Maiko national park is located in the Democratic Republic of Congo and its one of the parks located in the country’s remote areas covering 10,885 kilometers squared, the park covers three sectors of Province Orientale, Maniema, and North of Lake Kivu.
Maiko national park was first established by the Belgian government as Bakumu hunting reserve in order to protect land and wildlife from mineral exploitation, Dian Fossy Gorilla fund conducted surveys in the southern part of the park for over a decade in 2005 and documented a gorilla population more than the previous studies.
Maiko hunting reserve gained a status of a national park in November 1970 through a presidential decree by Joseph Desire Mobutu. The gorillas in Maiko national park have also been supported by Dian Fossy fund since 2003, the park is home to estimated 800 lowland gorillas.
Gorilla Trekking, Birds & Wildlife
Maiko is the second destination for trekking eastern lowland gorillas apart from Kahuzi Biega national park, gorilla trekking offers a very fascinating experience with lots of other primates and birds to be seen. Eastern low land gorillas are also another species different from mountain gorillas.
Maiko national park is endowed with various wildlife species such as; Forest elephants, Okapi, aquatic genet, eastern chimpanzees, leopards, eastern lowland gorillas, bush pigs, bushbucks, warthogs and bush pigs to mention a few.
Maiko national park is home to numerous species of birds some of which are endemic to this are some of the examples of birds spotted in the park are; broadbills, pitas, sparrows, cormorants, turacos, egrets, herons, kingfishers, and many others.
Culture & Nature Walks
The rainforests at high altitudes provide the best options for nature walks and hiking 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.
The surrounding communities living at the outskirts of Maiko national park provide authentic cultural experiences, you can visit the locals 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.
Maiko national park is less developed compared to other parks in Congo; there are no accommodations in the park so tourists can bring their own camping gear and camp within designated areas or within the village communities.
Maiko national park can be reached from Okapi wildlife reserve, Benin, Goma or Butembo. Tourists traveling to the park should use four-wheel drive vehicles, especially during the rainy season. The park can be visited all year round but the best time is in the drier months of June to August.