Kahuzi Biega National Park is a protected area situated near Bukavu town, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo close to the western bank of Lake Kivu and the Rwanda border. The park was named after its two dormant volcanoes; Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega, which are within its parameters. Covering an area of about 6,000 square kilometers (2,300 sq mi), Kahuzi-Biega is one of the biggest national parks in Congo and it is famous for its lowland gorillas.
Lowland gorilla trekking
Lowland gorilla trekking is the major activity done in Kahuzi Biega National Park. The park has over 5 habituated lowland gorilla families that are trekked by travelers on Congo gorilla safari tours. Its an adventurous activity that involves trekking a particular gorilla family in the forest for some hours, when you see it, you are allowed to be around them for only an hour. During this hour, you make use of your phone and camera, take many photos as possible as the gorilla build their nests, care for the young ones, feed, cuddle and many more. Seeing lowland gorillas is captivating and memorable making it the most sought activity in this park.
Because the park habits more than 350 bird species with 42 being endemic to this park, it has made birding in Congo’s Kahuzi Biega National Park a very popular activity in the park. The most spotted ones include the African green broad bill, yellow crested helmet shrike, the Congo peafowl and Rockefeller’s.
There are various walking trails in the park that pass through the tropical rainforest to different tourism sites. The Tshibiti waterfalls trails lead you to three waterfalls in the park. During your nature walk, an experienced guide will show you different vegetation types and other wildlife species in the park. Nature walks give you opportunity to feel the natural fresh air accompanied by sweet sounds of the singing birds in the forest. The adventure makes travelers desire a longer forest walk.
With all the beauty and the tourism potentials that Kahuzi-Biega National Park boasts ranging from the awesome Eastern lowland gorillas to different primate species, we believe the park is an awesome destination to include on your itinerary to Virunga National Park on your Congo safari. You may decide to also include Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya as your next safari destinations.
Mount Kahuzi & Mount Biega hiking adventures in Congo
Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo is however is not just about lowland gorillas, it gives travelers more opportunities to explore its landscape alongside the Congo gorilla trekking safaris. The park is home to a pair of inactive volcanic mountains found within the heart of this national park you can hike. Mount Kahuzi is the highest with a height of about 3,308m above sea level while Mount Biega, is the smallest of the two stands at about 2,790m above the sea level. Hiking is one of the common activities done in this park. Hiking Mount Kahuzi takes about 4 hours to the top and 3 hours down while Mount Biega takes about 3 hours to the top and 3 hours down.
Once you hike and reach any of the summits of these two volcanoes, you will enjoy a scenic panoramic view of the entire park, you may spot some of the wildlife that habits the park, enjoying viewing the neighboring communities and countries. During your hiking adventure in Kahuzi Biega National Park, expect to see bamboo and subalpine vegetation that harbor different animals in the park and a few animals like owl-faced monkeys plus a variety of birds.
Nyiragongo hiking safari Congo
After your lowland gorilla trekking Safari Congo in Kahuzi Biega National Park, you can also visit Virunga National Park and experience a double gorilla trekking safari in Congo. Virunga National Park Congo offers a mountain gorilla safari tour Congo making Congo the only destination in Africa with different species of gorillas. It may seem the same experience but they are different because you are going to trek a different specie of gorillas that live in a different environment; mountainous area hence the name mountain gorillas.
Virunga National Park Congo is the popularly visited destination in the country with two popular activities done in the park which are Mountain gorilla trekking and a hike to Mount Nyiragongo summit. Mount Nyiragongo is within the Virunga massif close to the Albertine rift a region that is very rich in diversity within Africa. Mount Nyiragongo is about 3,470m high with two distinct lava benches one about 3,175m (10,417ft) and the other at 2,975m (9,760ft). Mount Nyiragongo is one of Africa’s recently active stratovolcanoes with a lava lake once known as the most voluminous. The most common activity on mount Nyiragongo is hiking especially done alongside Congo gorilla trekking safaris in Virunga National Park.
This amazing Volcano is 20km north of Goma town (capital of the North Kivu province in the Eastern DRC) and just west of the border with Rwanda. From 1882, Mount Nyiragongo has erupted at least 34 times. In 1977, there was an active volcanic activity when the walls fractured and the lava lake drained in one hour creating the fastest lava flow recorded (40mi/h). Mount Nyiragongo is one of the recent active volcanoes and for this uniqueness many are always daring to hike Mount Nyiragongo and never have they been disappointed, the lava and hike experience are 2 different and memorable Congo safari activities.
You can decide to take the Nyiragongo volcano hike either as a stand-alone trip or tailor it with a Congo gorilla trekking safari to Virunga National Park. One can also opt to tailor their safari with a Uganda wildlife safari during an extended or long safari.
For a Mount Nyiragongo trek, you arrive from your destination probably Kigali International Airport which is the closest airport with daily flight then transfer to Goma town.
On the first day of the trek, you are expected to be at the hike start point by 8:00am Congo local time.
The ascent up the volcano starts at around 10:00am with most climbing groups reaching the summit by 5:00pm. The trek is split in to five legs, so you get four rest stops of about 20 minutes each as you regain your strength and collect your breath. On arriving at the summit, you will spend the night on the crater in small summit cabins just enough for your rest through the cold night.
Early morning before sunrise after taking memorable pictures of the lava at the summit, by around 6:00am getting you then start the descend back to the hike start point going through the steep rocky trail.
In case you need help with the hike and your luggage, hiring a porter at a fee is the best option.