The Mountain and Lowland Gorilla habitats in Congo

The two Congo gorilla safari parks

If your planning to go for a Congo gorilla safari and your specific on which kind of gorillas you want to trek, make sure you know the right destination. Congo has both the mountain and lowland gorillas but surely from their naming they don’t have the same habitat. There are two gorilla safari parks in Congo which are Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park.

The Virunga National Park in Congo

Virunga national park is Africa’s oldest national park that was created in 1925 by King Albert I of Belgium as the first national park on Africa’s continent. The park is north of Goma, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province.

The Virunga national park also known as Parc National des Virunga is 7,800km 2 (3,000sq mi) within the Virunga mountains/massif on an altitude 2,227m-4,127m. It is located in the rugged mountains and volcanic plains adjacent to the neighboring Rwanda Volcanoes national park and Uganda’s Mgahinga gorilla national park.

The tropical rainforest in which Virunga national park lies has hundreds of other rare species with about one-quarter of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. The best park for your Congo gorilla trekking safari is definitely Virunga national park as long as it’s about mountain gorillas.

It is abundantly clear that the Virunga national park is deeply affected by insecurity as of now and that this will be the case till early 2019.

Mountain gorillas in the Virunga national park

Mountain gorillas in the Virunga national park

 

The Kahuzi Biega National Park in Congo

The park has its name originating from a vast area of primary tropical forest dominated by two spectacular extinct volcanoes, Kahuzi (3,308 m) and Biega (2,790 m).  The park has the last groups of eastern lowland gorillas (Gorilla berengei graueri) which are the largest of the four gorilla sub-species. These eastern lowland gorillas are endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kahuzi Biega National park is a protected area near Bukavu town in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo near the western bank of Lake Kivu. A small section of the park is in Mitumba mountain range of the Albertine rift and the larger part in the lower terrain joined by a corridor of about 7.4 kilometers. The section that the lowland gorillas live covers an area of 5,400 square kilometers.

Since the park is crossed by the Albertine rift, it is a perfect habitat for the protection of the rainforest and the eastern lowland gorillas. The Albertine rift is also one of the ecologically richest regions of Africa and worldwide. The Kahuzi Biega park is comprised of over 600,000 ha of dense lowland rainforests, Afro-montane forests, bamboo forests and some small areas of sub-alpine prairies and heather.

Lowland gorilla in Kahubi Biega National Park

Lowland gorilla in Kahubi Biega National Park

 

You now know where to go for a Congo safari, either go to the North kivu province or South kivu province it’s a question of your desire and fitness.

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