Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page
Le Parc du Kahuzi-Biega

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 1980
Size of heritage: 600,000 ha

Longitude: 28,750°
Latitude: -1,500°


A vast area of primary tropical forest dominated by two spectacular extinct volcanoes, Kahuzi and Biega, the park has a diverse and abundant fauna. One of the last groups of eastern lowland (graueri) gorillas (consisting of only some 250 individuals) lives at between 2,100 and 2,400 m above sea-level.

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Kahuzi-Biega National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the provinces of South-Kivu and Maniema in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This national park is renowned for its exceptional biodiversity and is home to the endangered eastern lowland gorilla, making it a significant conservation area in Africa.


The park was established in 1970 and was initially named after its two dormant volcanoes, Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega. It was primarily created to protect the eastern lowland gorilla population, which was facing severe threats due to poaching and habitat destruction. The park's boundaries were expanded in 1975 to encompass a larger area, ensuring the preservation of a wider range of ecosystems and species.

Throughout its history, Kahuzi-Biega National Park has faced numerous challenges. The political instability and armed conflicts in the region have had a detrimental impact on the park's management and conservation efforts. During times of conflict, the park's resources were exploited, leading to increased poaching and illegal activities within its boundaries.

Current State

Despite the challenges it has faced, Kahuzi-Biega National Park remains an important conservation area and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It covers an area of approximately 6,000 square kilometers and is characterized by diverse landscapes, including dense rainforests, bamboo forests, and open savannahs.

The park is renowned for its rich biodiversity, with over 1,000 plant species, including several endemic and endangered ones. It is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the eastern lowland gorilla, chimpanzees, forest elephants, and numerous bird species.

Efforts to protect and conserve the park's unique ecosystems and wildlife have been ongoing. The park is managed by the Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation (ICCN) and various international conservation organizations. These organizations work together to combat poaching, promote sustainable tourism, and engage local communities in conservation initiatives.

One of the key conservation programs in Kahuzi-Biega National Park is the protection of the eastern lowland gorilla. The park is home to one of the largest populations of this critically endangered species, and conservation efforts focus on monitoring their numbers, protecting their habitat, and raising awareness about their importance.

However, the park still faces significant challenges. Poaching remains a threat, driven by the demand for bushmeat and the illegal wildlife trade. The political instability in the region also hampers effective park management and law enforcement. Additionally, the encroachment of human settlements and agriculture poses a risk to the park's ecosystems.


Kahuzi-Biega National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a UNESCO World Heritage site of immense ecological importance. Despite the challenges it faces, the park continues to be a vital conservation area, protecting endangered species and unique ecosystems. Ongoing efforts to combat poaching, engage local communities, and promote sustainable tourism are crucial for the long-term preservation of this remarkable natural heritage site.