Maiko National Park – Gorilla Trekking in Congo; 4×4 Africa

Maiko National Park is a national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo that lies in one of the remote forest areas of the country. The park covers an area of approximately 10,885 square kilometers and it is divided into three sectors stretching in the states of Nord Kivu, Province Orientale and Maniema.

In 1949, Maiko national park was first declared as Bakumu hunting reserve by the Belgian colonial government. The word Bakumu was derived from the local people who lived around the park known as the KUMUS. In the year of 1970, Maiko was declared a national park though it still faces some problems like poaching from the Simba rebels. This act led to the decline of wildlife within the park.

Maiko National park is a home to rich diversity hence a habitat to various wildlife. It is a made up of tropical rainforests and two rivers of Oslo and Lindi. The park refugees the three country’s endemic animals including the Grauer’s gorilla, the okapi, and the Congo peafowl. Maiko National Park is also an important destination for the conservation of the eastern chimpanzees, the endemic aquatic genet and the African forest elephant.

Safari activities in the park

Primate trekking

Have a great experience at Maiko National park by taking park in the gorilla trekking experience. The experience is done on the eastern low land gorillas and also the endangered Grauer’s which are only endemic to Congo. While having gorilla trekking, expect to encounter other primate species including the red tailed monkeys, chimpanzees, okapi and others. Maiko national park is estimated to host more than 800 mountain gorillas.

Bird watching

Maiko national park is one of the best destinations for the birders in Democratic Republic of Congo since it is largely covered by the tropical rainforests and also crossed by the two rivers of Oslo and Lindi which are a home to both the forest and water bird species. Among the bird species in the park include the sparrows, turaco, egrets, herons, kingfishers, pitas, broadbills, cormorants, and many different others.

Wildlife of the park

Besides the eastern low land gorillas, Maiko National Park is a home to numerous wildlife species including the African bush elephants, aquatic genet, okapi, Congo peafowl, bongo, leopards and others. All these wildlife can be sighted within the park premises while having a game drive.

How to get to the park

Maiko National park can be accessed by the use of road or air transport. It is approximately 515 kilometers from Kisangani town. The best vehicle to use is a four wheel drive since the roads to the park are not well established.

Best time to visit the park

The best time to visit the park is during the drier months when the roads are dry and passable. In this season, there is clear views of wildlife as the vegetation won’t be thick and the surfaces won’t also be slippery.

Accommodations of the park

Maiko National park has got no accommodation facilities due its remoteness. Due to this factor, travellers are advised to move with their camping gears and camp within the neighboring villages and at the designated camping sites.