Kahuzi Biega National Park in Congo is situated on the western bank of Lake Kivu, and is prominently visited for Eastern lowland gorilla trekking Congo safaris. On an African safari in Congo you can explore Kahuzi Biega Park found in Bukavu Town on the Western bank of Lake Kivu within the Albertine Rift Valley in Eastern DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) – the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa.
Due to its amazing great rainforest biodiversity with unique mammal species including the Eastern Lowland gorillas (Grauer's gorillas), Kahuzi Beiga was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage in 1980.
Kahuzi Beiga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is not only known for Lowland gorillas but it’s also home to other wonderful game animals. In its scenic mountains, primary tropical forest, marshlands, vast swamps, and several lovely river systems, over 137 mammal species and 350 bird species have been recorded.
Some of the unique animals in Congo’s Kahuzi Beiga National Park include Blue Monkeys, Angola Black Monkeys, Dent’s Mona Monkeys, and Owl-Faced Monkeys. Others are bush Elephant, bush Buffalo, Bongo, Hylochere, and Giant Genets among others.
While on your Congo gorilla trekking expeditions in Kahuzi Beiga National Park, you can still enjoy amazing hiking tours (hike Mount Kahuzi or Biega), nature walks, and camping adventures.
Bird lovers can go bird watching as this park is one of the best sites to spot some Albertine Rift Endemic birds in East Africa. Some key species include the African green Broadbill, Shell’s Crimson wing, Red-faced woodland warbler, purple-breasted sunbird, etc.
For travelers planning to track Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Beiga National Park, target dry months when rains are minimal!
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There are several amazing tourist attractions in Kahuzi Beiga National Park ranging from Grauer’s gorillas, striking volcanoes, beautiful bird species as well as other rare diverse, and abundant fauna of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Here is a detail of major attractions in Kahuzi Biega National Park:
Eastern lowland gorillas are the key tourist attractions in Congo Kahuzi Beiga National Park. The Grauer’s gorilla is different from their close cousins the Mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park.
Lowland gorillas have a more stocky body, larger arms, and a short muzzle. Watching these majestic humanlike creatures in their lovely natural habitat is a lifetime experience worth undertaking on your Congo safari tours.
Among East African safari countries, Kahuzi Beiga National Park in DR Congo is the only place to spot the Eastern Lowland gorillas.
This park holds over 250 Grauer’s gorillas and out of these, 5 groups are habituated open for gorilla trekking tours in Congo.
Eastern Lowland Gorilla Facts- What Are The Unique Facts About Eastern Lowland Gorillas?
Not only is Kahuzi Beiga National Park famous for its Eastern lowland gorillas, but it also holds two spectacular extinct volcanoes; Mt Kahuzi and Mount Biega. These beautiful volcanoes are found in the heart of the park.
Mount Kahuzi standards at an elevation of over 3308m above sea level while Mount Biega is at 2790m a.s.l.
The best way to explore these two spectacular extinct volcanoes of DRC is by undertaking a hiking adventure. Normally, it’s done before trekking Grauer’s gorillas.
Over 349 birds have been recorded in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. Bird lovers should expect to encounter forest birds, Albertine rift endemics, woodland, wetland dwellings as well as savannah birds in Kahuzi Beiga Park.
Some notable birds identified in Kahuzi Beiga National Park include:
Some of these birds can be spotted while trekking Eastern lowland gorillas or mount hiking trails.
OTHER WONDERFUL ATTRACTIONS AROUND KAHUZI BEIGA NATIONAL PARK
Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary – near Kahuzi Beiga National Park is the world’s 3rd most significant site for conserving Chimpanzees.
This lovely conservation area is mostly visited by people on Congo gorilla trekking safaris interested in learning about the amazing facts and behaviors of Chimpanzees. An outreach is also possible!
Apart from Chimpanzees, Lwiro Conservation Center also holds other amazing 13 species of Monkeys, Parrots, Turtles and Porcupines. All these are victims of poaching as well as the pet trade!
You can visit this wonderful site after you explore Eastern lowland gorillas or the Mount Kahuzi hike.
