Kahuzi-Biega National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed in 1980 for its unique biodiversity of rain forest habitat and its eastern lowland gorillas. With an area of 6,000 square kilometers (2,300 sq. mi), Kahuzi-Biega is one of the biggest national parks in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It stands in both mountainous and lowland terrain, and it is one of the last refuges of the rare species of Eastern lowland gorilla. The park was established in 1970 by the Belgian photographer and conservationist ‘’Adrien Deschryver’’.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park was named so after its two dormant volcanoes, Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega, which are within its limits. The park is located near Bukavu town, South Kivu Province, in the eastern parts of Democratic Republic of the Congo, and close to the western bank of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border.
It is one of the mostly visited national parks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, only next to Virunga National Park, and the park is most popular for its inhabitance of the eastern lowland gorillas. For those willing to do gorilla safaris are emphasized to access the park’s headquarters very early in the morning for registration and briefing about Kahuzi-Biega National Park gorilla trekking, as it is somehow different from gorilla trekking in Virunga.
The trekking of gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega might take 2-6 hours and after the activity, trekkers will then return to their designated accommodations for supper and the overnight. To book for gorilla trekking in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, lowland gorilla trekking in Democratic Republic of Congo, you should contact one of the most expert tour agencies in Africa which have a great experience in gorilla safaris, such as Eco tours Congo among others. The agency will be the one to purchase for you the gorilla permit, Congo Tourist Visa, full board accommodation, and the transportation with a 4×4 wheel drive. However, travelers are always advised to book in advance for proper planning of your safari and not to get disappointments.
Unlike in Rwanda and Uganda whereby travelers are offered gorilla safaris for viewing strictly the mountain gorillas, Congo safaris are very unique as trekkers will view the mountain gorillas in Virunga national park and then head to Kahuzi-Biega National Park for another great experience of trekking the Eastern lowland gorillas and at the most affordable price. A Congo gorilla trekking permit costs only US$ 400, thus making it the most affordable destination than any other gorilla destination.
Lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi-Biega national park starts with a briefing by the park rangers/guides at the Tshivanga Visitor Centre. The talk will briefly cover the history, topography and a few facts about the family you are to visit in the park. The guide will also encompass how to conduct oneself when you encounter gorillas shortly before you embark on the trek. The journey starts thereof as you pursue the trails into the jungle.
This can take up to an hour before you encounter the gorillas as they are always moving. Basically, the young gorillas will be the first to be sighted by the trekkers and once you see the baby gorillas, be sure to also view the male gorilla as it will be near to ensure that you are no threat to its territory. After the silver back (male gorilla) verifies that you are not a threat, then the magical activity of watching the great apes starts lasting up to an hour long.
You can experience it better as you capture that great shot of the gorillas for remembrance/memorable moments while in the Park, and to show your friends and family back home such that they too get the urge to set out for their own Congo gorilla safari.
Where to stay in Kahuzi-Biega National Park? Would you like to be a Park’s visitor and you are wondering where to sleep while enjoying the trekking of eastern lowland gorillas? Here are some of the best accommodations in Kahuzi-Biega; Orchid’s safari club (luxury), Coco lodge (mid-range), and Hotel Begonias (budget), among others.