Kundelungu National Park
Kundelungu National Park is one of the best national parks in the Democratic Republic of Congo where travelers go to explore the park in a number of safari activities ranging from wildlife sightings to nature walks. The Park covers an area of about 7600 square kilo meters and its was gazetted as a national park in 1970. Kundelungu National Park started as a private hunting ground before it was declared a protected area for wildlife conservation.
Kundelungu National Park is just adjacent to Upemba National Park that is located in Katanga province 180km north east of Lubumbashi. Many conservationists refer them as sister parks because it’s hard to visit any of these parks without crossing over to the other.
The Park is endowed with spectacular flora, fauna and Lofoi Falls which are 384 meters high and connected to lake Upemba, an ecological corridor that joins Katanga region. Kundelungu is characterized by savannah grassland with dotted forest galleries and Miombo woodland to host a number of wild animals such as porcupines, hippos, jackals, zebras, buffalos, leopards, cheetahs, warthogs, buffaloes, olive baboons, various monkey species and antelopes among others. More still, the park is a home to several bird species such as pelicans, marabou storks, chestnut owlet, shoebill, racket-tailed roller, wattled crane, Angola lark, grey throated barbet, Madagascar Bee-eater, honey guide green belt, African fish eagle, egrets and a lot more!
Upemba National Park
Upemba national park in Democratic Republic of Congo is at times referred to as a sister park to Kundelungu national park by most travelers who visit Congo for wildlife safaris. Upembe was gazetted in1939, covers an area of about 11,730 square kilometers and it hosts over 1,800 plant species ranging from Miombo woodlands, riparian zones, wetlands, swamps, riverine and rainforests.
Several animal species can be spotted here including the zebras, buffalos, elephants, lions and various bird species such as the rare shoebill, Sparrow Weaver’s, bee eater, Chestnut owlet, paradise, fire finch, Dickinson’s kestrel, Nicator, Angola Lark, Cisticola, honey guide greenbul wattle crane, racket tailed roller, miombo rock thrush, flycatchers and so on. The park offers a fascinating experience and stunning views to tourists.
Tourism Activities In Kundelungu National Park
The following tourism activities can be done in Kundelungu National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo;
Wildlife game viewing is one of the best activities done in Kundelungu national park. Guests are expected to spot animals like servals, porcupines, jackals, zebras, buffalos, leopards, cheetahs, warthogs, various monkey species, antelopes, hippos among others. A number of animals will be seen grazing in the woodlands and on a lucky day, you may encounter cats hunting their prey.
Kundelungu is a home to several bird species to attract bird watching safaris and tours. Several species may be spotted in the thick forested areas of the park and near the water bodies like the Lofoi falls. Kundelungu is an Important Birding Area (IBA) in DR Congo due to several bird species that live in the park. For birders, expect to see birds like pelicans, marabou storks, chestnut owlet, shoebill, racket-tailed roller, wattled crane, Angola lark, grey throated barbet, Madagascar Bee-eater, honey guide green belt, African fish eagle, egrets among others. For a successful birding safari in the this park, pack and carry a number of items like Medication, Charger and cables, Flashlight, Light rain jacket, Wide-brimmed hat, Water bottle, Pair of binoculars, Camera, Field guidebook, Field bag/or backpack, Waterproof shoes/hiking boots and several toiletries like as lotion, tooth paste, toothbrush, hand sanitizer and hair gels are also important during your birding safari in DR Congo.
The magnificent Lofoi waterfalls offers great swimming opportunities to tourist who visit the park and relax after a very long game drive. The Lofoi waterfalls stand at the height of 384 metres. Other falls include; Lutshipuka and Masansa. Tourists can also take a guided nature walk to meet several wildlife especially primates and birds.
Hiking & Nature walks
Hiking in Kundelungu national park takes you via rugged area to the falls of Lofoi, Lutshipuka and Masansa waterfalls. A hike to the top of these falls is so rewarding and magical!
On the other hand, nature walks in the park is one of the best ways to discover and learn hidden treasure and history of Kundelungu with a help of a knowledgeable guide ranger. During this excursion, you will enjoy the scenic views of the park, wonderful sounds birds and waterfalls and lots of wildlife species including warthogs.
Camping safaris to Kundelungu National Park exposes you to enjoy the authentic adventure experiences in the wilderness. The activity is normal done at the top of water falls, enjoy the amazing views as well as sound of the waters splashing below into the plunge pool.
Getting to Kundelungu National Park
Yes, getting to the park is very easy. It is just 2 hours’ drive from Lubumbashi. However, tourists are recommended to use 4 x4 vehicles if they plan to visit the park for any activities. During wet season, road to the park gets slippery and at times it becomes impassable and difficult to reach the park. Please note that Kandelungu national park can be visited throughout the year however the best season is during dry season, from June to September and December to February. During this period, the vegetation is not thick and grass is short to enable tourists to spot wildlife.
Currently, there is no accommodation facilities in the park however tourists can camp at the top of the waterfalls or book a hotel like Mokorro hotel, Icon hotel etc. that are outside the park but in the nearby area. Those who opt to camp are advised to carry their camping gears.