of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border; it’s a park of natural beauty and a place in central Africa where lowland gorillas are found. The park was established in 1970 by the Belgian photographer and conservationist Adrien Deschryver. The two hills within the park including Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega gave birth to the park’s name.
With an area of 6,000km², Kahuzi-Biega is one of the biggest national parks in the country which is set in both mountainous and lowland terrain. The activities which are performed within the park includes the following,
Lowland gorilla trekking
The park is said to have the largest number of lowland gorillas in Africa and this has made it one of the top attraction for lowland gorilla safaris in Africa. The park contains two eastern lowland gorillas’ families and these have been habituated for tracking, merging this tour makes it a lifetime experience to the visitors within the country. It’s said that gorillas are too close to human beings and therefore they have got almost 98% DNA, hence they are susceptible to human disease. Before tracking, visitors are provided with masks to avoid the spread of human wildlife diseases.
Gorilla tracking involves walking into tropical rain forest; this depends on where the family slept last night. Visitors hike for 30 minutes to six hours in the jungle, in touch with the gorillas, strictly one hour is spent after reaching them. Visitors enjoy the different roles played by silver back as they defend the entire family, adult females taking care of their babies whereas the juveniles playing around with a mocking manner.
From the lowland gorillas, visitors can also engage in volcano hiking. The two extinct volcanoes found within the park include the Mount Kahuzi which stands on an elevation of 3,308meters above sea level. Mount Biega is another volcano in the national park which stands at 2,790m above sea level. On reaching the summit of these two volcanoes, visitors get a chance of seeing the entire national park plus the neighbouring communities and the wildlife. Within the bamboo and subalpine vegetation visitors enjoy various animals which they encounter while on a hike including the owl-faced monkeys and a variety of birds.
Kahuzi Biega national park is a habitant for over 342 bird species of which 42 are endemic to the national park, Kahuzi Biega is also a station centre for most of the birders both for those doing for fun and for research. Most of the bird species spotted here in Kahuzi Biega includes the African green broad bill, yellow crested helmet-shrike, Congo peafowl and Rockefeller’s just to mention but a few. The park being one of the most threatened in DRC. Congo, it was put under the protection of International Union Conservation area (IUCN). Sweet sounds of birds singing up in the trees are heard by the travelers and of course fresh air which freshens the minds of traveler.
Different trails within the tropical rain forest enables visitors to enjoy the park more so to those who are too enthusiastic in making nature walks, these are followed from the different tourism sites and they include the Tshibiti waterfalls trails connecting to the three waterfalls in the national park. This activity requires maximum guidance and therefore the park guides who are more experienced helps visitors to spot the different wild animals and vegetation species within the park.
Accommodation in the park
The park is served by several lodging and accommodation facilities; these offers both high quality food and bed services. Some of the noted include Lodge coco lodge and L’Orchids safari club. Both high end and low budget visitors are catered for with quality services at affordable prices that fit into their pockets and budget cost lines.