Animals in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Animals in Kahuzi Biega National Park that roam the protected area freely are the reason why the park is frequently visited by most travellers on a Congo safari. Kahuzi Biega National Park is a UNESCO World heritage site located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kahuzi Biega National Park is renowned for inhabiting the eastern lowland gorillas which are endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo only. Kahuzi Biega National Park covers a total area of 6000 square kilometres, and has two extinct volcanoes from which the name of the park was begot namely Mount Kahuzi with the peak at 3308 metres and Mount Biega with a peak at 2790 metres above sea level.
The park is not only a mountainous but also forested by equatorial rain forest with six different primary vegetation types say mountain rainforest, high-altitude rain forest, swamp forest, bamboo, sub alpine heather and the like, but is largely flat lowland that slopes gently towards Lake Kivu. Established in 1970 to conserve and preserve Kahuzi Biega National Park animals especially the eastern lowland gorillas, the park was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1980 for its unique biodiversity and inhabiting the eastern lowland gorillas.
Kahuzi Biega National Park animals flaunt the park and can be seen from when a traveller sets foot into the park. Some of Kahuzi Biega National Park animals are very rare for example Eastern lowland gorillas, Alexander’s bush squirrel, Mount Kahuzi climbing mouse, the Eastern chimpanzees, the Bongo antelope, bush buffaloes, and bush elephants among others. The most common and worth knowing Kahuzi Biega National Park animals include;
Eastern lowland gorillas: The eastern lowland gorillas are the main attraction amongst Kahuzi Biega National Park animals. Travellers move from far and wide just to encounter the endangered eastern lowland gorillas on a gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park safari. Eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park is just like gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park, with the same gorilla trekking rules, same starting time and same time allowed for travellers to encounter the eastern lowland gorillas which is only 1 hour. Eastern lowland gorilla trekking requires travellers to get gorilla trekking permits which cost $400 per person per trek. Travellers can book gorilla trekking through reputable tour operators. Children below the age of 15 are not allowed to take part in gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park.
The best time to visit the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park on a gorilla trekking safari is in the dry season that runs through the months of May to August and then November to January for the ground is drier and therefore more passable. All year through, though, the eastern lowland gorillas can be visited given that different travellers have different tastes and preferences. Irrespective of when travellers decide to visit to take part in eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park, travellers are reminded to carry the essential gorilla trekking gear in order to have a smooth gorilla trekking experience.
Monkeys: Monkeys are some of the most common Kahuzi Biega National Park animals with a variety of them making noises and jumping from one tree to another. Among the monkey species found in Kahuzi Biega National Park include the black and white colobus monkey, blue monkeys, golden monkeys, the Angolan black monkeys, owl faced monkeys and mangabeys, among others
African forest elephants: African forest elephants are as the name states, forest dwelling elephants. African forest elephants are about one third of the elephant population with their decline being attributed to poaching for their ivory and bush meat. The difference between the savannah elephants and the African forest elephants is that the latter has a lower body weight with small rounded ears. The African forest elephants feed on fruits, leaves, root branches, and twigs. They usually stay in groups of about 10 individuals, and can as well live in both the low altitude and high altitude areas of Kahuzi Biega National Park.
Forest buffaloes: Forest buffaloes are also called the Dwarf buffaloes and are different from the ordinary savannah buffaloes. The forest buffaloes have reddish colour texture.
Antelopes: The most common antelopes in Kahuzi Biega National Park are the Bongo antelope and the duikers. These are evenly distributed around the park and can easily be seen in less densely forested areas, though are highly poached for game meat.
Leopards in Kahuzi Biega National Park are the most outstanding predators in the park, though are hard to sight. Another predator worth a mention is the golden cat which is majorly a nocturnal and therefore almost impossible to see for there are no night drives or night nature walks that you may encounter it.
Other Kahuzi Biega National Park animals include the Alexander’s bush squirrel, aquatic civet, eastern needle-clawed galago, giant genet, Maclaud’s horseshoe bat, Thomas’ tree squirrel all of which are endemic to Kahuzi Biega National Park, baboons, forest hogs, among so many others.
All these Kahuzi Biega National Park animals can be encountered while on a gorilla trekking adventure, nature walking safari, mountain climbing of either Mount Kahuzi or Mount Biega. Take time to plan a Congo safari tour to visit Kahuzi Biega National Park animals and get an opportunity to explore the park extensively.