Lowland Gorilla Trekking in DR Congo- Kahuzi Biega National Park
Kahuzi biega national park was founded in 1939 and later a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, Kahuzi – Biega National Park remains the last stronghold of the eastern lowland gorillas, numbering around 250 individuals with three habituated families. Dominated by two huge extinct volcanoes (Kahuzi and Biega) this vast area of primary tropical forest is a sprawling park of lush, rolling hills and thick jungle. It is the second most important site of the region for both endemic species and in terms of specific diversity.
Situated near the western bank of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border, Kahuzi – Biega is a national park protected near Bukavu town in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Everyone is talking about mountain gorillas in Virunga, Volcanoes and Bwindi national parks, but lowland gorillas are even more exciting, worth every dollar to spend an hour deep in the forest with wild Graurer’s lowland gorillas.
Among the 136 species of mammals identified in the park, the eastern lowland gorilla is the most prominent. According to a 2008 status report of the DR of Congo, the park had 125 lowland gorillas, a marked reduction from the figure of 600 gorillas of the pre-1990’s conflict period, and consequently the species has been listed in the endangered list. The park is the last refuge of this rare species. According to the census survey of eastern lowland gorillas reported by the Wildlife Conservation Society in April 2011, at least 181 gorillas were recorded in the park.
There are nine gorilla families in Kahuzi Biega. Two are habituated for visitors, Chimanuka and Mugaruka, both named after the dominant male silver back. Chimanuka is the silver back of a large family containing 36 members. Along with him there are 17 females and 18 infants aging from 6 months to 9 years old. The family is famous for having 4 sets of twins, a phenomenon unseen in any Eastern Gorilla populations.
Lowland gorilla trekking tour in Congo is one of the highly rewarding Congo gorilla safaris that will allow you to trek the thrilling Lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park. The 3 days gorilla safari to DR. Congo will offer you an opportunity to encounter the lowland gorillas in their natural habitat of Kahuzi Biega National Park- DR Congo if you book with Budget gorilla trekking guide.
Upon your arrival in Kigali international Airport, you will be welcomed by our company representative who will transfer you to Bukavu in Congo. The journey will take you through Butare, where you will have stopover to visit the national museum of Rwanda, the king’s palace in Nyanza, and the Rwanda genocide memorial site. Thereafter, you will proceed with the drive crossing via Cyangugu boarder to Bukavu in Congo. On arrival to Bukavu, you will advance with the drive to your pre – booked lodge in Bukavu for dinner and overnight.
Rise up for early morning breakfast and transfer to the park headquarters for an early morning briefing about the dos and don’ts of budget gorilla tours in Kahuzi Biega National park. The visit includes a security briefing and a small story about the gorillas that live there and then you go for a walk with a park ranger to see them. After briefing, you will head for the unforgettable adventure of tracking the lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National park. Trekking lowland Gorillas offers unique experience of its own and it usually takes 1-4 hours while observing and watching them interact with each other as you take photos and video in their habitat.
Unlike the Mountain Gorillas, the Eastern Lowland Gorillas are larger in size with gigantic hands, short muzzle and stocky body presenting a more exciting experience. After one memorable hour of encounter with the lowland gorillas, you will retire back to the lodge for lunch and relaxation. After lunch, embark on an afternoon nature walk in the Kahuzi Biega Park. Retreat from the activity and spend the rest of the day at leisure enjoying the lodge
You can also visit Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre (CPRL) located close to the park headquarters. A visit to the sanctuary can be easily combined with a gorilla trek in a day trip from Bukavu. Ask your tour operator or park staff to arrange a visit to the sanctuary. Entrance for foreigners is $25, which goes directly towards the costs of managing the sanctuary
CRPL takes care of 72 chimpanzees and 92 monkeys of 11 different species, together with parrots, turtles, hyrax and porcupine. All these animals have been victims of poaching and pet trade.
Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre (CPRL) was established in 2002 to provide care and rehabilitation for orphaned primates, while working to ensure their survival in the wild. It is located on the grounds of CRSN, the Congolese Government Scientific Research Centre, which is located in an old Belgian colonial building. The sanctuary works closely with the ICCN and currently cares for 49 chimpanzees and over 60 monkeys. Other activities undertaken include education programs for local people, children, military and tourists. The old Belgian research centre located on the grounds also has some fascinating exhibits.