Combing Kahuzi Biega Gorilla & Lwiro Chimpanzee Watching – Congo Safaris.
lwiro and Kahuzi Biega are located in the southern part of Congo which is hosted in the magical tropical rain forests and Many Travelers know that Lwiro is located in Kahuzi Biega National Park.
Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary- Chimpanzee watching
Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary is found in South East of the DR. Congo in a town known as Bukavu. It is nearby Kahuzi Biega national park which is just 4 kms. According to IUCN, it is known as world’s 3rd important site which conserves the chimpanzee.
Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary was established by 2 Congolese institutions that is National Center for Research in Natural Sciences (ICCN) and Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (CRSN) in 2002 with the purpose of rescuing these creatures from being poached.
Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary has almost 83 chimpanzees and 105 monkeys but of 12 various species with other endangered species such as parrots, porcupine and turtles. It also provides volunteering programs which are charged at 500$ per month as you’re at the top of the site’s visit. The sanctuary welcomes local and international tourists. The sanctuary is found in a politically unstable region but it is an amazing place you need to visit and it welcomes around 2,000 to 3,000 guests yearly.
Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary provides various programs since it is part of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance. Many members of this alliance try as much as possible to achieve few things protect primates of the region, like Emergency response, education and research, rescue and care for the rescued species, wildlife law enforcement, capacity building, community support, and training.
The center integrates victims of sexual abuses in DR Congo due to the fact that it is a common device. The victims are provided with jobs so as to rehabilitate them from poaching. The alliance is made up with a network of 23 members who are found in African Countries and this serves as a united force which is met to protect and preserve the species especially the chimpanzees.
The main challenges are illegal hunting, wildlife trade of endangered species plus the destruction of the habitats. The programs of the center have been accessed by large audience of around 3500 people per year and this was reached through various visits from International and local tourists.
The sanctuary provides orphaned chimps a 2rd opportunity to live and it makes sure they are protected well. Many Chimpanzee families are always killed and young ones are always left stranded and national parks such as Kahuzi Biega and Virunga National Park come in and take these chimpanzees to the safest place which is a sanctuary to help them recover psychologically and physically from what they had faced. NGO’s have also joined the struggle to make sure the sanctuary is fought for. Lwiro is the best place for chimpanzee rehabilitation and sensitization to the local communities is ongoing.
Lwiro chimpanzee sanctuary is also recognized by the World Heritage Site as a site in danger since 1997. The sanctuary is well equipped with around 46 workers who love and take care of the primates. There is also Veterinary team, monkey caregivers, chimpanzee care givers, chefs/cooks, buyers plus domestic aid of those who are keen to the victory of the center.
Two veterinary doctors have always been the main backbone of Lwiro since they work daily to ensure that the health of these primates at the center is put first. As there are chimps and monkeys at the center, they have a separate team which is responsible to take care of them by spending most time with them, loving them and monitoring them plus making sure that these monkeys and chimpanzees in the Chimpanzee sanctuary are attended to and given more attention.
The caregivers who are in charge of these chimpanzees and monkeys are well trained and most of them have worked at the center since way back in 2002 when the first chimpanzee was put to book. The cooks also prepare a balanced diet for these animals at Lwiro and almost provide them with six meals per day. These is not like the way humans feed, those who eat 3 meals in a day.
All the animals at Lwiro Chimpanzee sanctuary have a history of being victims for poaching and also the pet trade and the numbers at this center increase all the time. Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary has a long time goal for resettling the monkeys back to the DR Congo forests. You can visit the park to get more information about the centers program and the animal species.
Kahuzi Biega National Park – Congo Safaris.
Kahuzi Biega National Park: The 6,000 km2 Kahuzi Biega National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site named after two extinct volcanoes that dominate its skyline, Mount Biega’s highest peak at 2,900m and Mount Kahuzi highest peak at 3,300m, which constitute the two of the Mutimba range. Divided into two unequal sections linked by a narrow strip of forest, the park’s eastern portion covers habitat of largely montane primary forest between 1,800m and 3,300m in elevation, while the much larger western section of the Park sees elevation drop to between 600m and 1,500m and habitat for low, forested mountain punctuated by deep river valley leading west towards the Lualaba River.
Kahuzi Biega National Park is the only place in the whole world where you can track the critically endangered eastern lowland gorillas; the park is home to about 300 lowland Grauer’s Gorillas.
Things to do and see in Kahuzi Biega National Park
The biggest attraction to visitors to the Park is also the world’s biggest primate the eastern lowland gorilla. It’s the largest of all gorilla subspecies – males weigh 160kg, the few hundred gorillas sought to live in Kahuzi Biega National Park in Congo can be visited on treks from Tshivanga Park Headquarters visitor’s center, and the practicalities of gorilla trekking here are broadly similar to those in Volcanoes National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park set out at 8 am, trekking usually lasts an hour, and the mountainous hike to find the gorillas can take anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours depending on their movements.
There are three habituated lowland gorilla families available for trekking every day namely the Bonne Anne family with 8 members, Pungwe family with 23 members, and Chimanuka family with 19 members.
Cost of Gorilla Trekking Permit in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Lowland gorilla permits cost US$ 400 for foreign non-residents, US$ 200 for foreign students,
- US$ 150 for children above 15 years,
- US$ 200 for Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries,
- US$ 100 for East African Community,
- US$ 80 for The Southern African Development Community,
- US$ 20 for Congolese adults,
- US$ 10 for Congolese students
Hike Mount Kahuzi
The 3,300m Mount Kahuzi hike is done in a thigh-burning full-day round trip hike setting out from the Tshivanga visitors’ center at 09.00. The hike to the summit takes about 4 hours and 3 hours to get back down, through the lush montane forest which opens to a stunning panorama view of the Park and Lake Kivu from the summit. Permits to hike Mount Kahuzi cost US$ 100 foreign non-residents, US$ 70 for students, and US$ 50 for East African Citizens.
Hike to the Tshibati Falls
The hike starts with a short trip through farms and fields before crossing into the park for another bushwalking hour until you reach the roaring falls at the end of the valley. Permits for waterfall hike cost US$ 35 for foreign non-residents, US$ 15 for East African Residents, and US$ 15 for children.
How to get there and away
Travelers to Kahuzi Biega National Park can access the national park by road or air transport, visitors can opt to fly from Kigali International Airport to Goma International Airport then transfer by road to the Park for about 6 hours, alternatively visitors to the park can embark on 6-7 hours’ drive from Kigali International Airport to Kahuzi Biega National Park via Rusizi border.
Where to stay
There are many accommodation facilities to choose from for visitors who want to trek lowland gorillas in their natural habitat namely
- Hotel Begonias
- Orchids Safari Club
- Guesthouse Formula
- Guesthouse de Lwiro
- Mount Kahuzi Hotel among others.
Congo Gorilla Tour.
Congo Gorilla Trekking tours offered by Primate Safari Experiences start from Kigali Rwanda and can in Kigali or Burundi depending on the clients interests.Those interested in long congo tours can add on key other safari activities like Home stay in the local community, Nature walks , Tea Plantation growing and harvesting.
All the Congo Visa will be handled by Primate Safari Experiences since its complicated for you to process the visa by yourself.