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March 2019

Congo Hiking adventure treks in Kahuzi Biega National Park – Congo Safari News

By | Safari News

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.

Mount Kahuzi & Mount Biega hiking adventure 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.

Other tourist activities in Kahuzi Biega National Park

Lowland gorilla trekking

3 days Kahuzi Biega National Park

                       Lowland gorillas

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.

Birding

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.

Nature walks

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.

 

Gorilla families in Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo – Congo safari News

By | Safari News

Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo is a unique Congo safari destination that habits the Eastern Lowland gorillas. It is a composition of Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega hence the name Kahuzi Biega National Park. Kahuzi Biega National Park became open to tourists in 2015 and since then the park official have been undergoing struggles of habituating the gorillas for Congo gorilla trekking safaris. The park is home to over 12 gorilla families however, there are only 5 gorilla families that have been habituated for Congo gorilla safaris. Just like mountain gorillas, Eastern lowland gorillas live in small groups called led by a silver back. Habituated gorilla families are trained to tolerate the presence of people making gorilla trekking safaris in Congo organized. The gorilla trekking safari experience begins at 8am with a briefing about the etiquette of the gorilla trekking activity in Congo. After the briefing that lasts about 30mins, you will see ne led into the forest by the rangers in search for the gorilla family that has been allocated to you. Upon seeing them, you will only be allowed to be with this gorilla for only an hour. During your one hour stay with them, you will enjoy watching the silver back protect its family more so the females, you will watch them feed, build their nests, cuddle and many more.

The gorilla families in Congo by name and number include;

Chimanuka is the second largest gorilla family in Kahuzi Biega National Park consisting of 19 members. It was named after its dominant silver back. It is the most recommended gorilla family to be trekked on your gorilla safari Congo.

Mpungwe gorilla family has 21 members and is the biggest of all habituated families in Kahuzi Biega National Park. For those interested in big gorilla numbers, this is the right family to go trekking.

Nganwa is a wild gorilla family that is still under habituation and it consists of 10 family members.

Bonnani is the smallest gorilla family in this park. it one of the newest and it has 5 members.

Mugaruka is just 1 silver back gorilla. Just like Chimanuka, this gorilla group was also named after the dominant silver back. It initially had other family members but had some disputes with the Chimanuka family, that won and took all its females and infants leaving it alone.

 

 

Eastern Lowland gorilla habituation in Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo

By | Safari News

Mountain gorillas

Eastern Lowland gorilla habituation in Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo

Just like the mountain gorillas found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Congo’s Virunga National Park, Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park are not so different from them because they come from the same family. The only different between the two is the color and the environment they live in.  Mountain gorillas have a typical black fur body and live in mountainous/ hilly areas while the Lowland gorillas have a black and brown fur body and usually live-in lowland areas.

There are only two ways a tourist on a safari Uganda Rwanda Congo can enjoy & interact with these gorillas. Just undertake a gorilla trekking safari Uganda, a gorilla safari Rwanda and a gorilla tour in Congo where you will trek these gorillas together with the park rangers in their natural habitats for about 2-8hours, upon seeing them, you will be restricted to an hour with them, watch them cuddle, play, feed, build their nests and many more. After the one-hour interaction, you will retire form the activity and return to the starting point.

3 days Kahuzi Biega National Park

Lowland gorilla

However, gorilla habituation is simply the act of training wild gorillas to become used to the sight of people.  Habituating them involves different groups of people like the conservationists, researchers, park rangers, trackers, among others who normally take a period of about 2 to 3 years complete this habituation experience. It is a learning experience that has just recently become a stable activity in these countries with gorillas. During this process, the people get to understand the gorillas deeper and individually, know their behaviors and even get to the point of naming every single one of them. In the end, if the researchers are certain that the wild gorillas are okay with the presence of people, a mock exercise is done as a way of testing to prove their facts. When the gorillas pass this kind of exercise which now includes journalists and scientists, the gorilla group is then available for trekking. The habituation experience restricts the number of people that do this activity per day, thus bookings for this kind of activity must be done 6 months prior to the actual habituation day.

Unlike Gorilla trekking that limits one’s interaction with the gorillas to only an hour, Gorilla Habituation allows interaction with the gorillas for several hours.

 

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