The Kahuzi-Biega National Park is a protected area near Bukavu town in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is situated near the western bank of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border. Kahuzi Biega national park as a great tourist destination offers many breathing activities to tourists visiting the park for a safari and these activities include;
Eastern lowland gorilla trekking
Low land gorilla trekking is the highlight activity in Kahuzi Biega national park, thick forests dominating the park are home to lowland gorillas which are spotted on formal trekking. Unlike mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas are larger in size and they are estimated to be over 145 individuals according to gorilla census carried out in 2013. Gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega park involves hiking through the dense tropical forests and swamps tracking down the gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas are always found in various locations in the thick forests which greatly depends on the last location they slept the night before. Kahuzi Biega national park hosts 5 gorilla families that is Nganwa gorilla family, Mugahuka gorilla family, Chimanuka gorilla family, Bonnani gorilla family, Mpungwe gorilla family which are available for trekking, trekking takes 30 minutes – 6 hours tracking down the gorillas and when you find them you are given 1 hour to be with them.
Kahuzi Biega national park is a great birding destination with variety of bird species which reside in the thick forested trees in the park, bird species in Kahuzi Biega national park are recorded to be over 450 bird species with 24 species which are Albertine endemics. Bird species include Congo peafowl, African broad bill, Rockefeller’s, yellow crested helmet shrike Grauer’s warbler, Shelley’s crimson wing, Grauer’s broadbill Rwenzori Turaco and many more.
Bird watching in Kahuzi Biega national park is offered in two sessions that is morning session and evening session., bird watching is also done while on nature walks and eastern lowland gorilla trekking in the thick forests.
Nature walks in Kahuzi Biega park consist of many well established trails which facilitate nature walks safari in the thick forests, as you navigate through these trails by foot you encounter a variety of attractions such as primates like chimpanzees, baboons and eastern lowland gorillas. In Kahuzi Biega national park the most used trails while on nature walk safari are marais musisi trail and Tshiabati falls trail, using these trails take you through bamboo forest tree where you get to encounter 3 water falls while on Tshiabati waterfalls trail.
Visiting Lwiro primate rehabilitation centre
Lwiro primate rehabilitation centre is a rehabilitation centre for chimpanzees situated close to Kahuzi Biega national park, the centre takes care of orphaned chimpanzees and other primates who lost their parents majorly because of poaching practices. Upon your visit in this centre you get to participate in feeding and nurturing the chimpanzees and also learn more about these primates.
Mountain/ volcano hiking
Kahuzi Biega national park is composed of two magnificent volcanoes which create spectacular scenery in the park; these two volcanoes that is mount Biega and Mount Kahuzi facilitate the amazing volcanic hiking in the park. Mount Kahuzi stands at the altitude of 3308 meters above the sea level and for a tourist to hike this volcano it takes 3 -4 hours to ascend to the volcano and 3 hours to descend, while on top of mount Kahuzi you get scenic views of lake Kivu and Bukavu town. Mount Biega stands at the height of 2790 meters taking a hiker about 3 hours to climb up and 3 hours to descend the volcano, as you hike these volcanoes you hike on these volcanoes you encounter sub-alpine vegetation and bamboo forest together with a variety of wildlife that is primates like chimpanzees and many birds.
Best time to visit Kahuzi Biega national park for a safari
Kahuzi Biega Park is open for safari throughout the year but the best time to visit the park is during dry season periods, though it is rainy most of the time in the park because it is dominated by montane forests the park receives two dry seasons. Short dry season in Kahuzi Biega national park is received in the period of January to February and a long dry period is received in the period of June to September. In this period hiking through the forests is very much possible since they are less muddy and less slippery, as a tourist going for a safari in Kahuzi Biega national park it is advisable to carry warm clothing as it tends to get cold during the evening.
How to get Kahuzi Biega national park
Kahuzi Biega National Park is located about 30 kilometers from Bukavu town the most nearest town to the park, by road it is a drive of 1-2 hours to the park. for tourists who prefer a more quicker means of transport to the park domestic chartered flights are offered from Goma international airport to Kavuma airstrip, from Kavuma airstrip you drive to the park.