Maiko National Park is situated in the remote eastern forested area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the park is the country’s largest National Park covering an area of approximately 10,885 square kilometers. Maiko National Park is divided in three sectors such as straddling the states of Nord Kivu, province Orientale and Maniema. the park was originally established Belgian colonial administration as a Bukuma hunting game reserve in order to prevent the exploitation of mineral resources and the wildlife species but later in 20 November 1970, the park gained its privileges and was gazetted as a National Park through the presidential Decrees by Joseph Desire Mobutu as was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it form parts of the Okapi wildlife reserve and Ituri forest.

Maiko National Park encompasses of dense rainforest, savanna, swamps and rivers, and is a home to three of the country’s prized wildlife such as the Eastern lowland gorillas, the Okapi and the Congo peafowl. The park is also a dwell for African forest elephants, eastern chimpanzees, bush pigs, bush bucks, warthogs and the endemic aquatic genets. Maiko National Park is also a home to a variety of different species of birds including those that are endemic to the area such as broadbill, pitas, sparrows, cormorants, Turaco, egrets, herons, kingfishers among others.

The park is also surrounded with fascinating indigenous communities that provides authentic cultural experiences and adding beauty to the park, visitors can learn more about their lives styles, engaging in their local traditional dances as well as supporting the local communities by buying their local products. However due to the existence of former rebels who had made their homes in the park along with illegal mining and poaching made many species to be threatened with extinction  and agriculture encroachment.

Amazing things to do in Maiko National Park

Eastern lowland gorilla tracking

Gorilla tracking in Maiko National Park is the popular and the main highlight of any safari in the park. The park is a home to a large population of the Eastern lowland gorillas, travelers on a Congo gorilla trekking tours in Maiko National Park never disappointed. Gorilla tracking in the park allows travelers to explore the hidden gems of the remote rainforest in foot in search for this fascinating primates. Eastern lowland gorillas tracking in the park starts early in the morning with a briefing at the park’s headquarters about the gorilla tracking rules and regulations, expectations and carry-on items. After the briefing, you will be assigned one gorilla habituated family, the experienced guide to take through the jungles of the remote rainforest and you will be divided in to a group of 8 individuals. During the walk, you will get a chance to meet with different creatures that dwell in the forest such as African forest elephants, eastern chimpanzees, okapi, and Congo peafowl among others. Once these magnificent primates are located, you will be allowed one hour interaction with them, observing their daily activities such as playing, breastfeeding, feeding among others.

Wildlife viewing

Maiko National Park is a home to astonishing diversity of wildlife including the largest population of okapi, forest elephants, eastern lowland gorillas and chimpanzees, leopard, forest buffalo, bongo antelope, water chevrotain, and a wide variety of birds and insects, are among the wildlife harbored in the Reserve. During your guided wildlife safari in the park, you will get an opportunity to view and observe these exciting animals from their natural habitats.

Bird watching

Maiko National Park boast a variety of different kinds of bird species including those that are endemic to the forested region. Bird watchers can spot various species of these birds as they enjoy the various activities in the park. Bird watching in the park can be done with in the morning or afternoon which allows visitors to track a variety of these fascinating birds such as grey parrots, African fish eagles, great blue Turaco, Rwenzori Turaco, Handsome Francolins, broadbill, pitas, sparrows, cormorants, Turaco, egrets, herons, kingfishers among others.

Guided Nature walks

Nature walks is one of the best way to explore the hidden treasures of the park including its stunning landscape, and wildlife in maiko national park. there are various trails with each leading to unique destinations during the walk you will see various wildlife species, plant species, spectacular views, butterfly species as well as birds including scenic waterfalls where you may spot a variety of forest elephants, forest buffalos Okapi in most successful ways to track down a pride eastern lowland gorillas and may the chimpanzees meandering rivers. Visitors on a Congo guided nature walks in the park get an opportunity to explore lush forest trails, marvel at cascading waterfalls, and immerse yourself in the park’s breathtaking natural beauty.

Cultural encounters

The surrounding communities living at the outskirts of Maiko National Park provide authentic cultural experiences, visitors can engage with the local communities and learn about their ways of lives as you get entertained with local traditional dances, tourists can also support the local communities by buying handmade crafts from them.

Getting there visiting Maiko National park.

Maiko National Park, which is in the dense forest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is only accessible via a 4×4 road that connects Bafwasende to a few villages inside the park. There are other ways to get to Maiko National Park, but these require a four-wheel-drive safari vehicles .Maiko National Park can be reached from Okapi wildlife reserve, Benin, Goma or Butembo.

Maiko National park
Maiko National park

When to visit Maiko National Park

The park can be visited all year round but the best recommended time to visit the park is during the dry season, typically occurring from June to September, is often considered the best time to visit Maiko National Park. During this period, the weather is generally sunny with minimal rainfall, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as wildlife viewing, trekking, and bird watching. The dry conditions also make it easier to navigate the park’s trails and terrain. Visitors are recommended to a void the wet seasons which rains from March to May and then October to November which are characterized by heavy rainfalls and muddy conditions

Accommodation safaris in Maiko National Park

Due to the Park’s location being a remote area, there are no good accommodations within and near the Park except the few budget lodges outside the Park so tourists can bring their own camping gear and camp within designated areas or within the village communities.

book a gorilla safari