Kahuzi-Biéga National Park
Kahuzi-Biéga National Park is another national park in DR Congo that is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. This park is found in eastern DR Congo on the foot hillsof the extinct volcanoes of Kahuzi and Biega that stand to a height of more than 3,308m and 2790m aboce sea level respectively.
The eastern border of the park is marked by Mitumba Mountains, the Great Rift valley forms the western border of the park with Congo rain forests for the Zairean central basin. Riveres Lungulu and Luka flow in the park both draining in Lualaba river.
Since the area is deeply mountainous and with deep v-shaped valleys, there is a wealth of wild vegetation mainly of high-altitude forests, swamps, bamboo forest, peat bog, water logged forests and heather among other exotic forest species and plants.
The eastern lowland gorillas are the major tourist attraction in Kahizi-Biega National park. There are 200-300 gorillas in this park living in the high altitude zones of 2100-2400m above sea level. Some of the gorillas however move to the low altitude zones and rainforests. Kahuzi-Biega National Park is where Dian Fossey first saw wild gorillas. It is the first park to allow tourists to get near them, for a price that provided local people with a good living. It is very important to have your gorilla safari in Africa and trekking permits processed before arrival at the park.
Other mammals in the park include duiker, eastern chimpanzees, black & white colobus monkey, forest hog, lesser galago, Alexander bush squirrel, forest buffalo, owl faced monkey, Ruwenzori otter shrew, water civet, giant genet, Maclaud Horseshoe bat, Mt Kahuzi Africa climbing mouse, forest elephant, Tana river red colobus and the African forest elephants among others.
The park is a rich birding habitat with more than 220 birds of which 42 are endemic to the region. Some of the birds recorded in the park include Rockefeller sunbird, Grauer’s swamp warbler, Crimson wing, African green broadbill, Congo peacock, Alberitne owlet, Chaplin mountain babbler, paradise fly catcher, olive greenbul, Kivu ground thrush, and many other species
The park is 50km west of Bukavu, a town on the eastern border of DR Congo, Lake Kivu and Rwanda. The park entrance is at Tshivanga on the eastern side of the park.
There is a tourist hut and camping site near the main gate at Tshivanga offering basic wild accommodation and camping.