Gorilla Groups in Kahuzi Biega National Park, Congo: The Kahuzi Biega national park is a huge protected area in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s South Kivu Province. The park is located on Kivu Lake’s western side, west of Bukavu town and the Rwandan border. The UNESCO World Heritage Site Kahuzi Biega National Park covers 6,000 square kilometers of lowland plains and mountains. The physical qualities and topography of the various areas of Kahuzi Biega National Park vary.
In a 7.4 km wide corridor, a short segment of the park goes through the Mitumba Mountain range in the Albertine rift basin. The corridor connects lowland and mountainous terrain, with 600 square kilometers of hilly terrain in the park’s eastern sector, and the rest of the park is inhabited by lowland terrain and drained by the Lugulu and Luka rivers, which flow into the Lualaba Rivers. The national park was named after two extinct volcanoes: Kahuzi (3,308 meters) and Biega (2,790 meters).
Kahuzi Biega National Park is home to a variety of animal species, including four subspecies of eastern lowland gorillas. A 2004 survey found that there are around 5,000 eastern lowland gorillas in the globe. Eastern lowland gorillas are among the largest living primates, with males reaching 1.85 meters and females reaching 1.6 meters. Males weigh 100 kg, while females weigh 210 kg.
Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park are similarly gregarious primates who tend to dwell in groups of 2-30 humans. Each family group is led by a dominant silverback and comprises of many females and newborns that are their progeny. Silverbacks are the alpha males of the groups, emerging as the strongest gorilla group with the task of guarding their group against threats.
Young silverbacks are encouraged to leave their natal group and form their own groups after they have reached a mature degree of group formation in order to reduce conflicts caused by rivalry for the group’s leader.
During an eight-and-a-half-month gestation period, female eastern lowland gorillas give birth to one kid. Twins are incredibly rare in these gorillas, so when one is born, the entire community celebrates.
Gorilla Groups in Kahuzi Beiga National Park.
Kahuzi Biega National Park in Bukavu Congo is home to approximately nine families of eastern lowland gorillas, but only five have been habituated. The gorilla habituation technique entails acclimating mountain gorillas to human presence. The following are the only five gorilla families in Kahuzi Biega National Park that tourists may hike with:
Mugahuka Gorilla Group
The Mugahuka gorilla family is also found in Kahuzi Biega National Park, with one dominating silverback named Mugahuka after whom the park was named. Mugahuka gorilla family comprised both members, however, due to tensions between Chimanuka and Mugahuka gorilla families, family members were lost.
Females and newborns were lost as a result of the Chimanuka gorilla family’s victory, leaving Mugahuka, the dominant silverback, alone in the family group. The Mugahuka gorilla family is recommended for less energetic walkers because it is the closest family to the park.
Chimanuka Gorilla Group.
The Chimanuka gorilla family, the DRC’s second-largest lowland gorilla family, is also found in Kahuzi Biega national park. Trekking this family, according to testimonies supplied by trekkers, is an exciting experience, which is attributable to its appealing inhabitants. The Chimanuka gorilla family comprises of 19 members and is led by a dominant silverback Chimanuka, thus the unusual name.
Mpungwe Gorilla Group
The Mpungwe gorilla family is the largest of the habituated gorilla groups and is located in the DRC’s Kahuzi Biega National Park. This is the most popular gorilla family and hikers who prefer seeing large groups of lowland gorillas visit its trails. The Mpungwe gorilla family consists of 21 members.
Bonnani Gorilla Group
The Bonnani gorilla group in Kahuzi Biega national park is the smallest of the park’s lowland gorilla families in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Bonnani gorilla family, which consists of five members, is one of the park’s most recently habituated gorilla families.
Nganwa Gorilla Group
The Nganwa gorilla group in Kahuzi Biega National Park may also be found in Kahuzi Biega National Park, albeit it is currently acclimating and is not yet available for gorilla trekking. The family comprises 10 people.
When is the best time for lowland gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega National Park?
Eastern lowland gorilla trekking is best done from June to September and January to mid-February in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Hiking lowland gorillas is possible at any time of year.
How to get to Kahuzi Biega National Park.
Visitors can tour Virunga National Park after their gorilla trekking safari in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Tourists can go to Kahuzi-Biega via speed boat, which takes up to 3 hours, or by ferry, which takes up to 7 hours. Tourists from Rwanda may access the national park, which is 30 kilometers from Bukavu town, by crossing the Rwanda-Congo border at Ruzizi, which takes around 2-3 hours by car.