Maiko National Park is one of Congo’s oldest and largest national parks that covers about 10,885 square kilometers but is divided into three sectors, straddling the states of Nord Kivu, province Orientale, and Maniema. Besides that, it’s a great conservation site to see the African forest elephant, and eastern chimpanzee as well as the endemic aquatic genet, and it is governed by Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature. More so, the park was the first gazette in 1949 by the Belgian colonial government to protect several wildlife species including chimpanzees, Congo peafowl, aquatic, Okapi, African forest elephants, and the Eastern lowland gorilla and one of the great locations to go learn about chimpanzee conservation. Although sadly, the park experienced threat and defeat in 1964, the remaining Simba rebels found home shelter within the park and resorted to poaching to sustain themselves. Other rebel groups like the Hutu also were part of atrocities during the Rwanda genocide.
Despite this fact, all the threats the park faced were solved by different international wildlife organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society, the ICCN, WCS, and WWF among other important organizations.
Things to do at Maiko National Park;
They include; Primates, birding, nature walks, and visiting the vegetation in tropical rainforests among others.
Gorilla trekking –Lowland gorillas
This is a fantastic life experience which starts in the morning after your breakfast, after going for a short briefing about the rules of gorillas. Then after meeting up with your local guide to group you to your assigned gorilla families and the activity can take about 30 to 6 hours while tracking them. Once you find them an hour is given to you to experience the life of these unique species as you also enjoy taking unforgettable photography.
Gorilla trekking gear on the Congo gorilla tours
One to be able to enjoy your Congo safari excursion, you need the best approach to accomplish a comfortable dressing code or packing items such as energy-giving snacks, insect repellent, a lightweight pair of waterproof hiking boots, a pair of hiking gloves, a pair of trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, long socks, a decent light waterproof jacket, comfortable hiking shoes, cotton socking’s, hat, clothes must be in dull colors.
Birding; This is one of the best places to go enjoy birding on Congo tours where you expect to see bird species such as; egrets, herons, kingfishers, broadbills, pitas, sparrows, cormorants, and turacos among others.
Wildlife viewing; The park has got thrilling vegetation that inhabits various animal species like forest elephants, Okapis, Congo peacocks, leopards, aquatic genet, and eastern chimpanzees among others thus making it an unforgettable lifetime experience.
Guided nature walks; You can go for a guided nature walk which is conducted through the thickly forested wilderness of the park and on the river banks of river Oslo and the river Lindi where you can be able to spot various species.
Location; Maiko National Park is a beautiful reserve found in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo few drives from Bukavu in the Great Western Rift Valley to the south of Lake Kivu at the Rwandan border and Kisangani which lies at the Great Westward Bend of the Congo River about 320 miles ‘’515 kilometers’’ to the northwest.
Where to stay; The park has got a few sleeping accommodations but on easy to note, you can visit the park with your camping equipment because the park has got enough space and is safe for your stay.
When to visit the park; Maiko National Park lies near the equators where southern highlands have a chilly, dry environment with a cold, alpine temperature as well as a stunning river basin that has a humid climate. Meaning the park can be visited throughout the year. You can opt to do a combined tour package a visit to Maiko and Bwindi Impenetrable National park to encounter activities like nature walk, birding , Batwa experience, or mountain gorilla trekking among many others.