Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking
Eastern lowland gorilla trekking is a thrilling tourist activity that has gorilla trekkers hiking the forested area of Kahuzi Biega National Park just to encounter the threatened eastern lowland gorillas. Lowland gorilla trekking is just like the usually known gorilla trekking only that this is specifically to see the eastern lowland gorillas. Eastern lowland gorillas are unique to only the Democratic Republic of Congo in the entire world, and can be found especially in Kahuzi Biega National Park and Maiko National Park plus their surrounding areas that are forested. Lowland gorilla trekking takes place only in Kahuzi Biega National Park, located in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo near the town of Bukavu close to the Rwanda border.
Kahuzi Biega National Park is a forested area with two dormant volcanoes of Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega. The park has low land as well as a mountainous aspect. The eastern lowland gorillas reside in the lowland areas of the park usually, making them easily accessed during a gorilla trekking adventure. There are about only 250 eastern lowland gorillas in the park, with only 2 gorilla families available for tracking. These 2 gorilla families are fully habituated and are not a threat to the visitors who encounter them, unless of course they are threatened.
Lowland gorilla trekking requires one to have a gorilla trekking permit to be able to be allowed to take part in the thrilling gorilla trekking adventure to encounter the eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park. A Congo gorilla trekking permit costs only $400 per person per single entry. Have your trusted tour operator help you book it in time. Travellers are advised to book some time in advance before the travel date so as to secure one’s slot given the activity is limited to a specific number per day and there are only 2 gorilla families fully habituated and available for gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park.
Lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park starts in the early morning at 7am with a brief by the park officials. During the brief, travellers are given rules and guidelines to follow during the trek. They are then placed in groups and allocated a gorilla family to trek. During gorilla trekking, travellers are advised to follow all instructions of the park rangers and not to deviate from the group. Persons on an lowland gorilla trekking adventure are allowed only one hour with the gorillas, during which time they may take pictures and videos of the gorilla family they are visiting. Travellers with essential gorilla trekking gear like comfortable hiking shoes are sure to have a less disturbing lowland gorilla trekking experience in Kahuzi Biega National Park.
Lowland gorilla trekking can take place all year long. It is however in the dry months that travellers are most encouraged to trek that is from May to August plus November to January when the roads and paths in the park are more passably. The other months are considered wet months, and hardships like slippery roads could not be missed. Some travellers however welcome the challenge and still visit and take part in lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Despite the seasons mentioned, travellers are reminded that the park is a forested area which receives rainfall any day, even on a very sunny day, it can rain in the afternoon and even shine again right after! Being prepared and carrying the essential gorilla trekking gear is all that travellers are encouraged to do.
There are accommodations available in and around the park that travellers can choose to stay in during their visit in Kahuzi Biega National Park as they anticipate for their eastern lowland gorilla trekking adventure. The lodges come with comfort, safety and good service, but definitely vary as per one’s budget.
Travellers intending to specifically enjoy eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park can access the park most conveniently from Rwanda. Travellers simply fly into Kigali International Airport and depending on the time of arrival, transfer to the park via Rusizi border, taking about 7 hours of amazing journey time with striking landscapes and views along the way.
Travellers visiting Kahuzi Biega National Park to enjoy eastern lowland gorilla trekking can get to enjoy sighting other park animals like baboons, bush elephants, bush buffaloes, antelopes, among others, and a number of birds and butterflies. Travellers can include other activities available in the park like hiking either Mount Kahuzi or Mount Biega, bird watching, nature walks, community visit, and others. Combining eastern lowland gorilla trekking with a mountain gorilla trekking adventure is usually done most travellers on a Congo safari tour. This gives them a rear opportunity to encounter both gorilla species, be sure to be ecstatically thrilled once you encounter both gorilla species. Extending your Congo safari to include visiting Lake Kivu or Tchegera Island is a great way for travellers to unwind after enjoying eastern lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park and mountain gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park. Get in touch with a reputable tour operator who is knowledgeable of the Congo safari packages to organise and take you exploring these two beautiful national parks and enjoy lowland gorilla trekking.