Maiko national park is found in the eastern part of the Democratic republic of Congo situated near the western rift valley West of Kisanganisouth of Lake Kivu boardering Rwanda. The park covers an area of about 10,885 kilometers squared divided into three sectors of Maniema, Kivu and Orientale. The park is in one of the most remote areas of Congo hence very primitive tribes.
Maiko national park was first declared as Bakumu hunting reserve in the year of 1949 by the Belgian colonial government with the word being derived from the people who lived around the park known as the “Kumus”. In 1970 Maiko wasdeclared as a nationalpark though it still suffered poaching from rebels known as Simba in 1964 this led to the decline of wildlife within the park as they carried out poaching and mining and in 2005 a researcher was killed within the park by poachers.
Maiko national park boast with very rich diversity hence supportingvarious wildlife, the park is characterized by tropical rainforests and two rivers Oslo and Lindi. The park contain three of Congo’s endangered species that is Congo peafowl, okapi and the Grauers gorilla.
Activities at Maiko national park
Tourists can go on a gorilla trekking safari at the great Maiko national park and encounter eastern low land gorillas and the endangered Grauers only endemic to Congo, there are also a number of other primates that tourists can come across during their gorilla trekking some of the primates are: red tailed monkey, chimpanzees, okapi and many more it’s said that gorillas in Maiko number up to 800.
A part from gorilla trekking tourists can go on a game drive and enjoy spectacular views of other wild life such as; African forest elephants, leopards, bongo, aquatic Genet, okapi and Congo peafowl to mention a few.
Bird watching at Maiko national park can be done at various areas even while on a game drive or during gorilla trekking
Best time to visit
The Congo basin likes within the equator and the climate is hot and humid with rainy seasons but the best time when roads are easily passable is in the drier season and for clearer views of wildlife as the vegetation won’t be thick.
Where to stay
Maiko national park has got very limited accommodation; most times travellers are advised to come with their camping gears and camp within the villages of the park or at any designated camping site.
How to get there
Maiko national park can be reached by road or air transport it approximately 515 kilometers from Kisangani town, there is a one road leading to small villages within the park from Bafwasende, the roads are not well established so make sure your vehicle is a four wheel drive and in good condition.