The Eastern lowland gorillas also known as the Graueri Beringeri are the largest of all gorilla sub-species found in the Democratic Republic of Congo.The gorillas are endemic to the mountainous forests of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo which includes; Kahuzi Biega National Park , Maiko National park and their adjacent forests, Tayna Gorilla Reserve, the Usala forest and on the Itombwe massif.
It is believed according to 2004 report, that these gorillas- Eastern lowland gorillas are fewer than the western lowland whereby there were only 5000,,and lowered to 3800 in 2016, but their individual groups are larger than the Western lowland
The country is one that has been kept a secret from the world for a long time and remains one of the most biologically diverse destinations rich in vegetation and wildlife which gives you an opportunity to trek 9 Eastern lowland gorilla groups with total of 400 individuals,but only two families are exposed for trekking, while the others are still under habituation.
Apart from Uganda and Rwanda, Congo’s gorilla trekking gives you an incite to the most memorable trekking safari, as you will have a chance to encounter the Eastern lowland gorillas which is a unique offer from the famous Kahuzi Biega national park. Kahuzi Biega Natonal park is aprotected area near Bukavu, situated near the western bank of lake kivu and the Rwanda border in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.The Park derives its present name from two volcanoes of Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega from which it was named after.Being set in both mountainous and lowland terrain, Kahuzi Biega National park has now become aprotected area for Eastern lowland gorillas, but also has a stunnimg landscapes which provides the best photographing moments in Africa.
The lowland gorilla trekking process commences with a brief preamble about history of the gorillas, topography of the park, the family your group will be tracking on that day, and the way to conduct yourself while in the presence of the gorillas , all this is done in the park headquarters at Tshivanga Visitor centre, after which you will then embark on your trek as you persue the trails in to the jungle.The trek can lust for at lest 30 mins to 4hrs before your encounter with the Gorillas as they are always moving.
Eastern Lowland gorilla trekking is so exciting that you will first see the young gorillas, and the juveniles jumping from one branch of the tree to another or hanging on the tree branches, which will give you an assurance of seeing the enormous Alpha who within no time will approach you to ensure his territory is secure from the enemies, after which, the magical activity of watching the great primates starts taking up to an hour long while taking great shots of gorillas in their habitat, hence making it an adventure of a lifetime.
Congo is situated in a raised topography, that is the reason as to why the weather remains cool throughout the year. However as you plan for your safari, you will have to make your own choice of the tracking dates, since most travelers track in the dry seasons especially between January to February and, June to September. December is always considered to be a buzy season with most travelers within the park hence over crowding.
Congo experiences Two rainy seasons, that is to say , short and long wet season which is in the range of October to November and Mid-March to May respectively. But this doesn’t mean that you cannot track your gorillas in this season, because after the rain down pour,their will be signs of sunlight which makes it suitable for your activity to be carried on.
Congo Easyten gorilla Trekking permits
Just like Mountain gorillas at Virunga, the eastern lowland gorilla trekking permits are always sold at $400 US dollars per head and can easily be booked through a local tour operator or book directly through Kahuzibiega.org. The prices of the permits remains the same (regardless of the season) throughout the year, and early bookings , atleast 3-6 months before the tracking date is highly recommended to avoid inconveniences and the safari itinerary.