Gorilla families in Kahuzi Biega national park
Kahuzi Biega national park is one of the gazetted places in Africa where you can meet endangered lowland gorilla families in Africa. The national park is located on the eastern side of DR Congo near Lake Kivu and it protects a number of gorillas as well as chimpanzees. The park covers a total area of 6000 sq. km and protects over 12 gorilla families. Out of the 12 gorilla families, only 5 gorilla families are fully habituated and open for gorilla trekking activities.
Apart from eastern lowland gorillas, Kahuzi Biega national park hosts different park animals among which include African elephants, chimpanzees, eastern needle-clawed galago, bush squirrel, civets, owl-faced monkeys, giant forest hogs, leopards, olive baboons, hippos, buffaloes, and Rwenzori otters. The park is also home to birds such as shelley’s crimson wing, yellow crested-helmet shrike, Rwenzori turaco, African green broadbill, and Congo peafowl among others.
Gorilla families in Kahuzi Biega national park
There are 12 gorilla families in Kahuzi Biega national park and 5 of these are open for trekking activities, below are the 5 gorilla families in Kahuzi Biega national park you can trek;
Mpungwe gorilla family
Mpungwe is the largest habituated gorilla family in Kahuzi Biega national park comprising of 21 gorilla members. This is one of the gorilla families best for trekking on a safari to Kahuzi Biega national park.
Chimanuka gorilla family
This is the second biggest gorilla family in Kahuzi Biega national park for it comprises of 19 members. The gorilla family was named after the dominant silverback. On a safari to Kahuzi Biega national park, you need to trek this family in order to learn about the habits of different gorilla families.
Mugahuka gorilla family
Mugahuka gorilla family comprised of different gorillas in the start but due to fights between the silverback and members of Chimanuka family. The group lost all the members to Chimanuka the silverback who took all his family members leaving it alone. The family is trying to get other members to join the group but as of now, it’s lonely.
Bonani gorilla family
This is another fully habituated family found in Kahuzi Biega national park. The gorilla family has only 5 members which makes it the smallest gorilla family in this park.
Nganwa gorilla family
Nganwa gorilla family comprises 10 members and it’s the newly habituated gorilla family in this park. It recently passed a mocking stage and is now open for gorilla trekking activities.
Eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega national park
Trekking eastern lowland gorillas is not different from trekking mountain gorillas. The activity starts with trekkers waking up early in the morning and heading to the park headquarters where they do meet the park wardens for a briefing about the dos and don’ts of the gorilla trekking activity. The armed ranger guides are assigned to each of the groups to lead them into the jungle.
During the search that takes 2-7 hours, the trekkers are able to meet different park animals such as leopards, buffaloes, civets, monkeys, olive baboons, giant forest hogs, duikers, birds, and different plant species among others. When the eastern lowland gorillas are located, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around these apes, learn about their habits, take photos and watch them do daily activities such as hunting, nesting, breastfeeding among others.
What to pack for eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega national park?
A gorilla trekking safari to Kahuzi Biega national park needs good preparation in order to make it memorable. Some of the important things to pack for Kahuzi Biega gorilla trekking safari include waterproof hiking shoes, long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, a rain jacket, insect repellent, a pair of gaiters, gardening gloves, a camera, a pair of binoculars, a drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, facemasks, and sanitizer.
What is the best time to visit Kahuzi Biega national park?
Kahuzi Biega national park can be visited at any time of the year but there are months that are better than the rest. The drier months are the best for lowland gorilla trekking and they occur from June to September and December to February. These days are characterized by little or no rainfall which makes the trekking trails less muddy, the vegetation is short giving unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are impassable.
Tourists can still visit Kahuzi Biega national park in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on gorilla permits and accommodation facilities. However, during these months, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall giving unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are impassable.
Where to stay on a gorilla trekking safari in Kahuzi Biega national park?
After booking the gorilla trekking permits for Kahuzi Biega national park, what comes in the mind next is where you will sleep. You don’t have to worry about where you will stay because there are several accommodation facilities that are built around the park for people t have a night or more. They do range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and they include L’Orchids Safari Club, Hotel Begonias, Lake Side Hotel, Exodus Hotel, and Coco Lodge among others.
How to get to Kahuzi Biega national park?
The best way to get to Kahuzi Biega national park is traveling from Kigali of Rwanda. Tourists can fly to Kigali international airport and drive to the border of Cyangungu where they will present their Congo visa or buy one before continuing to Bukavu town.