Kahuzi Biega National Park is a world’s UNESCO heritage site which is set in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and it inhabits over 250 endangered Eastern Lowland gorillas. It derived its name from two dominant volcano mountains, Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega that expands to about 6000 square kilometers. Note that in whole world, the Eastern Lowland gorillas only live in Kahuzi Biega and Maiko National Park in Congo. Kahuzi Biega National Park is managed by the Congolese Wildlife Authority and Wildlife Conservation Society after it was re-opened in 2015.
What to do in Kahuzi Biega National Park
This park is ideal for eastern lowland gorilla trekking. Gorilla treks here are conducted in any of the two habituated groups that are set for visitors to track gorillas out of the twelve groups that are available in Kahuzi Biega National Park. However, there are also two more gorilla groups that are under going habituation which will increase the number to 4. The two gorilla groups that are ready for gorilla trekking include the Chimanuka gorilla group which is composed of over 19 gorillas and it is one of the recommended gorilla groups for visitors who wish to achieve their dreams. The other group is Mugaruka gorilla family that has the sole silverback Mugaruka.
This offers you a chance to hike through the two volcanoes that make up this park. They include Kahuzi and Biega which stand at altitude of 3308 and 2790 meters respectively.
Besides gorilla trekking, you can also take part in birding where you will explore some of the bird species that make up about 342 birds in this park. The birds to spot out include Rockefeller’s, yellow crested helmet shrike, Congo peafowl and others.
Accommodation in Kahuzi Biega National Park
There are several hotels and accommodation facilities of all kinds that cater for travelers’ interests and they include all budgets, safari lodges, campsites, holiday inns and guest houses. All these accommodation facilities are situated around Kahuzi Biega National Park and Bukavu town. Around Bukavu, you will find L’Orchids Safari Club, a luxury accommodation that lies with the magnificent Lake Kivu, Coco Lodge-a mid range facility with double bed, Exodus Bukavu hotel for the budget visitors. For camping services, they are provided at the park headquarters.
When to visit Kahuzi Biega National Park:
Kahuzi Biega National Park can be visited all the year round but most importantly you need to take note of specific seasons when it comes to gorilla trekking or hiking experiences. In most cases, the wet season tends to affect visitors experiences but still visitors can take a safari to the park and track the gorillas and this happens mostly during the low season in the month of March to May and October to November. During this season, the cost for gorilla permits also reduce and the lodges around the park also can decrease their prices. It is challenging tracking gorillas during the wet season since the habitat can be slippery and muddy and hiking through the terrains becomes a bit hard. However, visitors have been seen traveling during this season and you too can travel and achieve your dreams. During this season, the rain showers can be there but the sun can easily come out and your trek can still continue.
The park also has two dry seasons that you easily travel to track these spectacular creatures. The dry season in Kahuzi Biega National Park is a peak season as well and it is the most preferred season for most visitors who are interested in gorilla tracking. The dry season falls between the month of January and February, and from June to September.
How to access the park
The park is 40 kilometers’ drive from Bukavu Town. As well, you can get here by air and water; by air you can fly to Kavumu Airport or Miti, then take your left and keep moving straight till you arrive at the visitor center (Tschivanga). Alternatively, you can fly from Kigali International Airport to Rusizi border or Kamembe Airport then cross to DRC into Bukavu town. If you are interested in using water transport means, you can take a ferry ride from Goma to Bukavu passed Idjwi Island on Lake Kivu. The boat ride takes almost three hours for faster boats and the public boats take about four to five hours. There are charges that you will need to pay, for shared boat; it is between $50 and $70 while the slow boats cost $35.
In summary, visit this park and get the best of the eastern Lowland gorilla trekking while on DR Congo.