Kahuzi Biega National Park, located in Bukavu town of the DRC has the mountainous and lowland terrain.
With an area of about 6,000 square kilometers, and stretching from the Congo Basin to the Albertine Rift, Kahuzi-Biega is one of the largest National parks in the DRC.
It provides a home to the endangered species of the Eastern Lowland Gorilla, (Gorilla beringei graueri).
It also provides habitats to the Chimpanzee, colubus bai, Cercopithecus of Hoest and Hamlyn, the giant forest genet (Genetta victoriae) and (Genetta piscivora), the aquatic genet.
The wet equatorial rainforests lie to the west; and the mountainous eastern region has continuous forests vegetation and also contains six distinct vegetation types; swamp forests, swamp, and peat bog, bamboo rainforests, high altitude rainforests and subalpine heather.
Kahuzi Biega National Park has 9 Gorilla Families and they have habituated only 5 gorilla groups which are open for visitors, with one Silver-back that is staying in the local community that broke away from the Chimanuka.
Kahuzi Biega National Park always remained open for tourism and never experienced the political instability which affected the North Kivu region of Congo (and particularly Virunga).
The park offers among the best experiences of gorilla trekking (the low-land gorillas only) and only the bad image of Congo as a whole contributed to discourage tourism to Kahuzi Biega.
However, we must encourage tourism in Kahuzi Biega because the park is safe and because tourism will always help the conservation of the low-land gorillas.
Nature Walks: The Park now has well established trails that take you to see the primates and birds. These are the same trails used for tracking the gorillas and border patrols by the park rangers.
In the company of experienced park guides you can use the Marais Musisi Trail or use the Tshibati Waterfalls Trail that go through swamps, bamboo forests and 3 beautiful waterfalls. Watch out for primates like chimpanzee and small monkeys. Nature walks cost about $35.
Mountain hiking: Hiking up to the summit of Mount Kahuzi offers breath-taking views of the town of Bukavu and Lake Kivu. Reaching the summit (3,308 meters) takes about four hours while climbing down takes three hour.
Why climbing and descending, you will bypass sub-alpine vegetation and bamboo forests filled with birds and other creatures. Mount Biega is 2790 meters high and it takes about six hours to climb up and down the mountain.
The vegetation spotted while climbing up mount Biega is quite different from that found in Mount Kahuzi. Another mountain suitable for hiking is Mount Bugulumiza.
At 2400 m high it offers great views of the surrounding landscape including the mountains Biega and Kahuzi as well as the vast tropical rain forests of the park. Climbing up and down the mount Bugulumiza takes 3 hours. Climbing each mountain costs $100.
Bird watching: There are morning and evening birding schedules to spot species like the African green broad bill, Congo peafowl and yellow crested helmet-shrike among others. Bird watching can be done during the forest and nature walks.
Visiting the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre: This centre is close to the park headquarters. The Centre takes care of chimpanzees and other small primates that have lost their parents mainly due to poaching. This centre offers opportunities to volunteer and learn about primates and their conservation.
Where to stay
For the Moment Visitors to Kahuzi beige national park should be aware that there is no lodge or Accommodation that has been developed at the park but all lodges recommended are found in Bukavu town the nearest town located south of lake Kivu.
But for budget travelers / visitors the park offers camping at the park headquarter in Lwiro. Kahuzi-Biega National park offers accommodation though in form of camping but for visitors who do not wish to go camping way, there is accommodation offered by the nearest city of Bukavu which is high class, mid-range, budget and basic accommodation during the safaris while in Congo.
Orchids Safari Club is one of the luxury establishments with lush natural surroundings of Lake Kivu that allow visitors to be welcomed in an exceptional environment.
Coco lodge bukavu
The hostel has 8 Mid-range rooms equipped with double beds, decorated in the theme of Africa and it can make the African Safari Experience worth the money paid
Begonias Hotel is built around an impressive lush green courtyard with a large inviting rim-flow swimming pool, offering the perfect respite after a day visit to kahuzi beige Park.
Exodus Hotels, this hotel is located in Bukavu centre and it’s among the best budget places that visitors can seek overnight stay while preparing for the next day gorilla trekking tour.