Kahuzi-Biega National Park is of no doubt one of the hidden gems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A visit to Kahuzi-Biega never leaves you out of options when it comes to things to do. There are many unique activities and experiences hence guaranteeing everyone on Congo safari something to engage in while in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. There are lots of things to do in Kahuzi Biega National Park. From gorilla trekking to hiking the Kahuzi Mountain, there are exciting things to do in the park. Here are some of the amazing things to do in Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo;
Visitors on Congo holiday in Kahuzi-Biega National Park travel purposely to see the Eastern Lowland gorillas (Grauer’s gorillas) in their natural habitat. These are massive apes, incredibly bigger than the endangered mountain gorillas. As of 2013, only 145 Eastern Lowland gorillas existed in Kahuzi-Biega compared to 600 in 1990. This was attributed to poaching practices, encroachment on their habitat and illegal cutting down of trees among other factors.
Trekking the Lowland gorillas in the wild remarkably rewards holidaymakers with lifetime experiences. It is an exceptional adventure taking visitors on a thrilling on-foot-walk to locate where the Eastern Lowland gorillas are and upon finding them, you spend absolute 1 hour observing them, taking photos and learn more about their behaviors. All treks to see the Grauer’s gorillas are led by experienced park guides and visitors must have valid permits to be allowed to engage in this life changing experience in Kahuzi-Biega. A grauer’s gorilla permit is obtainable at US $450 per person.
Once you have obtained a valid Grauer’s gorilla permit, you have a chance to track any of Kahuzi-Biega National Park’s 5 habituated families. Each of the Grauer’s gorilla family groups take 8 visitors.
Visiting Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo isn’t only for trekking to see the Grauer’s gorillas but also for you to take part in mountain/volcano climbing. The park derives its name from 2 magnificent volcanic mountains Mt. Kahuzi (3308m) and Biega (2790m), each of these offers memorable volcano hiking experience. Trekking through these volcanoes takes about 6 hours to and from the summits depending on your speed of the hiking. Along the way, you will navigate through beautiful vegetation especially the bamboo, sub-alpine vegetation and others.
You can climb Mount Kahuzi
The highest peak in the park, at 3,308m. The climb takes approximately 4 hours through bamboo forest and sub alpine vegetation, and 3 hours to descend. The summit provides spectacular views of Lake Kivu and the city of Bukavu.
Have a Mount Bugulumiza Trail
This 6km trail starts near the Tshivanga Visitor Centre and covers terrain regularly occupied by the Chimanuka gorilla family. The summit offers amazing views of Mt Kahuzi and Mt Biega along with the nearby landscape. The hike takes about 3 hours return.
Climb Mount Biega
The second highest peak in the park at an altitude of 2790m. The vegetation differs significantly from Mount Kahuzi making it a wonderful ecological experience. The climb takes about 6 hours return, so it is important to make an early start.
See Amazing Wildlife
Apart from Gorilla trekking, hiking and camping within the park is a great way to explore the amazing mountain environment. You will have the chance to see a variety of animals including the Owl Faced Monkey, Chimpanzee and an array of different birds.
Visit Lwiro Sanctuary
You can also tour the Lwiro primate rehabilitation centre, a home to orphaned chimpanzees and other monkey species. While here, you have opportunity to learn more about primates, their conservation or simply offer volunteer services. The sanctuary works closely with the ICCN and currently cares for 49 chimpanzees and over 60 monkeys. Other activities undertaken include education programs for local people, children, military and tourists.
Birding tour in Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo comes with amazing bird sightings of the park’s 350 bird species. These include among others bar-tailed trogon, red-eyed dove, black cuckoo, Handsome francolin, grey-cheeked hornbill, martial eagle, white-headed wood-hoopoe, brown throated wattle eye, golden winged sunbird, Africa hobby, black billed turaco, Grauer’s broadbill, cinnamon chested bee-eater. In addition, there are also several of Northern fiscal, African golden oriole, Albertine sooty boubou, African pipit, white tipped crested flycatcher, barn swallow, African yellow white eye, equatorial akalat, Neumann’s bush warblers, black faced rufous warblers, yellow bellied waxbill, rufous vented paradise flycatcher, brown throated wattle eye.
Guided nature walks
Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo boasts of its well-established trails set for guided nature walks. Each of the park’s nature walking trails leads you into diverse attractions ranging from primates, birds to waterfalls. Visitors are always accompanied by armed and experienced guides and interestingly, you will explore the magical waterfalls for-instance if you take the Tshibati falls trails which also ushers you into beautiful bamboo forests, swamps and 3 scenic waterfalls. Along the way, there are higher chances to come across small monkeys, chimpanzees.