MAIKO NATIONAL PARK
Maiko national park is one of the rich ecological national parks in Africa located in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The park is in one of the most remote forested areas of the country covering over 10,885 sq.km2 (4,203 sq. miles) and its divided into three sectors i.e. Province Orientale, Maniema and Nord Kivu.
Maiko national park is an important site for the conservation of African forest elephants, eastern chimpanzees and the endemic aquatic genets. It also has 3 of the country’s spectacular endemic animals namely the Grauer’s Gorillas, the Okapi, and the Congo Peafowl that make it a must visit park while visiting Congo.
The park is the best conservation area for tracking the lowland Gorillas after the Kahuzi Biega in the whole of D.R Congo, and still one of the best places for primate viewing. The park has miles of trails for hiking and forest walks for visitors who love hiking making it suitable place to exercise your body.
The park is home to numerous endemic and rare species that haven’t yet been documented. However, the presence of former rebels who have made settlements in the park, along with poaching and illegal mining, meaning that many species are threatened with some falling victims of extinction for example, a new gorilla subspecies that was first documented in a 2005 survey was not found in the 2010 survey and its believed to have extinct.
Things to do Maiko national park
This is the common activity in the park to the variety of wildlife species that are present in abundance including the African forest elephants, eastern chimpanzees, lowland Gorillas, the Okapi, the Congo Peafowl, bongo, leopards among others. The park is estimated to have over 800 lowland Gorillas. Game viewing can be done as you go to the while with a safari guide in a safari vehicle to view these animals while resting of feeding in their habitants.
This is another amazing activity done in the park by travelers who love birds for you go inside the forests to spend time listening to the bird sounds as well as seeing them by the use of binoculars and being guided by a bird guide. On your birding trip, you will have a chance to see hundreds of these bird species like the broadbills, pitas, sparrows, cormorants, herons, kingfisher, turacos and many others that can even be seen while on a game drive or nature walk.
On addition to that, sights and sound is also another activity done when having a birding tour or a nature walk in the forest as you listen to the whisper of the birds and the flow of water in the rivers
Nature walks are also conducted in Maiko national park due to the presence of the hundreds of miles of walking and hiking trails within the national park. Here you can see a number of birds and wildlife including forested cover of the park as you walk through it. This can take you hours to explore abit of this eco-friendly forest and national park. As you are enjoying the nature walk, you will get the chance to walk towards the shores of rivers like River Oslo and river Lindi.
Best time to visit Maiko national park
Maiko national park is located in the Congo basin and it receives a lot of rainfalls. However, it also has some dry seasons that fever tourism activities in the national park. For that case, visitors are advised to travel there during the dry season in (Late July & early September and also in Med-December & late February) when the roads are not slippery to enable smooth navigation and safe drives to and inside the national park.
Accommodation in Maiko national park
The accommodation facilities in Maiko national park range from high-end, mid-range and budget as well.
Maiko national park is less developed compared to other parks in Congo; there are no accommodations in the park so tourists can bring their own camping gear and camp within designated areas or within the village communities
How to get to Maiko national park
You can fly to via Rwanda and land on Kamembe International Airport in Rwanda and thereafter Cross to Congo Via Rusizi 1 Border and enter the greater Bukavu Town, where you can the connect to Maiko national park. To get to the park, you can only access it by road from Bukavu town or half way between Bukavu at the Rwandan border, and Kisangani.
You are also advised to use a tour operator or go through a tour company to handle the entire trip. You are always advised to use a 4×4 vehicle so you find it easy to move through the roads in and towards the park.
When planning a trip to Kenya, consider going through a tour company or a tour operator to do the parking and managing the safari.
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