When it comes to things to see, Kahuzi-Biega National Park never disappoints! On your Congo safari in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, expect to see a lot more than the unique Eastern Lowland gorillas. There are other exceptional faunal and floral species, volcanoes to explore while on a holiday in this pristine protected area.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo is one of the magnificent parks the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) prides herself of. This park lies in the South-east DR Congo and spreads to cover over 6000sq.kms of land area making it one of the largest African protected areas. It was designated as a national park in Congo in 1970 taking its name from 2 dormant volcanoes; Kahuzi (3308m) and Biega (2790m). It straddles West of the Bukavu Town, South Kivu Province of Congo and a small portion of it lies within Mitumba Mountain range along Albertine rift.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park is largely a dense lowland rain-forest protected area featuring afro-montane forests, sub-alpine prairies and bamboo forest. It is also a designated UNESCO Heritage Site, boasting of unique attractions. While on your Congo holiday, here are some of the interesting things to see in Kahuzi-Biega National Park.
There are lots of amazing things to see in Kahuzi Biega National Park
- Eastern Lowland Gorillas: The main attractions inside the park are visiting an Eastern Lowland Gorilla family.
- Mammals: Among the 136 species of mammals identified in the park, the eastern lowland gorilla is the most prominent.
- Primates: Other primates include the eastern chimpanzee, and several Cercopithecinae, Colobinae and owl-faced monkey. Some of the mammals include the bush Elephant, bush buffalo, hylochere and bongo, Aquatic civet, and the eastern needle-clawed galago,
Eastern Lowland gorillas
Eastern Lowland gorillas (Gorilla Beringei Graueri) are of no doubt the top attractions in Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo. These endangered species remain fewer than 300 in Kahuzi-Biega alone and they are notably the largest sub-species of gorillas. Trekking to see them in the wild is only possible presently in Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo with permits costing US $450 per person.
Other than the Lowland gorillas, Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo also shelters a range of remarkable wildlife species. They include a range of mammals especially the African forest elephants, leopards, buffaloes, lowland bongo, giant forest hogs, hippos, Maclaud’s horseshoe bat, Mt Kahuzi climbing mouse.
In total, Kahuzi-Biega National Park houses an estimated population of about 136 mammal species including 13 distinct primate species. Aside from Eastern Lowland gorillas, the other primates to expect to come across while on Kahuzi-Biega safari include the Owl faced monkeys, colobus monkeys, olive baboons, chimps, olive baboons and many more.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo also houses an estimate of about 350 bird species, these include 42 endemic species. The park’s interesting bird species range from black cuckoos, red-eyed dove, handsome francolin, bar-tailed trogon, martial eagle, black-billed turacos, white-headed wood-hoopoe, Grauer’s broadbill, Elliot’s woodpecker, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, grey-cheeked hornbill, African golden oriole to Albertine sooty boubou. Others include brown-throated wattle-eye, African hobby, rufous-vented paradise-flycatcher, African yellow white-eye, barn swallow, white-tipped crested flycatcher, yellow bellied waxbill, golden winged sunbird, eastern nicator, black faced rufous warblers, equatorial akalat, Sharpe’s sterling, eastern mountain greenbul, African pipit.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park also boasts of its rich diversity of floral species, protecting an estimate of 1178 species of plants around its mountainous areas. These shelter the park’s over 350 bird species and 136 mammal species. The park’s unique floral species range from bogs, swamps, marshland to riparian forests each of these is spotted in varying altitudinal range.
The western section of Kahuzi-Biega largely features dense Guineo-Congolian wet equatorial rain-forest. The Eastern section is mountainous and has forest vegetation ranging within altitude of 600m to 2600m. It is in the mountainous sector of Kahuzi-Biega where one of the unique sites in sub-Saharan Africa that demonstrates all stages of the low to highland transition is found. This includes 6 distinct kinds of primary vegetation; peat bog, swamp, swamp forest, high-elevation rain-forest, bamboo forest, sub-alpine heather and mountain rainforest.
The mountain and swamp forest thrives along altitudinal range of 2000m to 2400m while bamboo forest exists from 2350m to 2600m. At the summits of Mt. Kahuzi and Mt. Biega, 2600m there exists sub-alpine heather, grassland and dry savannas plus some endemic plant species especially Senecio Kahuzicus.
Other things to see near Kahuzi-Biega National Park include Lwiro Sanctuary which protects chimpanzees. This is a rehabilitation centre for most orphaned primate species mostly chimpanzees and it was founded in 2002 to protect over 55 chimps and about 60 monkeys.
Lake Kivu-this is a beautiful lake with magical islands, birds and other aquatic life. It is set just along the Albertine rift at border between Congo and Rwanda. It is one amazing place not to be missed to explore while on Kahuzi-Biega National Park holiday.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo is also popular for its 2 beautiful volcanic mountains where it derives its name from; Mt. Kahuzi and Mt. Biega. These 2 volcanoes offer amazing and memorable hiking safari experiences to holidaymakers in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Kahuzi Volcano rises up to (3308m) and Biega (2790m).