Activities in Virunga National Park

Wildlife In The Democratic Republic of Congo

Wildlife In The Democratic Republic of Congo: The Democratic Republic of the Congo is an important biodiversity-protection country in Africa. It has the most species of almost every form of creature, save flora, where it is second only to South Africa.

The okapi, Grauer’s gorilla, bonobo, and Congo peacock are among the notable unique species found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More than half of Africa’s tropical forests are found here. Dense forests and woodlands cover more than half of the DRC’s total land area of 2.3 million km2 and are critical to maintaining global climate cycles.

It has an abundance of natural resources. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is rich in coltan, which is utilized in a range of electrical devices, as well as copper, gold, and a number of other precious minerals. It is also one of the world’s leading producers of industrial diamonds.

Wildlife in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is well known as the world’s top destination for lowland gorillas and wild chimps, who are frequently found in the dense areas of rainforest that make up the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest expanse. This is without a doubt one of Africa’s least-known destinations, with excellent wildlife safari potential. Other species and natural features will pique tourists’ curiosity, and the number of quality campgrounds offering perfect bases for exploration is expanding.

Plant life is abundant and varies according to the climatic zone. The Congo Basin’s center is covered by an extensive vegetation system known as the equatorial rainforest. Trees grow to heights of 130 to 160 feet (40 to 50 meters), and different plant kinds and species thrive. Tropical climatic zones are characterized by grasslands and woods, whereas mangrove stands dominate the coastal wetlands and the mouth of the Congo. The eastern plateaus are covered in grasslands, while the highest slopes are covered with mountain forests, bamboo thickets, and Afro-Alpine flora.

The central basin is a massive reservoir of indigenous trees and flora. Timber is provided by mahogany, ebony, limba, wenge, agba, iroko, and Sapele. Raffia and sisal are examples of fibrous vegetation. Traditional medicines include cinchona (a source of quinine) and rauwolfia (an emetic and antihypertensive), as well as copal, rubber, and palm trees. Many edible mushrooms grow wild, as do other wild edible veggies in woods, meadows, and marshes. Imported eucalyptus trees grown in highland stands are utilized for building lumber and poles.

Animal life is likewise varied and abundant. Chimpanzees are usually found in the equatorial jungle, whereas gorillas may be found in the eastern mountains surrounding Lake Kivu. Bonobos are also prevalent, although only in lowland rainforests along the Congo River’s south bank. Elephants, as well as numerous monkey and baboon species, may be found in forest and savanna woods; African forest elephants (a smaller, separate type of elephant) are only found in the forest.

Okapi, gigantic wild boars, and short antelopes dwell in the northern primary forests of Uele, Aruwimi, and Ituri. The grasslands are home to lions and leopards, as well as jackals, hyenas, cheetahs, wildcats, wild dogs, buffaloes, antelopes, wild pigs, and black and white rhinoceroses. Giraffes live primarily in the northern grasslands.

In the rivers and lakes, hippopotamuses and crocodiles are plentiful, while whales, dolphins, and lungfish may be seen along the coast. Congolese rivers, lakes, and swamps are teeming with a diverse range of fish, including capitaine from the Congo River and catfish, as well as electric fish, eels, cichlids, and many others. Lake Tanganyika is home to jellyfish. Reptiles such as pythons, vipers, and tree cobras are prevalent, as are lizards, chameleons, salamanders, frogs, and turtles.

Pelicans, parrots, several sunbird species, pigeons, ducks, geese, eagles, vultures, cuckoos, owls, cranes, storks, and swallows are among the birdlife. Insects are numerous. There are hundreds of butterfly species; butterflies fill the skies with the start of the rain in the savanna forests. Bees, grasshoppers, caterpillars, praying mantises, beetles, dragonflies, scorpions, mosquitoes, tsetse flies, ants, termites, spiders, centipedes, and millipedes are also common.

Mountain Gorillas in Virunga National Park.

Together with Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the Virunga Mountains, an incredible chain of nine volcanoes in various stages of extinction, dormancy, and activity that traverses the borders of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda, are the last remaining habitat of mountain gorillas. When arranging a gorilla adventure, one of the most often asked questions is whether to visit Rwanda or Uganda. It may be ridiculous to assert that one location is preferable to another, but there are differences to consider that may assist you in making your decision.

Mountain gorillas can be seen at Virunga National Park when on a gorilla trekking safari in Congo. The national is located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s eastern region, close the borders with Rwanda and Uganda.

The park is part of the Virunga massif, which also includes Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. The Virunga massif is well-known for its varied biodiversity and for being one of Africa’s oldest wildlife conservation areas. The European conservation movement established the Virunga National Park in 1925, making it Africa’s oldest national park.

Mountain gorillas are the second largest subspecies of gorillas. They have more fur on their body since they live at a higher height. They consume exclusively vegetation, notably tree branches, shoots, vines, and leaves, as do all gorilla subspecies. Mountain gorillas are not violent. They go from place to place in quest of food and shelter. Despite their intimidating look and weight of up to 160 kilograms, mountain gorillas are typically amiable animals. They are also extremely social primates, living in groups of 6 to 30 individuals.

Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park.

Wildlife In The Democratic Republic of Congo
Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park

The largest gorilla subspecies is the eastern lowland gorilla, with adult males weighing more than 210 kg. Kahuzi Biega National Park may have the largest number of eastern lowland gorillas. The eastern lowland gorilla is a friendly animal, as are other gorilla subspecies. Unless provoked, it will not attack or become aggressive. Even when they were upset, they would try to scare away guests by barking or banging their chests. Like other gorilla subspecies, the Grauer’s gorilla spends most of its time on the ground.

A gorilla permit for hiking eastern lowland gorillas in Congo costs $400 USD, and visitors are urged to schedule their permits at least 6 months in advance. Our gorilla safaris to the Kahuzi Biega national park include pick-up and drop-off in Kigali, making it simpler for tourists visiting Rwanda.

Best Time to view wildlife in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The long dry season, which lasts from May to September, is the greatest time to view wildlife in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; nevertheless, planning a Congo safari is totally dependent on the weather. The Congo has an equatorial climate, which implies that humidity is prevalent all year.

Other Spectacular Wildlife found in the Democratic Republic of Congo include;

  • Congo Peafowl
  • African Forest Elephant
  • Chimpanzees
  • Bonobos
  • Forest Buffalo
  • Okapi
  • Bongo
  • Aardvark
  • African civet
  • African Leopard
  • Allen’s swamp monkey
  • Manatee
  • Blue monkeys
  • Bush pigs
  • Common duiker
  • Dwarf crocodile
  • Common eland
  • Western lowland gorillas
  • Honey badger
  • Johnston’s Chameleon
  • