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Kahuzi Biega National Park

A Complete Guide to Visiting Kahuzi Biega National Park packed with travel information onbest things to do, things to see, where to stay,  maps & guides, where to stay, tips & advice as well as practical information that you need to plan your next gorilla safari.

Kahuzi Biega National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, home to the Eastern Lowland Gorillas. This is the only national park where one can see the Eastern lowland gorillas in their natural habitat. This area is the 2nd most important tourism site in Eastern DR Congo in terms of species diversity and it protects several endemic species in the region.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park is one of the few last refugee for the Eastern lowland gorillas. Located in Eastern DR Congo, this is the ultimate destination for gorilla trekking in East and Central Africa.

Are you planning for an extraordinary experience with the Eastern lowland gorillas? This guide offers a comprehensive guide to gorilla trekking with information on how to plan for a gorilla trek, etiquette for gorilla watching, what to pack, best time to see gorillas and more.

About the Park

Kahuzi-Biega National Park, A UNESCO World Heritage since 1980

Kahuzi Biega is a well conserved national park neighboring Bukavu town which is in the east of DR Congo. The park is enormous covering an area of 6,000sqkm, it is covered with rolling hills, tropical forests with a thick jungle and two vast extinct volcanoes known as Kahuzi and Biega which is where the park derives its name.

The park is home to flora and fauna of exceptional diversity which make it one of the most important sites in the Albertine Rift Valley, itself one of the ecologically richest regions in Africa and globally. In particular, the world’s largest population of eastern lowland (or Grauer’s) gorillas, a subspecies endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List , uses the mosaic of habitats found in the property.

The eastern lowland gorillas are the closest cousins to the popular mountain gorillas. They are a subspecies of the Eastern gorilla. They are are known to be roaming primates in two protected areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo These are the Kahuzi Biega Mountains and the less known Maiko National Park.

Currently gorilla tourism has only been developed in the Kahuzi Biega National Park.

Featured Tours

Since Kahuzi Biega National Park is one of the “off the usual trail” destinations, there are a few tours available. We have created possible tour itineraries for visitors looking to explore the park. If you are looking for a specific Itinerary not listed on this website, send us an email through info@kahuzibiega.org. We’re working on creating more itineraries so that we can have more ideas. Visitors of Kahuzi Biega National Park can use our tours directory to plan their trip. We have listed several tours to the park including gorilla trekking, hiking, community based tours, etc. We have also listed some tour providers that organize trips into Kahuzi Biega National Park and their neighboring destinations.

Things to See in Kahuzi Biega

With remarkable natural endowments, Kahuzi Biega National Park is blessed with numerous attractions. The park harbors over 136 species of mammals as well as around 23 primate species, also forest hogs, colobus bai, eastern chimpanzees, owl-faced monkeys, leopards the African climbing mouse of mount Kahuzi, bush buffaloes and elephants among others.

Grauer’s Gorillas

Kahuzi Biega national park is listed as the world heritage sites as it’s known to be holding one of Africa’s few remaining eastern Lowland gorillas in the base of Mount Kahuzi and Biega, being the only habitat for the eastern lowland gorillas which are only found in Democratic Republic of Congo in the entire world. The eastern lowland gorillas are the closest cousins to the popular mountain gorillas. They are a subspecies of the Eastern gorilla.

Other Fauna

Kahuzi-Biega National Park protects a significant population of fauna species. These include the unique Eastern Lowland gorillas/Grauer’s gorillas, forest elephants, buffaloes, chimpanzees, bongos, pottos, Dent’s mona monkeys, owl-faced monkeys, eastern needle clawed galago, Rwenzori least otter shrew, Kahuzi climbing mouse, red tailed monkeys, leopards, hippos, giant forest hogs.


There are over 350 bird species to expect to search for while in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. The notable bird species here include Grauer’s broadbill, Shelley’s crimson wings, Congo peafowl, yellow crested helmet shrike, African broadbill sunbird, Rockefeller’s sunbird.

The Mountains

The 75,000 ha eastern sector is entirely montane. The massif is part of the Mitumba Mountain range, the western mountains of the Great Rift Valley. The two main peaks, Mount Kahuzi (3,308 m) and Mount Biega (2,790 m) are extinct volcanoes, and the massif dates from the late Tertiary or early Quaternary.

Things to Do in Kahuzi Biega National Park

There are plenty of activities/experiences to engage in while on Kahuzi-Biega National Park holiday. These include among others Grauer’s/Eastern Lowland gorilla trekking, bird watching, hiking/volcano climbing, nature walk and Lwiro sanctuary tours. Holidaymakers on Congo safari can explore and experience fauna of Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Most popular adventures include gorilla trekking, nature walks to see birds, primate watching, bird watching and more.

