Bird watching in Kahuzi biega national park – Kahuzi biega is a paradise for bird lovers with approximately 342 bird species of which 42 are endemic to the park. Among these sported birds include; yellow crested-helmet shrike, African green broad bill, Congo peafowl, Rockefeller’s among others. The park is now one of the threatened sites put under the protection of the International Union Conservation Area (IUCN).
Contact Great adventure safaris for more information about birding in the rain forest.
Kahuzi Biega national park is located near Bukavu town in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Kahuzi Biega national park is situated near the western bank of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border. The park was put up for conservation in 1970 by the Belgian photographer and conservationist Adrien Deschryver. The park is named after two dormant volcanoes; Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega, which are within the park boundary.
Kahuzi Biega national park is one of the biggest national parks in the country; it covers an area of 6000 square kilometres. The parks topography ranges in both mountainous and lowland terrain. It is home to endangered species of eastern lowland gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri). The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed in 1980 for its unique biodiversity of rainforest habitat and its eastern lowland gorillas.
The has a rich diversity of flora and fauna, it is home to 136 mammal species, 349 bird species and 1178 plant species.
Of the 136 species of mammals living in the park, the eastern lowland gorilla is the most prominent. According to a 2008 status report of the DR of Congo, the park had 125 lowland gorillas, a marked reduction from the figure of 600 gorillas of the pre-1990’s conflict period, and consequently the species has been listed in the endangered list.] According to the census survey of eastern lowland gorillas reported by the Wildlife Conservation Society in April 2011, at least 181 gorillas were recorded in the park.
Bird watching in Kahuzi biega national park – Other primates living in the park include the eastern chimpanzee, and several Cercopithecinae, Colobinae and owl-faced monkey. Some of the mammals include; the bush elephant, bush buffalo, Hylocereus and bongo, Aquatic civet, eastern needle-clawed galago, Maclaud’s horseshoe bat, Ruwenzori least otter shrew, and Alexander’s bush squirrel among many more.
The park’s swamps, bogs, marshland and riparian forests on hydromorphic ground at all altitudes are rare worldwide. The western lowland sector of the park is dominated by dense Guinea-Congolian wet equatorial rainforest, with an area of transition forest between 1,200 metres and 1,500 metres.
The eastern mountainous sector includes continuous forest vegetation from 600 metres to over 2,600 metres, and is one of the rare sites in Sub-Saharan Africa which demonstrates all stages of the low to highland transition, including six distinguishable primary vegetation types: swamp and peat bog, swamp forest, high-altitude rainforest, mountain rainforest, bamboo forest and subalpine heather.
Mountain and swamp forest grow between 2,000 metres and 2,400 metres, the bamboo forest grows between 2,350 metres and 2,600 metres, and the summits of Mounts Kahuzi and Biéga above 2,600 metres have subalpine heather, dry savannah, and grasslands, as well as the endemic plant Senecio kahuzicus.