Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Kahuzi-Biega National Park is an extreme conservation area founded by Belgian photographer and conservationist Adrien Deschryver, covering an area of 6,000 sq kilometers (2,300 sq mi) on the western edge of Lake Kivu in South Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The park is located on the plains of mountains and lowlands as one of the last sanctuaries of Eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) under the IUCN Red List.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park gets its name from Mount Kahuzi (3,310 meters, 10,850 ft) and Mount Biega (2,790 meters, 9,150 ft) inside the area. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dated back to 1980 because of the unique diversity of rainforest habitats and eastern lowland gorillas.

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At least 1,178 plant species, 136 species of mammals and 349 bird species have been recorded in 2003. A small part of this park is in the Mitumba Mountains of Rift Albertine in the Great Rift Valley and the larger part is in the lowlands. A 7.4 kilometer (4.6 mile) wide corridor joins the plains of mountains and lowlands.

The eastern part is a smaller mountainous area of 600 sq kilometers (230 sq mi), a larger section of 5,400 sq kilometers (2,100 sq mi) and consists mostly of lowland stretching from Bukavu to Kisangani with the Luka River and the Lugulu River which flows into the Lualaba River.

Swamps, bogs, marshlands and riparian forests in hydromorphic soil at all altitudes as one of the rare sites in Sub-Saharan Africa that shows all the low-to-high transition phases, including primary vegetation species in swamps, peat bogs, swamp forests, highlands, mountain rain forest, bamboo forest, and subalpine heather.

Mountain and swamp forests grow between 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) to 2,400 meters (7,900 feet), bamboo forests grow between 2,350 meters (7,710 feet) to 2,600 meters (8,500 feet), while the peaks of Mount Kahuzi and BiƩga are above 2,600 meters (8,500 ft) has a subalpine heather, dry savanna, grassland, and endemic plant Senecio kahuzicus.

Mammals in the park include eastern lowland gorilla or Grauer's gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri), eastern chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii), some Cercopithecinae, Colobinae and Hamlyn's monkey (Cercopithecus hamlyni), olive baboon (Papio anubis).

African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), African forest buffalo (Syncerus caffer nanus), giant forest hog (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni), bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus), otter civet (Cynogale bennettii), needle-clawed bushbabies (Euoticus), Maclaud's horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus maclaudi), Ruwenzori otter shrew (Micropotamogale ruwenzorii) and Alexander's bush squirrel (Paraxerus alexandri).

Very rare and endangered birds include yellow-crested helmetshrike (Prionops alberti), Congo peafowl (Afropavo congensis), Grauer's broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri) and Rockefeller's sunbird (Cinnyris rockefelleri).

Location: Bukavu, South Kivu (Sud-Kivu) Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Routes and public transport: Flights to Kavumu Airport at Bukavu City. Taxis, buses and rental cars can be made to reach the park. Bukavu City is the nearest town and the gateway to the park.

Official site: http://www.kahuzibiega.org

Contact: Reservasi +243 971 300 881

Advice: You need to contact Kahuzi-Biega National Park (Parc National de Kahuzi-Biega) and request an invitation letter. You need an invitation letter to file D.R. Congo visa. ICCN Officers (Institute of Conglais de Conservation de Nature) who operate the park will make everything smooth and fast.

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The park serves gorilla trekking, mountain ascents (Mount Kahuzi or Mount Biega), hiking, camping (including food & guards), tent rental and sleeping bag rental. The trips are accompanied by the ICCN park rangers or designated tour operators at all times.

Hiking includes the Marais Musisi Trail is adventure through bamboo forests and swamps to the Marais Musisi, while the Tshibati Waterfalls Trail passes through three waterfalls and offers the opportunity to swim in one of the pools under the waterfall.

The summit of Mount Mountain for 7 hour round-trip offers views of Bukavu and Lake Kivu. The summit of Mount Biega is 6 hour round-trip that offers significantly different vegetation than Kahuzi Mountain. The top of Mount Bugulumiza is easily accessible for about 3 hours round-trip offering views of Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega in the surrounding forest landscape.