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Kahuzi Biega National Park

Kahuzi Biega National Park positioned in the South Kivu Province of Democratic Republic of Congo was declared a World Heritage Site by United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1980 largely because of its population of Eastern Lowland Gorillas.

Stretching over a geographical coverage of 6,000km2, Kahuzi Biega National Park has an elevation of 700 to 3,300m and the 10% of the Park landscape is comprised of high Mountains marked by extinct Volcanoes including Mount Biega and Mount Kahuzi which as well form the background for the naming of the park.

Kahuzi Biega began as a Zoological Reserve in the year 1937 on the slopes of Mount Kahuzi established by the Belgian Colonial government to provide protection to the Eastern Lowland Gorillas. Before the park was increased to its current size in 1975, the reserve initially stood at 750km and had even been reduced to 600km in 1970 when it was declared a National Park with 300 Eastern Lowland Gorillas.

Kahuzi Beiga National Park has two (2) seasons every year with an annual rainfall of 1,200mm – 1,800mm. The rain seasons appear from April to May and from October through to January with the Temperature range of 19 to 21°C.

Congo Safari Attractions in Kahuzi Biega National Park

Flora as a Congo Safari Attraction in Kahuzi Biega National Park

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There are 1,178 species of plants in Kahuzi Biega National Park which makes its lush forest cover worth exploring.  The beautiful riverine flora, Marshland and dense Equatorial rainforest among others combine to make the park worth exploring

Eastern lowland gorillas as a Congo Safari Attraction in Kahuzi Biega National Park

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This is known to be the largest of all Gorilla subspecies marked by a jet black coat which becomes Silver at Mature age similar to that of Mountain Gorillas.  The Eastern Lowland Gorillas have large hands, short Muzzle, shorter body, head hair and huge body.

They have a wide foraging range that cuts across various altitudes other than other Gorilla subspecies.  Eastern Lowland Gorillas can forage in Mountainous, transitional and Lowland habitats. They live peacefully and have extended groups ranging from 5 members to 30 members and the management is done by the Alpha male.

The Eastern Lowland Gorilla gestation period is about 8½ months and carries out breastfeeding for 12 months. The Baby gorilla starts to crawl at about nine (9) weeks and can commence walking at 35 weeks. The young Gorillas take 3 – 4 years with their mothers after which they become independent and mate at around 11 or 12 years.

Eastern Lowland Gorilla Facts

  • Males can stretch to 163 kg of weight while females are close to a half.
  • Feed on fruit, seeds, plants, leaves, bark and stems. Also feed on minor insects like termites and ants.
  • Males feature up to 5ft 7inch average height while females rise to 5ft 3inch or less.
  • Are noted to be shy though social
  • The Eastern low land gorilla arms are longer than its legs
  • Are diurnal species thus active during the day time
  • The Eastern lowland gorillas feature 25 vocalization sounds which they use in communication
  • Can stretch to 50 years in the wild as their lifespan.

Other Wildlife as a Congo Safari Attraction in Kahuzi Biega National park

Other than the Eastern lowland gorillas, Kahuzi Biega has a range of other animal species including; Eastern Chimpanzees, Forest elephant, Owl faced monkey,  Forest buffalo, Bongo, Mount Kahuzi African climbing mouse, Eastern needle-clawed galago,  Forest hog, Hippopotamus, Anubis Baboon and Leopard.

Birds as a Congo Safari Attraction in Kahuzi Biega National park                    

There are 349 bird species thriving in Kahuzi Biega National Park of which 4 Species are listed on International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) including; Congo Peafowl, Yellow-crested Helmet-Shrike, Rockefeller’s Sunbird and African Green Broadbill.

Mt. Kahuzi-Biega as a Congo Safari Attraction in Kahuzi Biega National park          

Mount Kahuzi rises to 3,317m above sea level and is an extinct Volcano making the highest point in the park. The Mountain stretches towards the western side of Lake Kivu and is noted to have erupted over 12,000 years ago. The Mountain features lush vegetation including Equatorial rainforest, Swamp forest vegetation and Bamboo Forest.

Lwiro Sanctuary

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Lwiro Sanctuary stands as a rehabilitation center for the Orphaned Chimpanzees and Monkey Species. It was established in the year 2002 positioned close to Tshivanga Visitors center in an old Belgian research center.  Apparently, the Centre has around 55 chimpanzees and over 60 species of Monkeys. Rate: US$25

 

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