Kahuzi-Biéga National Park
Kahuzi-Biéga National Park is a renowned protected area found near Bukavu town on the eastern side of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kahuzi-Biéga National Park is located next to the western shore of Lake kivu and the Rwandan border. The National Park was established in 1970 mainly for the conservation of the endangered grauer’s gorillas also known as the low land gorillas. It was gazetted by the Belgian photographer and also a conservationist by the name of Adrien de Schryver. The National Park is quite a vast area covering about 6000sq.km.
The park is found in the southern province of Kivu in Bukavu town, some part of Kahuzi Biega is found in the mitumba mountain ranges within the Albertine Rift of the Great Rift Valley. However, the biggest part of Kahuzi Biega is lowland, but a small corridor of about 7.4km joins the mountainous area of eastern Congo; the mountainous area of this park covers an area of 600sq.km and the lowlands cover about 5400sq.km stretching from Bukavu town to Kisangani. The National Park is drained by the river Luka and river Lugulu which flow into the river Lualaba.
Kahuzi-Biéga National Park has over 136 mammals, but among all the mammals in the park, the gorillas stand out of the others. About a few years ago, this National Park had over 125 lowland gorillas, basing on the animal census in 2008. From the 1990s, there was a rapid reduction in the mountain gorilla population of Kahuzi Biega National Park. The reduction is greatly attributed to the political unrest in the country and poaching.
The National Park has other primate species that roam the eastern Congo forest. They include the eastern chimpanzees, and several red colobus monkeys, golden monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, and olive baboons among others. The low land grasslands of Kahuzi Biega are grazing grounds for bush elephants, bush buffaloes, antelopes, warthogs, aquatic civets, galagos, horseshoe bats, bus squirrels, and the Rwenzori otters among others.
Getting to Kahuzi Biega National Park
Kahuzi-Biéga National Park is reached in 30km from Bukavu town over a 1:30hr by road into the National Park. The National Park can be either accessed by air or by road, from the airport in kavumu and miti you can take the left and continue until you reach the visitor at Lwiro where the park headquarters are also found.