Kahuzi beiga national park is the largest national park with an area cover of 6000 square kilometers that was established in 1970. The national park is the best safari destination for eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Congo. The eastern lowland gorilla trekking was done in 1973 as well as 1975. The national park is a home to 349 bird species due to its location in the endemic.
The national park constitutes of swamps as well as bog vegetation, marshland and the riparian forests. The national park obtains its name from the two dormant volcanoes of kahuzi and biega.
ATTRACTIONS IN KAHUZI-BIEGA NATIONAL PARK
EASTERN LOWLAND GORILLAS
Kahuzi-biega gives the tourists an opportunity to trek both mountain gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas. The lowlands are the largest species within the national park thus making them to be easily identified from the mountain gorillas.
Besides the eastern lowland gorillas, tourists can explore the other species such as the eastern chimpanzee, African forest elephant, Albertine owlet, the climbing mouse and maclaud’s horseshoe bat at mount kahuzi. Wildlife species such as bush buffalo, bongo, aquatic civet, bush elephant, African forest buffalo, olive baboon among others.
Tourists at kahuzi-biega can as well explore the amazing and dazzling lake kivu with its adjacent islands, marine and birdlife. The lake is found in the Albertine rift and lies between the edge of rwanda and Congo.
The lwiro sanctuary is an amazing place to spot a number of primates that are orphaned such as the chimpanzees, monkeys among others. The sanctuary was established in 2002 as a rehabilitation Centre and currently there about 55 chimpanzees and 60 monkeys.
The national park is known to be a home to over 349 species where 4 bird species are considered to be endangered such as yellow-crested helmet shrike, African green broadbill, Rockefeller’s sunbird and the congo peafowl. Other bird species include bar-tailed trogon, grey-cheeked hornbill, white-headed wood-hoopoe, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, African hobby, black-billed turaco among others.
Mount kahuzi is among the extinct dormant volcano within the national park. The mountain is elevated at a height of 3,317 meters above sea level. Tourists within the national park can engage in hiking activities on the mountain.
The kahuzi forest reserve was elongated to the near areas of mount biega and its neighboring areas. The biega mountain is an extinct volcano elevated at 2,790 meters above sea level and it’s found in the mitumba ranges.
FLORA AND FAUNA
The national park is a habitat of 1,178 different plant species since its part of the Congo basin forest. The park is rich in bio-diversity of both flora such as swamp forest, peat bog, bamboo and marshland, then fauna species the eastern lowland grauer’s gorillas, bush hogs, genet, forest elephants among others.
ACTIVITIES IN KAHUZI BEIGA NATIONAL PARK
EASTERN LOWLAND TREKKING
The national park is the only park in congo that is a home to the eastern lowland gorillas. The kahuzi-beiga has over 250 individuals and have subspecies such as the mountain gorillas, western lowland gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas, cross river gorilla as well as the grauer’s gorilla which is the largest gorilla family. The eastern lowland greatly feed on fruits, bamboo shoots as well as other herbaceous materials.
The eastern lowland trekking within the national park takes between 4 to 6 hours and more basing on their location. When the gorillas go deep within the national park in search of food the trekking can take longer. The trekking within kahuzi-biega national park is charged 400USD per person for a trekking permit.
CHIMPANZEE HABITUATION AT LWIRO SANCTUARY
The sanctuary is located in south east of congo within bukavu town and was established by the national center for research in natural sciences and Congolese institute for nature conservation with an objective of rescuing animals from being poached. The sanctuary has over 83 chimpanzees, 105 monkeys but of 12 different species as well as other species such as parrots, porcupine and turtles. In order to see the chimpanzees as well as other primates at lwiro sanctuary tourists are charged 40 USD per person.
For bird lovers, kahuzi-biega national park is a best place for birding activities since the national park is a home to over 349 bird species. While on a birding safari, tourists have an opportunity to spot various birds such as Rwenzori turaco, martial eagle, trogons, congo pea fowl, yellow-billed barbet, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, African hobby, black-billed turaco, handsome francolin and red-eyed dove and many more.
The camping within kahuzi-biega national park is quite amazing because tourists tend to wake up to amazing sights and sounds of birds in the morning. The tourists also who love nature and wish to tour the tropical forest can pay the camping activities. The charge for those activities is 50 USD per person and per day inclusive of food and a park guide. Those who love camping come along with their tents and sleeping bag and those who wish to hire its charged 5 USD per person and per night.
HIKING MOUNTAIN KAHUZI AND BIEGA
The mitumba ranges give a perfect place for Congo hiking adventure safaris for visitors coming to the national park. Tourists can hike through the forest vegetation and explore the amazing scenery and wildlife within the park. Tourists can as well hike kibatu waterfalls at a fee of 25USD per person and mountains of kahuzi or biega at a fee of 100 USD per person.
The boat cruise is done majorly on lake kivu that is shared by rwanda and congo. The activity is charged 50 USD per person and it’s done after gorilla trekking within the national park.
The community visit gives an opportunity to the tourists to spend quality time with the locals near the national park. Tourists tend to learn about the various cultures, how the locals spend their day to day lives, watch dances as well as singing performances from the local dance troupes, making local arts and crafts such as baskets, beads, necklaces, clothes among others.