Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo is the only national park in the eastern part of Africa with the giant lowland gorillas. A Congo gorilla trekking safari gives you an opportunity to meet these remarkable huge but shy giants.
What are lowland gorillas?
Eastern lowland gorillas are the largest of the 4 existing gorilla species with a male eastern lowland gorilla having an average weight of 210kg or 460ib while females weigh less with an average weight of 100kg or 220ib.
The males have an average standing height of 1.85m or 6.1ft while females stand at an average of 1.6m of5.2ft. The eastern lowland gorilla has large stocky arms and a short muzzle with less fur on the head.
These gorillas have a jet black coat similar to that of mountain gorillas. The male eastern gorillas still have a grey coat which will eventually turn into a silver grey coat especially on the back hence the terming silver back.
Just like their mountain cousins, lowland gorillas live in large groups called families which are headed by an alpha dominant male, whose main responsibility is to offer protection to his family.
The family can consist of members ranging from 2-35 on average including a number of adult females and their off springs. When these off springs mature especially the male, they are likely to leave their natal family, become bachelors for a time being as they try to attract females to join them and form their own family.
These gorillas are usually calm giants who will even shy away when directly contacted. These gorillas are normally herbivores eating leaves, fruits, stems and small insects such as termites and ants.
They are not usually seen drinking water and its believed that this is so because they forage mostly on leaves that are highly succulent with high water content. Eastern gorillas have a gestation period of about 8 and ½ months and will breast feed their babies for around 3 years’ time.
Male infants will only reach maturity at 12 years while the female babies will attain maturity at 10 years
Gorilla families in Kahuzi-Biega National Park Congo
A Congo gorilla tour to kahuzi beiga enables you to meet any of the 2 gorilla habituated families in the dormains of this park. The gorilla families are the main safari attractions in kahuzi beiga national park and they include the
Chimanuka family is led by dominant silver back called Chimanuka. This family comprises of 36 members which include 17 females and 18 infants aged 6 months to 9 years old. This family has heavily defied odds by having 4 sets of twin births which is highly uncommon among the gorillas.
This is the second habituated gorilla family in Kahuzi Beiga National Park. This family is under the leadership of Mugaruka as the dominant silverback and he his highly protective of his family members always fighting with Chimanuka and other gorillas who come to annex some of his family members. Unfortunately, Mugaruka lost one of his hand to a poacher’s trap and this has greatly hindered his ability to protect his family and as a result all his family members left him and joined Chimanuka hence leaving him in a solitude state.
Other tourist attractions in Kahuzi Biega National Park include chimpanzees, monkeys as well as numerous bird species. Tourists activities in Kahuzi Biega National Park Congo include gorilla trekking and birding. While on a Congo safari to Kahuzi Biega National Park, you can decide to stay at any of the Congo safari accommodations in Kahuzi Beiga National Park and these include Orchids Safari Lodge, Exodus Hotel Bukavu, Lake Side Hotel Bukavu.