There are an estimated 3,700 eastern lowland gorillas and 90,000 western lowland gorillas inhabiting just a few small areas across Central and East Africa.
We offer you the opportunity to enjoy the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, a great once in a lifetime adventure. Why not add eastern lowland gorilla tracking to your trip?
Tracking the mountain and lowland gorillas on a safari will take you on an adventure across two unique habitats in Rwanda and the Congo to give you breath-taking, up-close encounters with two different, yet equally rare species of gorillas. In Rwanda, you’ll view some of the last mountain gorillas on the planet as they roam and forage among the bamboo forests on the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, you’ll trek in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park – home to the lowland gorilla.
Eastern Lowland Gorillas – Kahuzi Biega National Park in the DR Congo
The eastern lowland gorilla—also known as Grauer’s gorilla—is the largest of the four gorilla subspecies.
The park currently holds 9 gorilla families of which 2 are open to tourists. The current estimate is that there are about 180 gorillas in the park. Males can weigh up to 250 kilogrammes and can reach two metres in height when standing.
After an early wake-up call, you'll depart from Bukavu to Kahuzi-Biega National Park (31 km) headquarters at Tshivanga. After the briefing from the rangers, you will enter the park in search of the gorillas. The length of this hike depends on the location of the gorillas. Some days they can be a 10-15 minute walk from the road, other days it can take over an hour to reach the gorillas. Eastern lowland gorillas are peaceful, mainly herbivorous animals that live in groups of 5-30 individuals. You will remain close to the gorillas for a maximum of one hour allowing observation and photography.
After this exhilarating experience, you'll return to Bukavu and spend the middle part of the day at your own leisure.
Democratic Republic of Congo - Kahuzi Biega national Park
Kahuzi-Biega National Park is in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, 50 km west of the town of Bukavu and near the Rwandan border. The Park was established in 1970 to conserve and preserve the Grauer's (lowland) gorilla, which is the world's largest gorilla species. Kahuzi Biega is named after two extinct volcanoes, Mount Kahuzi (3,308 m) and Mount Biega (2,790 m). This park is one of the last refuges of the rare eastern lowland gorilla. The eastern lowland gorilla is the largest of the four gorilla subspecies. It is distinguished from other gorillas by its stocky body, large hands and short muzzle. Despite its size, eastern lowland gorillas subsist mainly on fruit and other herbaceous materials, just like other gorilla subspecies. There are nine gorilla families in Kahuzi Biega and two are habituated for visitors.
The park is divided into two forest zones which are connected by a narrow corridor: on one side of the Park is mountain forest covering 600 sq km (altitude of 1,800m to 3,300m) and on the other side, is a tropical forest (altitude 600m and 1,200m). This makes the park therefore one of the biggest reserves serving to conserve flora and fauna in central Africa's high mountain regions. In 1990 the park was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Besides lowland gorilla tracking in the park, the park also offers a lot of other activities since it is a home to 135 other mammal species which include twelve species of primates (amongst them eastern chimpanzees, red colobus, Blue monkey, Red Tailed monkey, L'Hoest monkey, Owl-faced monkey, Angolan black and white colobus, baboons, grey-cheeked mangabey), forest elephants, leopards, civets, genets, otters and many antelope and duikers. Thirty of the 336 bird species found in the park are endemic to the Albertine Rift, such as the Rockefeller's sunbird, Ruwenzori Turaco, Grauer's broadbill, Grauer's warbler and Shelley's crimsonwing. There are further 69 species of reptiles and 44 species of amphibians.