Kahuzi Biega National Park

Kahuzi-Biega National Park, also called Parc National de Kahuzi-Biega (in French) is a bio diverse protected area in Bukavu town in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo on the Western Bank of Lake Kivu, near the Rwanda border. Named after 2 extinct volcanoes of Mount Kahuzi & Mount Biega, Kahuzi Biega National Park National park was established in 1970 to protect the Eastern Lowland or Grauer’s Gorilla subspecies, in a total land area of 6000 square Kilometers, of the Montane forest cover. The park stands out to be the only hub  where the Eastern lowland Gorillas can be seen, in the entire world.

All You need To Know about The Park

Kahuzi Biega National Park is one of the Largest National Parks in the Democratic Republic Of Congo

Though famous for its Eastern lowland Gorillas, the Park is one of the Biggest national Parks in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The park settles west of the Bukavu town in South Kivu Province, covering an area of 6,000 km2 covering a total area of 6000 Km2.

The Park derives its name from 2 dormant Volcanoes, Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega

The Park sits adjacent  to the Western bank of Lake Kivu, and the border of Rwanda

Kahuzi Biega National Park was officially declared a park in 1970 by Adrien Deschryver-A Belgian photographer and conservationist.

It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 1980 for its distinct biodiversity of  the rainforest habitat and its eastern lowland gorillas.

The park was listed among the world heritage in Danger because of the frequent political unrest, an influx of refugees, and a continuous wildlife exploitation.

The Flora & Fauna of The Park

5 days double Congo Gorilla Trekking Safari In Virunga National Park & Kahuzi Biega National ParkKahuzi Biega National Park’s large diversity of flora and Fauna,  encompasses about 349 bird species, 136 mammal species, and 1178 plant species, which makes it a hot spot of plants and vertebrae endemism

The national park among other national parks in the Albertine Rift, harbors a rich diversity of mammal species, where the Eastern lowland Gorillas is the most prominent, out of the 136 species of mammals identified in the park.

Apart from the Eastern Lowland Gorillas, the park also has chimpanzee, owl-faced monkeys, and other mammal species including the bush elephants, bush buffalos, bongo, eastern needle-clawed galago, Maclaud’s horseshoe bat, Ruwenzori least otter shrew, and Alexander’s bush squirrel. Two species of genet (animal) of; the aquatic genet and the giant forest genet that inhabit within the park are endemic to the Congo Basin.

The Park is also a home to 349 species of birds, out of which at least 42 of them are endemic within the region, including the threatened Albertine owlet.  Other indigenous species of birds include the Yellow-crested Helmet-shrike,  the Congo peafowl , the African green broadbill among others.

Location: How To Get There

Located in the Eastern province of Democratic Republic of Congo, Kahuzi Biega national park can be accessed by road, Air/flight, and by Water.

By road: Kahuzi Biega National Park, is set by far 40km West of Bukavu town. It therefore  takes approximately 1 ½  hours to drive from Bukavu town to Kahuzi Biega National Park, whereas it takes 5 to 6 hours to drive from Goma for a distance of 230km to Bukavu. Tourists, are thereby urged not to drive on their own, but with an experienced guide.

While By Air/flight: All flights land at Kigali International Airport, then after one can take 6-7 hours drive from Kigali City to Kamembe in Cyangugu town, over to Bukavu border, then proceed to Kahuzi Biega National Park in 1 ½ hours.

Getting To Kahuzi Biega National Park(How To get There)

Best Time To Visit Kahuzi Biega National Park

Kahuzi Biega National park day temperatures runs between 240C to 750F, and the nights 160C to 610F . The normal rainfall received is ranges  between 1100 mm to 2000 mm per year. This offers the most perfect climate to visit the Park throughout the year for Eastern lowland gorilla trekking adventure, chimpanzee trekking safaris, bird watching experiences among other activities.

However, the best time to visit Kahuzi Biega National Park is during the dry season/months from June to September, and December to March, because  of the relatively calm weather, less rains, less muddy or dry trails, warm days and cold nights, which  opens up opportunities for adventure seeking travelers to trek the eastern lowland gorillas, or visit Chimpanzees at the Lwiro Chimpanzee Rehabilitation center, or climb mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega.

Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking

Eastern Lowland Gorilla trekking takes you to the forested lowlands to trek the Eastern Lowland Gorillas of Kahuzi Biega National Park in Bukavu town, in the Eastern Part of Democratic Republic Of Congo, close by the Rwandan Border . The Unique Eastern Lowland gorillas (also called Grauer’s gorillas) are the largest of the 4 subspecies of gorillas, namely: Mountain Gorillas, Western Lowland Gorillas, Eastern Lowland Gorillas and the Cross River Gorillas. Eastern Lowland gorillas occupy no where else in the entire world, except in Maiko National Park and Kahuzi Biega national Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Eastern gorilla trekking permit costs $400 per person per day to trek only one gorilla family. You can acquire the gorilla permits directly from the park headquarters, or have it booked by a trusted and reliable tour operator.  While trekking, visitors are allowed to stay  and interact with the gorillas for at most one hour, as they observe the behavior of the gorillas, as well as capturing beautiful photos

Attractions & Things To Do In Kahuzi Biega National Park

Kibatu water falls In Kahuzi Biega National Park-activities or Things to Do in Kahuzi biega National Park

Bird Watching Safaris In Kahuzi Biega

Kahuzi Biega National Park has a large abundance of bird species, which makes it a bird watcher’s paradise, offering numerous  birding spots including: resident forests, Open grasslands, woodland, in the woodland, Open water, wetland vegetation.   The Park  offers both morning & evening bird watching schedules, and the different birds to keep your eyes on include among others: Congo Peas Fowl,  Yellow Crested helmet-shrike, Rockefeller, Ruwenzori Turaco, sunbirds, Trogons, among others.

Mount Kahuzi & Mount Biega Hiking

The magnificent Mitumba Mountain ranges in Kahuzi Biega  National Park offers visitors with high Adrenalin adventures to hike through the forested areas and experience the spectacular and breathtaking scenery , alongside numerous wildlife species.

Adventure enthusiasts can also  visit the Kibatu waterfalls within the Park, only at a cost of $25 per person. While all trekks to Mount Kahuzi & Mount Biega, go for $100 per person for each mountain.

Nature walks In The Park

The park has fixed traditional route trails along which visitors can encounter several primates, mammals & bird species. These trails are also used for Eastern lowland Gorilla trekking, yet border patrols also use them. Together with Park guides & Rangers,  for a stroll through the Morais Musisi Trail or the Tshibati trail, which traverses through swamps, Bamboo forests & 3 spectacular waterfalls. Expect to spot chimpanzees & monkeys en-route. All Nature Walks withing the Park, costs $35 per person.