Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park

The Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park: The two gorilla species found in Kahuzi-Biega National Park are the mountain gorilla and eastern lowland gorillas also referred to as Grauer's gorillas. Although the Eastern lowland gorillas predominate, this is the only park in Africa which hosts both mountain and lowland gorillas.

One of the biggest and best protected places in the Democratic Republic of Congo is Kahuzi-Biega national park. It is a 6,000 square kilometer UNESCO World Heritage Site near the city of Bakavu, close to the border between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo, south of Lake Kivu.

Largest of four gorilla species are the eastern lowland gorillas, which are 1.85 meters tall and weigh around 210 kilograms for males and 1.6 meters tall and about 100 kilograms for females. Eastern lowland gorillas live happily in groups of two to thirty individuals as well as alone. These clans, also known as groups or families, are naturally dominating and are led by a silverback. Numerous females and their progeny make up the families. Similar to the early African polygamous families, Silverbacks are in charge of guarding their families from injury and danger because they are the alphas and head of the family, stronger than other male and female gorillas.

They are distinguished by their huge hands, short nose, and heavy torso. They have black coats like mountain gorillas, but their head and body hair is shorter. They have a number of habituated families since they are one of the three gorilla subspecies that are most critically endangered.

As the infants grow up to become silverbacks, they create their own families to avoid problems within the family as they can't stand to stay together. Twins are uncommon in gorilla births, which typically occur after an 8-months gestation period, and when they do, they are greatly celebrated.

Trekking Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park

The complexity of trekking gorilla families depends on the last location of the gorilla troop, tracking them typically includes hiking through the lush tropical rain forests, marshes and lowland regions of the park. It's crucial to follow the rangers' directions at all times while monitoring the gorillas. The duration of tracking might range from 30 minutes to 6 hours.

Only one hour can be spent with the gorillas. Spend this time paying close attention to the family. Young gorillas are always playing, mothers are seen feeding the young, and the dominant silverback is always keeping an eye out for any threats to the family. Additionally, you must to be able to recognize the various members, their individual personalities and group dynamics. By the end of the activity you will realize just how similar human beings are with gorillas and the more reason why we should protect them at all costs. Each permit for tracking Kahuzi-Biega National Park costs $400.

Gorilla groups in Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Gorilla Trekking in Kahuzi-Biega National Park is carried out by visiting the 9 gorilla families though only 5 have successfully undergone the habituation process and it takes 2-7 hours.

Mpungwe Gorilla Family

Mpungwe has 21 family members, making it the largest habituated lowland gorilla family in the entire park and the Democratic Republic of Congo. People who appreciate viewing lowland gorillas and detest hiking up steep inclines tend to enjoy it the best.

Bonanni Gorilla Family

Due to the fact that it is one of the latest habituated families in the park, this family of lowland gorillas is the smallest one there, with only 5 members.

Chimanuka Gorilla Family

It is known to have charming individuals and is the second-largest and most intriguing family to trek. There are 19 family members in total, and the family is headed by a silverback named Chimanuka. I suppose you can imagine where the family name came from.

Mugahuka Gorilla Family

Disputes between this intriguing family and the Chimanuka gorilla family resulted in the Chimanuka family taking the majority of the Mugahuka family's initial members, leaving Mugahuka all by himself. This family currently solely consists of the silverback Mugahuka, who lives alone. It is useful to less fit trekkers and the elderly as well because it is a one-member family, making it easier to trek and more accessible.

Nganwa Gorilla Family

Since this family is currently undergoing training, it is not yet possible to go gorilla trekking with them. The family has ten members.

How to get to Kahuzi–Biega National Park?

The park is positioned in South-Kivu region of Democratic Republic of Congo's Eastern region, 30 kilometers from Bukavu city. Getting to the park grounds takes around one hour and a half from Bukavu. The park is easily reachable by both air and road transportation.

For air travel, there are chartered aircraft that land in both Kavuma and Miti airports. From the airport, you can then use or use a vehicle to travel to the park's headquarters. It is possible to visit Kahuzi-Biega National Park any time of year, regardless of the weather or other circumstances.