Exciting activities to enjoy in Kahuzi Biega National Park

Although most visitors may think that DR Congo’s tourism largely depends on the Virunga’s rare mountain gorillas, Kahuzi Biega National Park is a hidden gem that you shouldn’t miss out to visit. This new heritage site still holds untouched biodiversity and so life changing adventures. The park covers an area of about 6000 square kilometers, Eastern DR Congo in Bukavu town.

Eastern Lowland Gorilla trekking

Kahuzi is a home to the largest lowland gorillas in the entire world that make up about 250 individuals, which makes them the top attraction for Lowland gorilla safaris in DR Congo. Only 2 groups have been habituated and available for tracking which offer trekkers with life changing experiences. These creatures share about 98% of their DNA with humans and trekkers are advised to wear masks.

Gorilla trekking is the most popular adventure that attracts tourists to the park. You can plan to see the Eastern Lowland gorillas on foot within the park. Treks to see the Grauer’s gorillas (Eastern lowland gorillas) are done daily. This adventure involves hiking through the lush tropical rain forest through its trails in search of gorilla group. It takes about 30 to 6 hours in the forest but 1 hour of an encounter with these fascinating wild Apes is such magical experience not to be missed out. Visitors get opportunity to explore their behaviors while in the wild, playful behavior, responsibilities, body gestures, feeding and a chance to sight at the youngsters.

Volcano Hiking

Safaris to this remarkable protected area are more than Lowland gorilla trekking; there are also opportunities to hike its volcanoes. There are 2 inactive volcano mountains at the center of this park that hikers engage in hiking adventures. Mount Kahuzi is the highest sanding at 3308 meters above sea level. Alongside Mount Kahuzi, Biega is also available and stands at 2790 meters above sea level. The summits of these 2 mountains offer the most stunning view of whole national park, wildlife and surrounding communities and states. Further still, the bamboo and subalpine vegetation that protects varied wild species and thereby also offering a chance to sight at owl faced monkeys and several birds.


Kahuzi Biega National Park offers refuge to more than 342 birds, 42 of which are endemic to the park. It is birders paradise! The birds to spot include African green broadbill, yellow crested helmet shrike, Congo peacock and Rockefeller’s. This protected area is one of the endangered sites that have been designated under IUCN.

Nature walks

There are several trails within the forest that are all leading to distinct tourism sites. They also lead to Tshibati waterfalls and then to 3 waterfalls within the park. With your skilled tour guide, you will be sighting at the lush vegetation zones and wildlife and listen sweet melodies of forest birds as they sing. The flora of Kahuzi-Biega National Park can also be perfectly explored while on a nature walk. The park itself has well-established trails each introducing you to distinct habitats with unique flora, birds.

Plan Your Trip to Kahuzi Biega National Park

Getting There

The park is located close to the Rwandan border and the Western shore of Lake Kivu. The park is located about 30 kilometers from Bukavu town, and getting to the park takes only 1-2hours by road and about 45mins by air from Goma airport. It lies in the eastern province of Democratic Republic of Congo – South Kivu province. The park is located in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo just 50 km away from Bukavu town which is one of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s biggest business districts bordering Rwanda’s Rusizi which is also a big business Hub and beach holiday destination on the shores of Lake Kivu.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park is accessible within DRC, from Rwanda and Uganda. In DR Congo, it takes safari-goers 1 hour and half to drive from Bukavu to Kahuzi-Biega. In case of those with plans to start from Kigali Rwanda, you can access the park via border crossing at Rusizi or book flights from Kigali Airport Rwanda to Kavumu airport then transfer to Kahuzi-Biega’s offices.
Visitors on Lowland gorilla safari to Kahuzi-Biega can reach the park by road which is 40kms, about 1 and half hours’ drive from Bukavu. From Kigali, it is approximately 6-7 hours’ drive if you take the route through Cyangugu city. By air, you can fly up to Kamembe Airport hen drive 1 hour and half to Kahuzi-Biega via Bukavu Town.

Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking is one of the world’s best remarkable wildlife safari experience, one will never forget while on safari to Africa.

The Eastern Lowland Gorillas should not miss out on your bucket-list if you are looking to gorilla trekking in Africa. These great apes are more eye-catching and worth to see in their natural home. The hour spent with these gentle giants is unforgettable.

A growing number of tourists are visiting Kahuzi Biega National Park for gorilla trekking. Most gorilla treks start from Bukavu and you can arrange your next trip with a local tour operator listed on this website.

