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Kahuzi-Biega National Park-DRC

Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Kahuzi-Biega National Park is named after Mt. Kahuzi (3,308m) and Mt. Biega (2, 790m) located in the South Kivu Province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Kahuzi-Biega National Park spreads from the Congo River basin to the northwest of Bukavu.

In 1937, for the protection of the Eastern Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri), a Reserve of Mt. Kahuzi was created
In 1970 the reserve was gazetted as Kahuzi-Biega National Park.

1980; Kahuzi-Biega National Park was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage.

Today(subject to security updates) the situation has much improved and the park authority, the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) is operating vigorously to monitor the gorillas and protect the park.

Fauna and Flora:

As part of the Congo Basin Forest, Kahuzi-Biega National Park has a rich biological diversity. The forests are diverse and have many endemic plant species.
Apart from the Eastern Lowland Gorillas, the park also host other game including, forest elephant, chimpanzee, antelope, genet and serval, bush hog and also a variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Rain season is April-May and October-January.

History of Gorilla tracking:
The Eastern lowland gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri) were the first sub-specie to be visited by gorilla trekkers in the early 1970s. In the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, two gorilla groups had been already habituated to human presence through the efforts of Adrian Deschryver . The habituated gorillas were Casimir and Mushamuka.

Sadly Casimir, one of the first habituated groups, died around 1974 but by the 1980s Kahuzi-Biega National Park had four habituated gorilla groups, namely Mushamuka, Maheshe, Ninja and Mubalala.

gorilla tracking became more famous after the film “Gorillas in the Mist” released in 1988. Tourists came from all over the world and visited not only the mountain gorillas but also the eastern lowland gorillas.

Visotor numbers in 2009 were over 200 originating from many countries all over the world to trek the lowland gorillas.

The war in the DRC caused the death of the four above-mentioned silverback gorillas. But survivors of their group members are still alive today and are visited by tourists. As of May 2011, people can easily visit Cimanuka of 37 gorillas and Mugaruka of 1 gorilla.

Other park attractions:
The Kahuzi-Biega National Park offers other tourist and travel attractions beside the gorillas.

Guests can also visit the Lwiro falls or walk to Mt. Bugulumiza to enjoy great views of this massive and beautiful part of Africa. Unfortunately, the hiking on both mountains, Mt. Kahuzi (3308m) and Mt. Biega (2709m) is not yet allowed by the park authorities.


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