The Democratic Republic of Congo is set to open an environmental radio station in Kahuzi Biega National park. Gorilla FM is set to start broadcasting on 20th March 2020 aimed at enlightening local people on environmental protection and the need for wildlife conservation. The idea of opening up an environmental radio station was fit initiated on 13th February 2020 during the international radio day. Radio France Internationale, the leading radio network in the Democratic Republic of Congo, supported the initiative. Gorilla FM will be the first radio station to broadcast live with the protected area. It’s out of the ordinary in away that’s it will be located in the heart of Kahuzi Biega National park one of Congo’s most visited National Parks. All programs broadcast on Gorilla FM will focus on raising local people’s awareness about conservation projects such as planting trees and avoiding deforestation. The target people are the batwa pygimies (over 6000) in Congo forests who have continuously cut down forest trees causing habitat loss for the endangered gorillas.
About Kahuzi Biega National Park
Located in eastern Congo, Kahuzi Biega National Park is the second most visited national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo after Virunga National Park. Spreading over 600,000 hectares, Kahuzi biega National park is home to the endangered eastern lowland gorillas and its the only place to see lowland gorillas. The park is named after two extinct Kahuzi (2,100m) and Biega (2,400m) found in the heart of the park.
Tourist activities in Kahuzi biega National park
Travelers to Kahuzi Biega National have an endless list of unique things to see and do rewarding them with a memorable experience. The top safari activities in Kahuzi Biega National park include trekking eastern lowland gorillas, bird watching; nature/forest walks and volcano climbing among others. A gorilla permit in Congo costs $400, which make it the cheapest gorilla destination for budget travelers
Challenges facing gorilla tourism in Kahuzi Biega National Park
Over time, gorilla tourism in Kahuzi Biega National Park and Congo as a whole has been hindered by numerous challenges. Deforestation is a major challenge hindering gorilla tourism in Kahuzi Biega Park. Local people have continuously cut trees for firewood, building poles and burning charcoal. Illegal hunting is also common in Kahuzi Biega National Park. In the period of 2 years, Kahuzi Biega National Park has lost over 70% of its eastern lowland gorillas to poaching, hunting and habitat loss.
What to expect from Gorilla FM broadcast
The tourism fraternity in the Democratic Republic of Congo expects a lot from the launching of a gorilla radio in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Firstly, local people will be made aware of gorilla conservation and its benefits. Also, Congo expects the population of eastern lowland gorillas to increase with reduced poaching, hunting and loss of gorilla habitats. Gorilla FM will also provide employment opportunities to local people who will broadcast different shows. Tourist numbers will automatically rise hence increased foreign exchange earning in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to conservation programs, the Gorilla FM will also broadcast magazines, music and newspapers on education, health, fishing, breeding, and agriculture among others.
Partners of Gorilla FM
Radio France Internationale, Swiss Cooperation and other Non-Governmental Internews provide technical and financial support to Congo’s Gorilla FM.
The opening of a gorilla radio station in Kahuzi Biega National Park is a great achievement for the tourism industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo.