BIEGA NATIONAL PARK INFORMATION
KAHUZI-BIEGA NATIONAL PARK is located in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Part of the border between Rwanda and the DRC is Lake Kivu itself. Here in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, there are two dormant volcanoes, Mounts Kahuzi and Biega. Since 1980, Kahuzi-Biega National Park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its biodiversity; both the last refuge of the rare Eastern Lowland Gorilla and one of the last true rain forest habitats in Africa. The park is 6,000 square kilometers in size, one of the largest in the DRC.
There are two major activities in Kahuzi-Biega National Park. Hiking Mount Biega and Mount Kahuzi, the two dormant volcanoes and the popular tracking of the Eastern Lowland Gorillas, also known as the Grauer’s Gorilla. The Grauer’s Gorilla is the largest of the four Gorilla subspecies; they feed on the herbaceous materials and fruits in the forest.
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN KIGALI AND TRANSFER TO BUKAVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)
Your Jewels Safari guide will meet you at Kigali International Airport and give you a brief summary of the upcoming itinerary. Immediately, you will travel to the border between the DRC and Rwanda. On the Rwandan side, there is the town of Cyagungu; on the DRC side it is the town of Bukavu. En route you will take lunch in the town of Butare in a local Rwandese restaurant.
Butare is labeled as the Intellectual Center of Rwanda, having a number of institutions of higher learning, a Genocide Memorial site and a number of interesting other cultural and historical venues to explore. Leaving Butare, you will travel through the Nyungwe National Forest, one of the last dense rain forests in Africa. The environment in the forest supports many primates, hundreds of bird species and small mammals; many are indigenous to this area and cannot be seen elsewhere.
Your Jewel Safaris guide will escort you through customs and immigration and then take you directly to your accommodation, where you will have dinner. We recommend an early night, as the next day you will have to rise early for your Gorilla Tracking.
DAY 2: EASTERN LOWLAND GORILLA TRACKING.
After an early breakfast, your Jewel Safaris guide will take you to the Headquarters of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park. This journey will take you along the shores of Lake Kivu; it is just over an hour in length to the park gates. Registration will take a few minutes upon arrival; you will be assigned a specific Gorilla family to track, and a Park Ranger, who will guide you through the forest. The tracking will then begin. You will be allowed an hour with the Gorillas, after which you will reunite with your Jewels Safari guide. Immediately, you will begin your return to Kigali for your outbound flight. Time permitting, your guide is available to take you on a tour of Kigali city to show you some of the cultural and historical sites, which are many, including the Genocide Memorial Center. This is also an opportunity to do any shopping you might want in one of the local markets or craft workshops in Kigali.
HOTEL ACCOMMODATION CHOICES IN BUKAVU, DRC.
LODGE CO CO (Luxury)
The Co Co Lodge is a boutique-style luxury lodge with 8 rooms, all overlooking the beautiful Lake Kivu. Here at the lodge the rooms are all self-contained, each with Television and WiFi. There is a full restaurant and bar and nightly entertainment for the hotel guests.
ORCHID HOTEL (Mid-Range)
For a Mid-Range Hotel, the Orchid Hotel is excellent; situated on Lake Kivu, with beautiful panoramic views; the property is full of landscaped trees and flowers making it a most attractive accommodation. Here there are choices of rooms, suites and apartments. There is a full restaurant and bar with WiFi accessible throughout the hotel.