Kahuzi Biega National Park, Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking DR Congo
Kahuzi-Biega National Park is ably located along the bank of the prominent Lake Kivu and Rwanda’s Border near Bukavu Town East of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park covers an area of 6000 kms2 (2,300 sq mi) and was named after two dormant volcanoes i.e Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega which are located within the park. It comprises of both Mountainous and Lowland Terrain inhabiting the endangered Eastern Lowland Gorillas. The larger part of the park comprises of Lowland Terrain where as the candid part includes Mitumba Mountain Range of the Albertine Rift in the Great Rift Valley.
East comprises of candid Mountain Ranges covering an area of 600 kms2 (230 sq mi) where as the larger part covers 5,400 kms2 (2,100 sq mi) with mainly lowland expanding from Bukavu to Kisangani with two rivers i.e Luka and Lugulu which flow into the Lualaba River. The two volcanoes in the park i.e Mount Kahuzi elevate to 3,308 metres (10,853 ft) and Mount Biéga 2,790 metres (9,150 ft).
Climate of the Park
The annual rainfall amount received around the park is 1,800 millimetres (71 in) with maximum temperature being 18 °C (64 °F) while the minimum is 10.4 °C (50.7 °F).
Flora and Fauna
The Flora around the park includes swamps, bogs, marshland, riparian forests and the fauna includes the prominent Eastern Lowland Gorillas, Eastern Chimpanzee, Owl Faced Monkey, Bush Elephant, Aquatic civet, Eastern needle-clawed galago, Maclaud’s horseshoe bat, Ruwenzori least otter shrew, Alexander’s bush squirrel.
The park also offers incredible bird watching adventures due to the recorded number of birds that inhabit the thick forest vegetation of the park i.e 349 bird species.
Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking Permit
Just like in Virunga National park, the permits can be obtained directly through the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) or a valid Tour Operator Agency who can book this for travelers before their arrival for Gorilla Trekking. The Permit costs US $400 per person interested.
The Gorilla Trekking procedure in Kahuzi Biege National Park operates like that in other Gorilla Trekking National parks requiring you to transfer from one place to another i groups of 6-8 and when you meet the Gorillas, you will stay in their presence taking photos to keep for memories in an hour.
The park comprises of 12 Gorilla Groups despite 4 are habituated to be visited by travelers interested in tracking the Eastern Lowland Gorillas. These Groups include; Chimanuka Gorilla Group with 19 individuals, Mpungwe Gorilla Group with 21 individuals, Bonnani Gorilla Group with 5 individuals and Mugahuka Gorilla Group with 1 individual.
How to Get to Kahuzi Biega National Park
On arrival at the Kigali International Airport, you will transfer towards Gisenyi Rwanda to traverse the Rwanda-DR Congo border to Bukavu Town. You will transfer for 30 kilometers from the Town to the park and to enter the park, you will drive for one and a half hours to the Visitor’s Center.