The DR Congo (DRC) is a vast country in terms of area and natural reserves, with incredible biodiversity. The DRC has large forests, almost 10% of the world’s reserve, 35% of Africa’s reserve, and several species of very interesting animals. So it will be the focus of this article based on the video from the Congotalks243 YouTube channel to give you a taste of the incredible biodiversity of the DRC.

Let’s find out together.

Congolese National Parks

  • The Salonga National Park

The Salonga National Park was created on November 30, 1925. It has an area of 36,000 km² and is the largest rainforest reserve in Africa. It is located in the western part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is a park that especially describes Congolese biodiversity as a whole, from rainforests, rare grasses, rivers, and beaches, Salonga has something to make you dream for a memorable visit. It holds various animal species: the most famous are elephants and 40% of the world’s Bonobo apes are housed there. Also the Congolese peafowls, a magnificent bird belonging exclusively to the DRC, leopards, antelopes, fish and more can be found there.

  • The Okapi wildlife reserve

Located in the Ituri forest in the northeastern part of the DRC, the Okapi Wildlife Reserve covers an area of 14,000 square kilometers and was established in 1992. This magnificent forest is filled with Okapi animals, around 10,000 individuals, which is what earned it the name of Okapi  Wildlife Reserve. It protects in addition to the Okapi, several forest elephants, like the Salonga Park, and more than 100 other species of mammals, magnificent birds, forests, waterfalls, etc. It will be useful to remember that Okapi is the animal symbol of the DRC, it is half giraffe and half zebra.

  • The Upemba National Park 

If you want to visit the Haut-Katanga and the Haut-Lomami, the Upemba National Park will warmly welcome you to discover and observe the splendor of its fabulous wildlife, its flying birds and their pleasant sounds. It was established in 1939 and it protects baboons, herds of zebras, lions, elephants, reptiles, antelopes, buffaloes, Ourebis, and many other magnificent species on an area of more than 11,000 Km². You will also find tropical woodland vegetation, rainforest, lakes such as the Upemba and Kisale etc.

  • The Maïko National Park

With an area of over 10,000 Km², the Maiko National Park is located in the southeastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Orientale province and South Kivu. It has wonderful biodiversity characterized by an exceptional fauna that includes animals endemic to the DRC such as the Okapi, the lowland gorillas, the Congolese peafowls, forest elephants, pangolins, and Chimpanzees.

  • The Virunga National Park

The Virunga National Park was established in 1925 covering an area of more than 8000 km². The park holds savannahs, dense forests, snow, and active volcanoes such as the Nyamulagira and Nyiragongo. The park attracts several tourists each year. 

The Virunga National Park is the park that has the greatest variety of fauna and flora in the DRC. In fact, it is the richest in biodiversity in the whole of Africa. Not only does it protect the mountain gorillas of the eastern plains, it also protects hippos, elephants, reptiles, chimpanzees, amphibians, lions and the famous Okapi animal totems of the DRC, and many other different mammals, emblematic birds, sublime waters like the warm river of Rwindi.

  • The Kundelungu National Park

The Kundelungu National Park was established in 1970 and is located in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, 180 km from the city of Lubumbashi in Haut-Katanga. The park is a joy to explore in an area of 7000 Km². It has wonderful wildlife that includes zebras, antelopes, buffalos, leopards, cheetahs, lions, baboons and much more. 

Kundelungu National Park also has a wonderful view of its highlands, for example, the Kundelungu plateau from which it takes its name, its rivers and the fabulous waterfalls, the highest in Central Africa: the Lofoï falls, which is a tributary of the Lufira which in turn is a tributary of the Congo River.

  • The Kahuzi Biega National Park

The Kahuzi-Biega National Park is located near the city of Bukavu in the eastern  part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, it was established in 1970, taking its name from two large mountains: Mount Biega and Mount Kahuzi. Apart from its diversity of wildlife and flora, the park is home to very exceptional animals such as Mountain Gorillas, a species endemic to the DRC, and several elephants. It covers an area of 6000 Km².

  • The Garamba National Park

On an Area of about 5000 Km², in the North-Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo at the border with South Sudan, the park was established in 1938. The Garamba National Park is a great place to visit. Grassy savannas, dense dry forests, gallery forests, and magnificent vegetation in general make its biodiversity more unique and more attractive. 

Its wildlife is of incomparable wonder, it is so adorable to watch white rhinos, hundreds of elephants crossing its forest, giraffes tasting green grass, lions in its dry forest, and many other superb species.

  • The Lomami National Park

The Lomami National Park was established in 2016 and is located in the north-central part of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the middle of the Lomami River. It covers an area of over 8,000 km².

It has great landscapes including beautiful savannahs, tropical forests and hills. The park also has a variety of species endemic to the DRC, such as the Congolese peafowls, the Bonobos, the Okapi, and a species of primate freshly discovered in the DRC the Lesula that you might like to visit as we highly recommend.

Facts to know about the Congolese Biodiversity

  • Okapi, Oriental lowland gorillas, and elephants are endangered species. 
  • Most of the species listed above are threatened by deforestation, meat trade, and poaching in general.
  • The Virunga Park, Kundelungu, Salonga, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Kahuzi-biega etc… are world heritage sites.
  • The DRC also has a marine park called the Mangrove Marine Park located on the northern shore of the DRC in the province of Central Congo, a world jewel.

If you want to visit one of these wonders to discover the splendor of the incredible Congolese biodiversity I urge you to leave the fear behind you because you might run into lions or tigers 🙂

In the meantime discover the DRC through our articles on Congotalks243, and follow us on your preferred social media platform: Instagram (@congotalks243 and @yafelie), Twitter (@congotalks243), TikTok (@yafelie and @congotalks243), Facebook (@CongoTalks243) and LinkedIn (@CongoTalks243), and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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