Eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega national park
Looking at eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega national park? Kahuzi Biega national park is found in DR Congo near Bukavu in the eastern part of the country. The national park is located near the borders of Rwanda on the western bank of Lake Kivu. Kahuzi Biega national park was gazetted in 1970 to protect the forest as well as the animals that do live in this forest.
Kahuzi Biega national park is the only home for eastern lowland gorillas in the whole of DR Congo. The eastern lowland gorillas are a subspecies of eastern gorillas and they are the largest subspecies of gorillas. In Kahuzi Biega national park there are so far 5 fully habituated eastern lowland gorilla families and these are open for tourism at all times of the year. Other places in Africa to meet eastern lowland gorillas include Odzala-Kokoua national park and Maiko national park.
Meeting the eastern lowland gorilla in Kahuzi Biega national park
On the day of trekking the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park, you will be required to wake up early in the morning take breakfast and meet the driver to lead you to the park’s briefing point. Here you will meet park wardens and other hikers for a briefing where you will learn about the dos and don’ts of the gorilla trekking activity.
Groups not exceeding 8 are made and treks are led by armed ranger guides. Finding eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park takes 2-4 hours and the total time taken depends on the nature of the trials, the location of the gorillas, and the speed of the trekker. Throughout the trekking activity, the trekkers are able to meet different park animals such as owl-faced monkey, bongo, galago, elephant, buffalo, leopard, giant forest hog, olive baboon, hippo, and giant forest genet among others.
When the eastern lowland gorillas are located, the trekkers are given 1 hour to be around them learn about their habits, take photos and watch them do daily activities like traveling, nesting, feeding, hunting, coupling, resting, and much more. After encountering these apes, you will trek out of the journey and meet your driver for a transfer to the next destination.
Cost of eastern lowland gorilla trekking permits in Kahuzi Biega national park?
For any traveler that wants to trek eastern lowland gorillas in DR Congo, they must purchase a trekking permit. The trekking permits can be got from a trusted local tour operator or Kahuzi Biega national park offices. Each trekking permit costs $400 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents, $200 for East African citizens while in the low season the permits are sold at half price.
What to pack for Kahuzi Biega national park eastern lowland gorilla trekking?
Travelers intending to visit Kahuzi Biega national park for eastern lowland gorilla trekking should include the following on their packing list. Waterproof hiking shoes, long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, a rain jacket, a hat, sunscreen, a light backpack, insect repellent, a pair of gaiters, cotton stocks, gardening gloves, a pair of binoculars, a camera, a drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, facemasks, and sanitizer.
Where to stay on a gorilla trekking safari in Kahuzi Biega national park
There are several accommodation facilities that tourists can use while a gorilla trekking safari in Kahuzi Biega national park and these range from budget to mid-range to luxury options. The accommodation to stay in depends on your budget and these include Mount Kahuzi Hotel, Lodge Coco, Lakeside Hotel Bukavu, Hotel Begonias, Orchids Safari Club, and Exodus Bukavu among others.
When to trek eastern lowland gorillas of Kahuzi Biega national park?
Eastern lowland mountain gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park can be trekked at any time of the year since the park is always open. However, there are months that are better than the rest and these are the dry months. The dry months in Kahuzi Biega national park occur from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall that leaves the trekking trials dry, the vegetation is thin and dry with clear views of the gorillas, and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Travelers can still visit Kahuzi Biega national park for eastern lowland gorilla trekking in the rainy season to enjoy discounted gorilla permits and accommodation. Travelers should note that in the rainy season, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is wet and thick with unclear views of the gorillas, and the roads leading to the park are impassable.