Kahuzi Biega National Park: The 6,000 km2 Kahuzi Biega National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site named after two extinct volcanoes that dominate its skyline, Mount Biega’s highest peak at 2,900m and Mount Kahuzi highest peak at 3,300m, which constitute the two of the Mutimba range. Divided into two unequal sections linked by a narrow strip of forest, the park’s eastern portion covers habitat of largely montane primary forest between 1,800m and 3,300m in elevation, while the much larger western section of the Park sees elevation drop to between 600m and 1,500m and habitat for low, forested mountain punctuated by deep river valley leading west towards the Lualaba River.
Kahuzi Biega National Park is the only place in the whole world where you can track the critically endangered eastern lowland gorillas; the park is home to about 300 lowland Grauer’s Gorillas.
Activities / Things to do and see in Kahuzi Biega National Park
The biggest attraction to visitors to the Park is also the world’s biggest primate the eastern lowland gorilla. It’s the largest of all gorilla subspecies – males weigh 160kg, the few hundred gorillas sought to live in Kahuzi Biega National Park in Congo can be visited on treks from Tshivanga Park Headquarters visitor’s center, and the practicalities of gorilla trekking here are broadly similar to those in Volcanoes National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park set out at 8 am, trekking usually lasts an hour, and the mountainous hike to find the gorillas can take anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours depending on their movements.
There are three habituated lowland gorilla families available for trekking every day namely the Bonne Annee family with 8 members, Pungwe family with 23 members, and Chimanuka family with 19 members.
Cost of Gorilla Trekking Permit in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Lowland or Grauer’s gorilla permits cost US$ 400 for foreign non-residents, US$ 200 for foreign students, US$ 150 for children above 15 years, US$ 200 for Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries, US$ 100 for East African Community, US$ 80 for The Southern African Development Community, US$ 20 for Congolese adults, US$ 10 for Congolese students and US$ 5 for children above 15 years.
Hike Mount Kahuzi
The 3,300m Mount Kahuzi hike is done in a thigh-burning full-day round trip hike setting out from the Tshivanga visitors’ center at 09.00. The hike to the summit takes about 4 hours and 3 hours to get back down, through the lush montane forest which opens to a stunning panorama view of the Park and Lake Kivu from the summit. Permits to hike Mount Kahuzi cost US$ 100 foreign non-residents, US$ 70 for students, and US$ 50 for East African Citizens.
Hike to the Tshibati Falls
The hike starts with a short trip through farms and fields before crossing into the park for another bushwalking hour until you reach the roaring falls at the end of the valley. Permits for waterfall hike cost US$ 35 for foreign non-residents, US$ 15 for East African Residents, and US$ 15 for children.
How to get there and away
Travelers to Kahuzi Biega National Park can access the national park by road or air transport, visitors can opt to fly from Kigali International Airport to Goma International Airport then transfer by road to the Park for about 6 hours, alternatively visitors to the park can embark on 6-7 hours drive from Kigali International Airport to Kahuzi Biega National Park via Rusizi border.
Where to stay
There are many accommodation facilities to choose from for visitors who want to trek lowland gorillas in their natural habitat namely Hotel Begonias, Orchids Safari Club, Guesthouse Formulac, Guesthouse de Lwiro, Mount Kahuzi Hotel among others. For more info about Gorilla Trekking trips in the Democratic Republic of Congo, kindly contact Gorilla Tracking Africa so we tailor your remarkable trip to Africa