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Friday , 18 August 2017

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Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP)

“Welcome to KBNP, Home to the Eastern Lowland Gorilla”

The KahuziBiega National Park (KBNP) is a World heritage site located in South Kivu province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It was established in 1970 primarily to conserve the Eastern Lowland Gorilla (also known as Grauer’s gorilla). An IUCN Category II National Park, KBNP is considered the most important single site for the species. It remains the only place in the world where visitors can see these gorillas in the wild.

Originally 600 km2, the park size was increased to 6,000km2 in 1975. The name KahuziBiega comes from the two spectacular extinct volcanoes which dominate its high altitude sector, Mont Kahuzi (3,308m) and Mont Biega (2,790m).
Fauna and Flora:

As one part of the Congo Basin Forest, the KBNP has a rich biological diversity. The forests are diverse and have many endemic plant species. The range of its fauna is also very extensive. Apart from the Eastern Lowland Gorilla, there are other mammal species such as forest elephant, chimpanzee, antelope, genet and serval, bush hog and also a variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians.
Climate:

Rain season is April-May and October-January. The monthly average temperature for a year in Bukavu is between 19C and 21C. The temperature in the park would be a bit cooler than in Bukavu. It can be cool in the evening and you need a sweater or jacket.

While gorilla trekking may be the park’s most popular attraction, Green Hills Ecotours offers nature and community based-tours to tourists who are interested in staying longer exploring the beauty of KahuziBiega and its surrounding area along the Kivu Lake. Visitors may also hike the parks trails to view monkeys, chimpanzees, and a wide variety of birds

Hiking in KahuziBiega National park

While most visitors come to KahuziBiega for Gorilla trekking, hiking and camping within the park is a great way to explore the amazing mountain environment. You will have the chance to see a variety of animals including the Owl Faced Monkey, Chimpanzee and an array of different birds.

Walking; Hiking and climbing tours in KahuziBiega National Park:

Climb Mount Kahuzi

This is the highest peak in the park, at 3,308m. The climb takes approximately 4 hours through bamboo forest and sub alpine vegetation, and 3 hours to descend. The summit provides spectacular views of Lake Kivu and the city of Bukavu.
Hike the Mount Bugulumiza Trail
This 6km trail starts near the Tshivanga Visitor Centre and covers terrain regularly occupied by the Chimanuka gorilla family. The summit offers amazing views of Mt Kahuzi and Mt Biega along with the nearby landscape. The hike takes about 3 hours return.

Climb Mount Biega

The second highest peak in the park lies at an altitude of 2790m. The vegetation differs significantly from Mount Kahuzi making it a wonderful ecological experience. The climb takes about 6 hours return, so it is important to make an early start.

Marais Musisiwalking Trail

Hike through bamboo forests and swampland before encountering a stunning view over the Marais Musisi where a troupe of elephants has previously been spotted.

Tshibati Waterfalls Trail

Visit three magnificent waterfalls, and the chance for a dip in a plunge pool. Located near the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre.
Camping
A designated campsite is available beside the park. Contact Green Hills Ecotours for more information.

Visit Lwiro Sanctuary

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.
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. Contact Green Hills Ecotours for more details and booking your trip.

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