Lake Kivu is another unique dazzling attraction around Kahuzi Beiga National Park. This lovely lake is mostly visited by travelers after trekking the lowland gorillas of Congo.
On L. Kivu, you’ll undertake a tranquil boat ride, exploring its dazzling Islands as well as enjoying magnificent views of the surrounding volcanoes.
Expect to encounter amazing fish fauna in this lake.
Are you wondering what to do in Kahuzi Beiga National Park during your Congo safari tour?
This scenic park holds several memorable safari activities however, gorilla trekking is the main activity. Others include volcano hiking, bird watching as well as incredible nature walks, etc.
Below is a detail of the best things to do in Kahuzi Beiga National Park:
Trekking Eastern lowland gorillas in Congo’s Kahuzi Beiga is among the rare memorable safari activities in East Africa. It’s only possible here!
This lovely adventure allows you to meet face-to-face with the Eastern lowland gorillas (Grauer’s gorilla) in their natural habitat.
The Grauer’s gorilla is the biggest among the four gorilla subspecies; Mountain gorillas, Western lowland gorillas, and Cross river gorillas.
Tracking these lovely gentle giants in the forest vegetation takes about 30 minutes to 8 hours depending on their movement. On the trekking trail, expect to encounter several rare species of fauna and flora in the riparian forests.
Upon spotting them, you enjoy the rare sites- watching these incredible cool giants in their lovely environment. Don’t forget a camera!
Expectations on this adventure!
You’ll spot youngsters playing, and mothers nursing their young ones, and enjoy observing the rare sites of the mighty Silverback taking care of its family. After this expedition, you’ll be in a position to believe that gorillas are almost human beings and need more protection at all costs.
5 habituated gorilla families in Kahuzi Beiga National Park for gorilla trekking tours in Congo.
Cost for Trekking Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Congo
Here is the cost of a gorilla permit in Congo:
A portion of the revenue goes to community development projects around protected areas in Congo. Also, the park management plan encourages supporting protected areas in Congo using a portion of this money.
Gorilla Trekking Rules and Regulations in the Democratic Republic of Congo
On your Congo gorilla trekking tours in Kahuzi Beiga National Park, there are guidelines you must follow for a successful adventure!
Congo Mountain hiking safaris/expeditions are also possible in Kahuzi Beiga National Park, it doesn’t stop only on gorilla trekking tours!
Mount Kahuzi and Mount Beiga all in the heart of this park are the 2 volcanoes to hike in this park. A hike to the summit of any offers brilliant views of the park, L. Kivu, neighboring local communities, countries, and lovely continuous vegetation i.e. bamboo forests as well as glorious subalpine vegetation.
While on the mountain hiking trail, you should be expectant to encounter several amazing rare species of wildlife such as owl-faced monkeys, bush Elephant, bush Buffalo, Hylochere, Birds, and Bongo, etc.
Climbing each mountain costs 100 USD.
Kahuzi Beiga is an important endemic bird area in DRC. With over 349 bird species including Albertine Rift Endemic birds, forest birds, savannah, as well as those found in riparian forests, it’s one of the best sites for Congo birding tours.
Usually, bird-watching expeditions in this park are done on nature walks and even while trekking Grauer’s gorillas.
During your birding tours in Congo Kahuzi Beiga, expect to spot:
For a rewarding birding tour in Congo, you can visit other protected areas in Congo including Virunga National Park.
On your Congo gorilla trekking tours, Lwiro Conservation Center can be visited before or after gorilla trekking expeditions. It’s also possible after the hiking expeditions!
This lovely center near Kahuzi Park headquarters takes care of Chimpanzees as well as other wonderful primates that lost their parents primarily due to poaching.
On your visit to this center, you can volunteer or learn about several primate behaviors and how they are conserved.
Undertaking nature walks is a memorable way of exploring the rare species of wildlife (flora and fauna) in Kahuzi Beiga National Park within the Congo basin. If you’re a nature lover, never miss this wonderful adventure!
