Size of Kahuzi Biega national park
What is the size of Kahuzi Biega national park? Kahuzi Biega national park is found on the eastern side of DR Congo and is one of the places to track eastern lowland gorillas in the country. The national park hosts the highest population of eastern lowland gorillas in the world. Yes the size of Kahuzi Biega national park is 6000 sq. km (2,300 sq mi) and is one of the biggest national parks in DR Congo
Kahuzi Biega national park comprises a rain forest or afro montane forest on one hand and on the other hand, it comprises a lowland rain forest. The national park is a rare African region where a transition in vegetation zones from lowland to highland remained largely undamaged.
Kahuzi Biega national park is one of the few national parks in Africa harboring the rare eastern lowland gorillas. These species of gorillas are listed as endangered animals on the list of IUCN. Because of the eastern lowland gorillas and the tropical rainforests, Kahuzi Biega national park was named a UNESCO world heritage.
What to do when you visit Kahuzi Biega national park
Eastern lowland gorilla trekking: Travelers to Kahuzi Biega national park have an opportunity to take part in gorilla trekking activity that is done among 5 fully habituated gorilla families. Eastern lowland gorilla trekking is the most done activity in Kahuzi Biega national park and this gives participants an opportunity to encounter the rare eastern lowland gorillas. To be part of the amazing gorilla trekking in this park, you need to have a gorilla trekking permit.
Trekking eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega national park starts with a briefing at the park offices early in the morning. The trekkers must wake up early in the morning for breakfast and thereafter meet drivers to take them to the briefing point. Wardens teach the trekkers about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity and grouping is done.
All treks in Kahuzi Biega national park are led by armed ranger guides and during the activity, the trekkers are able to meet different park animals such as owl-faced monkeys, bongo, galago, climbing mouse, Albertine owlet, chimpanzees, elephants, buffaloes, birds, and different vegetation types. When the eastern lowland gorillas are found, the trekkers are given 1 hour to be around them, take photos, learn about their habits, and watch them do daily activities such as hunting, nesting, breastfeeding, and eating among others.
Birding: With 342 bird species, Kahuzi Biega national park attracts a number of bird lovers every year. The national park has over 42 bird species that are endemic to this region. Bird watching activities in Kahuzi Biega national park give you an opportunity to see birds such as cinnamon-chested bee-eater, black-billed turaco, mackinnon’s shrike, crowned eagle, martial eagle, rockefeller’s sunbird, ross’s turaco, white-backed vulture, variable sunbird, baglafecht weaver, western banded snake eagle, blue-headed coucal, African golden oriole, hadada ibis, petit’s cuckoo shrike, equatorial akalat, black-headed heron, Eurasian buzzard, mountain thrush babbler, red-throated alethe, tawny eagle cattle egret, and narina’s trogon.
Other bird species you can encounter in Kahuzi Biega national park are African emerald cuckoo, cape wagtail, cassin’s honeybird, green-backed woodpecker, common waxbill, African firefinch, olive-bellied sunbird, white-necked raven, African paradise-flycatcher, brown-capped weaver, black-casqued hornbill, diederrik cuckoo, evergreen-forest warbler, golden-winged sunbird, red-faced crimson-wing, rufous-vented paradise-flycatcher, strange weaver, and regal sunbird.
Hiking: Kahuzi Biega national park hosts 2 dormant volcanoes which are Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega. Mountain Kahuzi is the tallest with an elevation of 3308m above sea level while mount Biega is 2790m above sea level. Hiking any of these mountains you must have a hiking permit which you can get from the park offices or a trusted local tour operator.
Hiking starts in the morning with a briefing and armed ranger guides led you through the hike. Hiking mountain Kahuzi and mountain Biega takes 3-4 hours of going through steep slopes, and rugged terrain. The hiking activity gives you an opportunity to meet different park animals such as primates, monkeys, mammals, and vegetation. When you reach the summit of any of these mountains you will get stunning views of Lake Kivu, Bukavu town, volcanoes, and Kahuzi Biega national park.
Visit Lwiro sanctuary: Lwiro sanctuary is a primate rehabilitation center for chimpanzees and it’s located near Kahuzi beiga national park. A visit to Lwiro sanctuary will give you an opportunity to take care of the chimpanzee orphans as well as other primate species that lost their parents in war or to poachers. During your visit to Lwiro sanctuary, you will take part in feeding as well as habituating these primates.
The most appropriate time to visit Kahuzi Biega national park
Mount Kahuzi Biega national park can be visited at any time of the year but the most appropriate time is anytime in the dry season. The dry season in Kahuzi Biega national park occurs from June to September and December to February. These months are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking/hiking trails dry, the vegetation is always thin with clear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Travelers most especially budget travelers can visit Kahuzi Biega national park in the rainy seasons of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities and gorilla trekking permits. Travelers should know that during the rainy months, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and the roads leading to the park are impassable.
Accommodation on a visit to Kahuzi Biega national park
While on a safari in Kahuzi Biega national park, travelers that want to spend a night or more in the park have a lot of accommodation facilities they can use. These do range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and where to stay depends on choice and budget. The accommodation facilities available in Kahuzi Biega national park include Mount Kahuzi Hotel, Lodge Coco, Lakeside Hotel Bukavu, Hotel Begonias, Orchids Safari Club, and Exodus Bukavu among others.