You can easily combine your trip to Kahuzi Biega National Park with mountain gorilla trekking in the Virunga National Park and a hike to the Nyiragongo Mountains as well as other known gorilla parks; Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Mgahinga National Park of Uganda as well as the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda are available from selected tour operators.

When is the Best Time to visit Kahuzi Biega National Park?

Kahuzi-Biega National Park holiday safari is perfectly enjoyed during the dry season or drier months of the year. That is in late May, June, July, August, September to early October or late December, January, February. These are the most preferable months if you plan to be in Kahuzi-Biega for Lowland gorilla trekking or volcano hiking/climbing.
The Best time to visit Kahuzi Biega National Park is within the month of January to February and end of May through up to October, during these months, the ground is drier unlike in November and March and April when heavier rains are usually experienced. However, the dry season doesn’t mean that the park won’t experience rains; this is a tropical rain forest so it is better to be prepared and expect it to rain at any time. To have excellent view of Kahuzi-Biega National Park’s diverse wildlife, the dry season is incredibly the best time. This begins from late May to early October or December to February and these are enjoyable while on Grauer’s gorilla trekking safari.

Frequently Asked Questions

Apart from visiting the gorillas, what else can visitors do at Kahuzi Biega?

The tourist can also enjoy;

  • The ascent of Mount Kahuzi which culminates at 3038 meters above sea level
  • A hike, which goes from the headquarters to the top of Mount Bugulumiza 2.4 km
  • A visit to the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Center and the three levels of Chibati Falls
  • The community-based tourist visit the royal court of Kabare

Is It Safe to Go Gorilla Trekking in Kahuzi Biega?

Gorillas have been accustomed to human presence at Kahuzi Biega since 1971. Kahuzi Biega is among the first park in the world to organize gorilla visits.
How are the gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park different from others in the sub-region?

Which Gorillas Are Found in Kahuzi Biega?

The gorilla subspecies found in Kahuzi Biega is the Eastern Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla berengei Graueri). It has a physical form that is different from other subspecies found in Mount Virunga, the Mountain Gorillas, (Rwanda Volcano Park and Virunga National Park in Goma), (Gorilla berengei Berengei). Kahuzi Biega’s gorilla has an elongated head, it is less hairy, and it does not accept more than one mature evil in a family.

Safety and best time to travel to Congo Kahuzi-Biega

When you think of visiting DRC, safety is a key factor that concerns not only holidaymakers but also tour operators. However, Kahuzi-Biega National Park has for long enjoyed relative peace unlike Virunga National Park that whose tourism activities have been suspended several times. On the other hand, it is challenging to recommend the best time to travel to Kahuzi-Biega National Park given its location in rain-forested area. But the drier months are said to be a little the most ideal and you can plan your tour holiday from late May to early October or January to February. It is possible to organize a tour even during the rainy months though what disorganizes is the heavy rains yet also it is a period when there is plenty for primates like Grauer’s gorillas to feed on. To some holidaymakers, these are the best months of the year because you spend less time to move to look for a gorilla family since gorillas don’t move to search for what to eat in distant areas.

Access to Congo’s Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Prior setting off to Kahuzi-Biega National Park, you must have a Congo Visa and an invitation from the park to be permitted in. Not to encounter challenges in arranging your holiday, the best is to deal with a reliable ground tour operator in DR Congo. The ideal route for you to have access to Kahuzi-Biega takes you from Kigali Rwanda through Cyangugu town where you can connect to Bukavu Town. By air, fly from Kigali airport in Rwanda to Goma airport in the DR Congo. By water, take a speed boat from Goma up to Bukavu.


Compared to the rest of gorilla parks, Kahuzi-Biega National Park has very limited lodges inside the park and camping is the available option. Most hotels and lodges that visitors do book for overnight stay are around Congo’s Bukavu Town. They include Mount Kahuzi Hotel, Lakeside Hotel, L’Orchids Safari Club, Exodus Hotel.

Camping is the top accommodation option for most holidaymakers to spend a night while on Kahuzi-Biega safari. There are some comfortable lodges and hotels but they are mostly within Bukavu and they include L’Orchids Safari Club, Mount Kahuzi Hotel, Exodus Hotel, Lake Side Hotel.

News & Tips

Learn about news, tips, guides and resources for visiting Kahuzi Biega National Park. Here we share all kinds of stories & tips about exploring our area. From hiking to gorilla trekking, join us on a journey to this great home to the Grauer’s gorillas.


This travel resource is a labor of love for tourism in East and Central Africa. It is owned by the Africa Tourist Guide, an organization that aims at documenting and promoting tourism sites in Africa. THIS IS NOT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE for the park but a RESOURCEFUL website that you can use to plan your next trip to Kahuzi Biega National Park, a less known destination in Central Africa.