Kahuzi Biega national park gorillas
Kahuzi Biega national park is found in the eastern part of DR Congo near the southwestern part of Lake Kivu hosting the endangered eastern lowland gorillas. The national park hosts the largest subspecies of gorillas in the whole of DR Congo. Eastern lowland gorillas are a sub-specie of eastern gorillas together with mountain gorillas.
Kahuzi Biega national park has the largest population of these eastern lowland gorillas in the world. Other eastern lowland gorillas in the world are found in Maiko national park, Tayna Gorilla Reserve, Usala forest, and Itombwe Massif.
Kahuzi Biega national park hosts the largest subspecies of gorillas in the whole world. The male eastern lowland gorillas weigh between 150kgs and 210 kgs while makes can weigh up to 80kgs. The males can go up to 7 ft while the females go up to 5 ft.
Eastern lowland gorillas spend most of the hours of the day feeding on different plants. Eastern lowland gorillas feed on things such as fruits, leaves, bark, stems, and small insects. These subspecies of gorillas do move for short distances and spend all their time looking for what to eat.
Eastern lowland gorillas are very peaceful primates that live in groups of 5 to 30 and each group has a ruling silverback that guides and controls the family. The groups have different males that grow into silverbacks and leave their groups to go form their groups and they form groups winning members from different groups through fights.
When it comes to reproduction, a female eastern lowland gorilla will give birth to a single infant although there are rare cases of giving birth to twins. The infants are breastfed for 3 years. The infants stay with their months for a couple of years learning how to feed, take care of themselves, and much more.
Trekking eastern lowland gorilla in Kahuzi Biega national park
To trek the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park you need a trekking permit. The trekking park can be bought from Kahuzi Biega national park offices or a trusted local tour operator at the same price. The trekking permits for eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega national park do cost $450 for foreign non-residents, and foreign residents while for East African citizens it’s $200 per person.
Trekking eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park begin early in the morning at Tshivanga Visitor Centre. Here it’s when the park wardens teach all the trekkers about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity. After the briefing, the trekkers are grouped and armed ranger guides lead them into the jungle.
The trekking activity in this park takes 2-5 hours of passing through different vegetation cover, meeting different mammals, primates and birds. When the eastern lowland gorillas are located, the trekkers are able to be around them for 1 hour, take photos, learn about gorilla behaviors and watch them do daily activities like traveling, resting, nesting, eating, hunting, and breastfeeding among others.
Accommodation on a gorilla trekking safari in Kahuzi Biega national park
There are a lot of accommodation facilities in and around Kahuzi Biega national park that can be used by travelers during their gorilla trekking safari. These accommodation facilities offer different services and pricing so where to stay will depend on your budget and choice. Some of the accommodation facilities include Coco Lodge Bukavu, Mount Kahuzi Hotel, Lakeside Hotel Bukavu, Hotel Begonias, Orchids Safari Club, and Exodus Bukavu among others.
What to carry for eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega national park?
There is a lot to carry for eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega but let’s look at the most necessary things to pack. They include waterproof hiking boots, a pair of gaiters, cotton stocks, long-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved pants, a rain jacket, scarf, insect repellents, toiletries, a camera, a pair of binoculars, drinking water bottle, energy-giving snacks, sunscreen, a hat, facemask, and sanitizer.
When to visit eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park?
Travelers can visit eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park at any time of the year but there are months that are better than the rest. Travelers should visit Kahuzi Biega national park in the dry season of June to September and December to February for eastern lowland gorilla trekking. These months are characterized by little or no rainfall which makes the trekking trails less muddy and not slippery hence not affecting the speed of trekkers, the vegetation is thin and dry with clear views of the eastern lowland gorillas and the roads leading to the park are in good condition.
Travelers can still visit Kahuzi Biega national park in the rainy seasons and this favors the budget travelers who enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities and trekking permits. Travelers however need to know that in times of rainfall, there is plenty of rainfall and this makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery reducing the speed of trekkers, the vegetation is thick with unclear views of the eastern lowland gorillas and the roads leading to Kahuzi Biega national park are in bad conditions.