Maiko National Park is located in one of the most remote forest areas in Democratic Republic of Congo covering an area of 10,885 square kilometers. The Park comprises of three sectors straddling the states of Prince Orientale, Nord (North) Kivu and Maniema. Nord Kivu borders Lake Kivu to its eastern direction with its capital being Goma. The other two cities in the province are; Butembo and Beni though it is also made up of six territories such as; Beni, Lubero, Masisi, Rutshuru, Nyiragongo and Walikale. The only home to Mountain gorillas in Congo and entire Central Africa (Virunga National Park) is also found in the North/Nord Kivu. Therefore since the Park’s Nord Kivu province resides Virunga, visitors to the Park can also go for Mountain gorilla tracking.
Maiko national park resides some of Africa’s best wildlife species including the African forest elephants. Elephants are among the species in Africa’s big five which are so famous to many African tourists and fortunately a visitor to Maiko will be able to view the elephants in the Park. The Park also protects eastern lowland gorillas which in Congo are only found in the Park and in Kahuzi Biega National Park.
Congo gorilla permit costs US$ 400 which can be purchased for you by your tour agency and enjoy the gorilla trekking activity which offers an experience of a lifetime due to the amazing behaviors the gorillas possess. For a great and complete gorilla safari you can also visit the nearby Virunga national park for trekking the rare endangered Mountain gorillas thus leaving Congo with interesting memories about gorillas and also experience the differences and similarities between lowland and Mountain gorillas.
Since the Park is located in a remote area, it is thus less visited but really it is a destination you should not miss to visit because it is abundantly gifted with many amazing wildlife species such as elephants, eastern lowland gorillas along with the eastern chimpanzees. The Park consists of many interesting activities for visitors to do such as; gorilla tracking, chimpanzee tracking, game viewing, bird watching and many others.
The park is a home of Congo’s endemic animals others include; Okapis, aquatic genets and the Congo pea-fowls plus leopards can also be viewed in the Park. 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. 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 and thus travelers are always emphasized to carry camping gears as they will stay with the local community.