This stunning park of Congo holds several trails for nature walks and the prominent ones are:
It’s a picturesque trail that takes you through swamps, and wonderful bamboo forests, as well as giving wonderful views of 3 waterfalls. Also, on this trail, lucky visitors can spot primates including Chimpanzees as well as other small Monkeys, for instance as Owl-faced Monkeys.
This is also an ideal trail for bird-watching tours in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
These nature walks cost about $35. You’ll be escorted by an armed park ranger.
Congo camping safaris in Kahuzi Beiga National Park- offer a once-in-a-lifetime African safari experience!
Imagine that feeling of spending a night in nature (the tropical rainforest), enjoying the wonderful whistling sounds of birds, primates, and other wildlife.
Travelers interested in camping should come with their camping tents and sleeping bags.
This adventure costs $50 per person. The rate includes food and park guides. Campers can hire a tent and a sleeping bag from the park at $5 each, per day each person.
MORE AMAZING SAFARI ACTIVITIES AROUND KAHUZI BEIGA NATIONAL PARK
Congo community tour visits are possible around Kahuzi Beiga National Park. Normally, they are done to give you a golden opportunity to explore the economic activities and culture of local communities around this vast area- Kahuzi Beiga National Park.
Expect to learn about the different wonderful ethnic groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For instance, Batwa indigenous peoples – a minority in the population. If well arranged, you can enjoy vibrant traditional dance from the local population.
Never end this adventure without buying a souvenir of your Congo gorilla trekking vacation.
Common souvenirs from Congo include crafts like baskets, necklaces, beads, earrings, and clothes made in local materials such as sisal, recycled paper, papyrus, and Kintege.
When time allows, you can go ahead and visit local communities where you can learn how to cook traditional Congolese food.
Most tourists undertake a boat cruise on L. Kivu- a dazzling lake shared by the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda after Congo gorilla trekking tours. On this glorious boat ride, you’ll explore the alluring islands of this lake.
This boat ride costs $50.
There are some key items every tourist planning to undertake Congo gorilla trekking safaris in Kahuzi Beiga National Park should have.
Dry season June to early September and December to February is the best time to visit Kahuzi Beiga National Park.
During this time, less rainfall is received in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. Therefore, trails for gorilla trekking tours and volcano hiking are relatively dry and easy to hike.
March to May and September to November are wet months in Congo! Thus, in this park, rainfall is usually received in most hours of the day. Some trail points can get muddy and the forest becomes so moist.
Note that, a wet season is the ideal time for Congo budget gorilla trekking safaris. Some lodges give out discounts to their guests.
Kahuzi Beiga National Park is situated about 30km from Bukavu Town, the nearest town to this world heritage site. By road, this drive can take about 1-2 hours.
Domestic flights are possible from Goma International Airport to Gavuma Airstrip. From this airstrip, you’ll be picked up by your driver guide in a safari vehicle and drive to the park.
Whether you are a budget traveler, midrange, or luxury traveler, expect to find accommodation on your Congo gorilla trekking safaris in Kahuzi Beiga National Park.
We are also available to guide you on the best hotels in DR Congo to use!
These are the:
Best luxury lodges in Congo
Common midrange hotels in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Popular budget hotels in Congo
Top Tour Operators in Congo to Book with Your Gorilla Trekking Safari in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Get it from here, there is no fixed cost for gorilla trekking safari tours in Congo Kahuzi Beiga National Park!
The safari cost of trekking Eastern lowland gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo depends is influenced by several factors such as:
On your Congo gorilla trekking safari in Kahuzi Beiga National Park, expect to spend about $1,200 for a 3-day Congo gorilla trekking safari per person.
Budget Congo Gorilla Trekking Safaris – How to Undertake Budget Congo Gorilla Trekking Safaris in Kahuzi Beiga National Park?
Kahuzi Beiga National Park is one of the world heritage sites facing a very serious threat! However, the park management (park authorities) together with the Wildlife Conservation Society in DRC are doing their best to conserve this park as well as the threatened species in this incredible protected area.
Threats to Kahuzi Biega National Park include:
This is a significant threat to most UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for instance, even Virunga National Park- home of the endangered Mountain gorillas.
