Kahuzi Biéga National Park Facts, Reviews, Activities, Tours
Kahuzi Biéga National Park Facts, Reviews, Activities, Tours. The Kahuzi-Biega National Park is a protected area near Bukavu town in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is situated near the western bank of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border. Established in 1970 by the Belgian photographer and conservationist Adrien Deschryver, the park is named after two dormant volcanoes, Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega, which are within its limits. With an area of 6,000 square kilometers (2,300 sq mi), Kahuzi-Biega is one of the biggest national parks in the country. Set in both mountainous and lowland terrain, it is one of the last refuges of the rare species of Eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), an endangered category under the IUCN Red List. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed in 1980 for its unique biodiversity of rainforest habitat and its eastern lowland gorillas.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park: Gorilla Trekking in DRC
Geography About Kahuzi Biéga National Park
The park lies west of the Bakavu town in South Kivu Province, covering an area of 6,000 km2 (2,300 sq mi). A small part of the park is in Mitumba Mountain range of the Albertine Rift in the Great Rift Valley, and the larger part is in lowland terrain. A corridor of 7.4 km (4.6 mi) width joins the mountainous and lowland terrain. The eastern part of the park is the smaller mountainous region measuring 600 km2 (230 sq mi); the larger part measures 5,400 km2 (2,100 sq mi) and consists mainly of lowland stretching from Bukavu to Kisangani, drained by the Luka and Lugulu rivers which flow into the Lualaba River. Two dormant volcanoes are set within the park’s limits and lend their names to it: Kahuzi (3,308 m (10,853 ft)) and Biéga (2,790 m (9,150 ft)).
The park receives an average annual precipitation of 1,800 mm (71 in). The maximum temperature recorded in the area is 18 °C (64 °F) while the minimum is 10.4 °C (50.7 °F).
Kahuzi Biéga National Park Facts
Two extinct volcanoes—Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega—within the park’s boundaries inspired its name. The park protects a diverse array of plant and animal species across its hilly and lowland landscapes, which are adorned with primary tropical forest. More than 1,170 plant species, 349 bird species, and around 136 animal species are all part of this.
The eastern lowland gorillas, also called Grauer’s gorillas or Gorilla beringei graueri, are among the most well-known and extensively researched primates on Earth, and Kahuzi-Biéga is famed for being their habitat. Poaching for their flesh, together with habitat loss due to logging and mining as well as social turmoil, has tragically reduced the eastern lowland gorilla population by 77% in the past 20 years. Fewer than 3,800 people were thought to be living on Earth in 2016.
The situation in Kahuzi-Biéga is far worse, with a precipitous 87% drop, made worse by the wars in Rwanda and the Congo in the 1990s. In 2012, researchers estimated that 1,272–2,518 eastern lowland gorillas lived in the park’s lowlands, while 170 lived in the park’s highlands.
On the other hand, Kahuzi-Biéga has shown a few minor indicators of progress. In the park’s mountainous region, researchers have noticed an increase in one gorilla population. The 2008 status report estimated that there were just 125 members of the group. The gorilla troop has grown to a size of 200–250 members, all because of the heroic actions of the park guards who put their lives on the line to defend the animals.
Unveiling the Secrets: An Insider’s Guide to Visiting the Gorillas of Kahuzi-Biéga National Park 🌳🦍
Best time to visit Kahuzi-Biega National Park
If you want to undertake gorilla trekking in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, the dry season is when you should go. The prime time to go is during the long dry season, which begins in June and continues through September. Alternatively, you can go during the short dry season, which begins in the middle of December and ends in the middle of February.
Wildlife in Kahuzi-Biega National Park
The park is home to more than 250 lowland gorillas, so visitors can expect to see these incredible animals in their natural habitat, which is sure to be an exciting experience. Notable flora and fauna also includes a wide variety of birds, including the enigmatic Congo peacock, as well as a large number of primates, including the elusive forest elephant, red-tailed monkey, and Angolan black monkeys.
Eastern Lowland Gorillas, Kahuzi-Biega National Park, Congo