Activities in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Activities in Kahuzi Biega National Park: Kahuzi Biega is one of the national parks of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kahuzi Biega is located in the Bukavu town south of Kivu and this is the second most popular national park of the country after the Virunga national park the home to a few of the mountain gorillas remaining in the world. Kahuzi Biega is one of the homes to the lowland gorillas of the Democratic republic of Congo. There are a number of other national parks and game reserves in the country but the outstanding ones the Virunga national park and the Kahuzi Biega national park.
The Kahuzi Biega national park as well as the Virunga national park is managed by the Congolese institute of Conservation of the Nature alongside the Congolese government however much of the funds to run these both parks is received from the international wildlife conservation forward organizations like the WWF that is the World Wildlife Fund and the WCS which is the Wildlife Conservation Society that have played a major role in the conservation in the areas.
The traffic flow into Kahuzi Biega national park is much lower than that of Virunga and yet this is a great destination as it has so much to offer on your visit. This park is more of a virgin place with less exploitation evident by the thick green and raggedy forest layout. This park also boosts of a mountainous and flat landscape along with small lakes and rivers within the park which is the ideal African destination. Safety is a major concern in this country but a team of skilled security personnel have been deployed to ensure a safe running of the park and protecting the visitors of the park. Tourists are escorted by the equipped ranger guides throughout their visit to the park.
Kahuzi Biega national park can visited any day of the year and it is quite difficult to determine the best months to visit the park as it is in a rain forest so rains are expected anytime of the year however the drier months of late December to early April and again June to September tend to experience less rains so you may plan your visit among any of these months. The main attractions and Activities in Kahuzi Biega National Park are as listed below.
Lowland gorilla tracking. This is the biggest attraction of the Kahuzi Biega national park and the most popular activity in Bukavu town. Most travellers crossing to the Kahuzi Biega national park are interested in these apes. The Grauer’s gorillas are the gorilla sub-species one will spot while in the Kahuzi Biega national park. These eastern lowland gorillas are bigger in size as compared to the mountain gorillas which is an evident difference. The lowland gorillas are also facing a possibility of extinction as numbers are lowering with every census carried out. A census carried out in 2013 came out with about 145 lowland gorillas which is much lower than the census of 1990 that counted 600 individuals. The decline of these lowland gorillas can largely be attributed to the poachers who hunt down these animals for game meat or to sell their body parts known to have high demand for rituals. Also the illegal cutting down of trees, encroachment of forest land and mining activities on the forest land chasing them out of their habitat are other factors to blame.
The lowland gorillas are however habituated and are available on a daily basis for trekkers to pay a visit. However much they are known as lowland gorillas, there will be long distances of hiking uphill and through the dense tropical rain forest, crossing of swamps all depending on the location of the gorilla group of that day.
The rangers will guide you on the paths to take and the code of conduct expected while on this trek and this tracking of the lowland gorillas will take from about 30 minutes to 6 hours and the trekking of the lowland gorillas usually takes longer than that of the mountain gorillas as they tend to move longer distances as the terrain is favorable. A lowland gorilla permit to Kahuzi Biega goes for 400 USD per permit per person.
Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Center. Take on a visit to the Lwiro sanctuary and get upclose with the rescued chimpanzees and the smaller primates and take part in the activities at the sanctuary caring for and feeding the primates. Most of the animals at the center lost their parents to poachers and were taken to the center to give them a chance to life. You may take on a one day visit or a week or month long volunteer program and learn more about the primates and how to conserve them for generations. This center is just a walk able distance from the Kahuzi Biega park headquarters.
Tshibati waterfall hike. Among the trails in the Kahuzi Biega national park, in the company of ranger guides, you can take on the Tshibati waterfalls trail passing through swampy vegetation, bamboo forests and reach the 3 magnificent waterfalls. There are chances of encountering chimpanzees and different monkeys on this trail. You may take on the Marais Musisi trail if you are up for a nature walk. Nature walks go for about 35 USD per walk and are a great opportunity for birders to spot a number of birds in the forest.
Bird watching. Kahuzi Biega is a great birding spot as it a home to both endemic and migratory bird species which you can spot on the scheduled morning or evening birding. Get to spot the like of the Congo peafowl, African green broadbill and the yellow crested helmet shrike to mention but a few. The bird watching is carried out in the forest or on the trails on the nature walks.
Mountain hiking. There are 3 mountains that you can hike in this park that is the Mount Kahuzi and the Mount Biega that you may hike if you are interested in hiking. Hike up Mount Kahuzi for the breathtaking view of Bukavu and Lake Kivu from the top and this is a 4 hour hike up hill approximately and hiking up Mount Biega is approximately a 6 hour hike up hill and back to the trailhead. The vegetation on both mountains differs where the mount Kahuzi has sub alphine vegetation and bamboo. You may also take on a hike up Mount Bugulumiza which is a 3 hour hike up hill and back and hiking any of these mountains, a permit goes for 100 USD.
All activities of Kahuzi Biega national park are guided and you will have a ranger guide at all times within the park. The visa to visit the Kahuzi Biega national park can be organized once you book your preferred activity. Reach out with the activity you are interested in and let us book it for you and advice.