KAHUZI-BIEGA NATIONAL PARK INFORMATION
KAHUZI-BIEGA NATIONAL PARK is situated near the western bank of Lake Kivu in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Lake Kivu forms part of the border between the DRC and Rwanda. The park is named after two dormant volcanoes, Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega, both within the park borders; the park is one of the largest in the country at 6,000 square kilometers. Kahuzi-Biega National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980, inscribed for its unique biodiversity of both a rainforest habitat and one of the last refuges of the rare Eastern Lowland Gorillas.
The Eastern Lowland Gorilla, also known as Grauer’s Gorilla, is the largest of the four Gorilla subspecies, and is distinguished by its stocky body, large hands and short muzzle. As other Gorillas, the Grauer’s Gorilla subsists mainly on fruit and other herbaceous materials.
There are two major activities in Kahuzi-Biega National Park; the foremost being the tracking of the Eastern Lowland Gorillas, but there is also another adventure, hiking the two dormant volcanoes, Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega. Guided Gorilla Trekking and Hiking the volcanic mountains within the Kahuzi-Biega National Park make a terrific Safari to the Congo.
DAY 1: KIGALE AND TRANSFER TO KAHUZI-BIEGA NATIONAL PARK IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC).
Your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide will meet you at Kigali International Airport and give you a briefing on the upcoming itinerary. Immediately, you will begin your journey to the National Park in the DRC. Your trip will take you across to Western Rwanda, passing through the city of Butare, the Intellectual center of Rwanda. Here your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide will take you for a local meal at a Rwandan restaurant and if time permits, will take you on a city tour of Butare’s cultural and historical sites.
After lunch, you will continue your journey to the border town of Cyagungu, reporting to customs and immigration on both the Rwandan and DRC sides. After you leave the Customs area, you will enter the town of Bukavu, on Lake Kivu. Here you will overnight at your accommodation. Dinner will be served at your accommodation.
DAY 2: EASTERN LOWLAND GORILLA TRACKING IN KAHUZI-BIEGA NATIONAL PARK.
After an early breakfast, your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide will escort you to the park headquarters to register for your Mountain Gorilla Safari. After the formalities have been taken care of you will be assigned to a group and a Park Ranger will take you to the trail to search for the Gorillas. You are permitted an hour with the Gorillas and after your Gorilla Trek is done, you will reunite with your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide, who will then take you to a local cultural event, where you will meet the indigenous people of the area. Before nightfall, you will return to your accommodation in Bukavu for dinner.
DAY 3: HIKING MOUNT KHUZI
After breakfast, your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide will take you to the Park Headquarters to register for the Hiking of Mount Khuzi. You will be assigned a local guide who will take you up the approximately 4-hour climb to the summit of Mount Khuzi, passing through both a Bamboo Forest as well as Sub-Alpine vegetation along the way. The descend will take about 3 hours to complete, at which time you will reunite with your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide who will return you to your accommodation. Dinner will be served at your accommodation.
DAY 4: HIKING MOUNT BEIGA
After breakfast, your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide will once again report with you to the Park Headquarters, this time to climb Mount Beiga. Similarly to the previous day, you will be assigned a Park Ranger who will lead the way up Mount Beiga; the return trip up and down Mount Beiga takes about 6 hours on average. Before nightfall, you will reunite with your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide who will escort you back to your accommodation for dinner.
DAY 5: RETURN TO KIGALI
After breakfast, your Gorilla Cousins Rwanda guide will take you back across the DRC/Rwanda border crossing and drive you back to Kigali to meet you flight at Kigale International Airport. If time permits, your guide can take you on a city tour of Kigali, including the Genocide Memorial Center.