Due to the thick forest vegetation (primarily tropical forest dominated) of the park, sometimes it acts as a hiding ground for armed groups (armed forces).
Park rangers risk their lives while patrolling the park and some have lost their lives due to armed conflict! For example, for the past 20 years, about 160 rangers have lost their lives as they try to protect the African jewel.
For effective conservation of this park, peaceful talks are going on to ensure peaceful coexistence between the government and oppositional leaders.
Kahuzi Beiga National Park is a vast area covered in a primary tropical forest (Riparian forests), it faces a challenge of logistic problems. Therefore, some areas are accessed by rangers who patrol this great park.
So, this has given room for poaching!
Resource extraction is greatly affecting this world heritage site. For example, the local population in mining camps surrounding the park engage in illegal timber cutting and sometimes hunting.
Kahuzi Biega National Park is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It’s one of the UNESCO World Heritage places in eastern DRC near Bukavu Town.
On your African safaris, this is the only site for trekking Eastern Lowland gorillas.
Kahuzi Beiga National Park was established in 1970 by a Belgian photographer and conservationist- Adrien Deschryver.
In 1980, this vast area (covering over 6,000 km2 area) was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its unique biodiversity of rainforest as well as its Eastern lowland gorillas. Around 1997, it was listed among the world heritage sites in danger because of political unrest in this region & increasing wildlife exploitation.
This scenic park is protected by the National Park legal status & managed by the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN). Therefore, it holds a management and surveillance structure which holds a management plan to make this park a more conducive place for tourists globally.
Kahuzi Beiga National Park holds rare sites in sub-Saharan Africa where the flora and fauna transition from low to highlands is observable. Truly, the views of this ecological corridor are lovely!
This ecological corridor (park) boasts all the stages of forest vegetation! For instance, from 600m to over 2,600m, dense low & middle altitude rainforests to sub mountain to mountain and bamboo forests.
Above it, this park (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is the only place on planet Earth to trek Eastern lowland gorilla trekking tours.
Numerous travelers planning to have Congo gorilla safaris are normally worried about their lives! This fear arises due to the Democratic Republic of Congo being insecure for some good period with many rebel groups (armed groups).
Putting aside the above statement, all gorilla trekking safaris in Congo are safe, and here is how:
Hey! Always seek Congo travel advice from your tour operator before you visit Congo
Due to various biomes in Kahuzi Beiga Park, this lovely park in eastern DRC holds a range of unique wildlife!
Below are the notable mammal species found in Kahuzi Beiga National Park:
Expect also to encounter some of the mammal species in the central African forests
Here is the key difference between Eastern lowland gorillas and Mountain gorillas:
Mountain gorillas mainly live in higher altitudes (over 8,000-13,000). The Grauer’s gorilla live in lowland regions (lowland terrain) of tropical rainforests.
You can only find Eastern lowland gorillas in Zoos. To see Mountain gorillas, you have to go Mountain gorilla trekking in Congo’s Virunga National Park, Bwindi National Park, and Rwanda Volcanoes National Park.
In size, a Lowland eastern gorilla is much bigger with bigger arms and a short muzzle. An adult male can weigh over 220kg while a Mountain gorilla male normally weighs around 180kg.
This great hair helps to keep warm in cold montane regions.
This great park on the western bank of L. Kivu is one of the top attractions in the region due to its greater biodiversity and unique amazing mammal species including the rare Eastern Lowland gorillas.
In fact, after Virunga National Park, Kahuzi Beiga National Park is the 2nd important protected area in this country.
Although all four gorilla subspecies are Omnivores, they mainly stick to eating plants: leaves, stems, fruits, flowers, and tree backs. They can also eat termites, ants, and snails.
Some gorilla species in zoos are known to eat meat when given the opportunity!
Let’s explore together Kahuzi Beiga National Park on your Congo gorilla safaris! In this biodiverse park, Eastern lowland gorilla trekking is the main activity however, adventurous travelers can enjoy nature walks or hiking any of the scenic volcanoes here. There is a lot to do in this park.
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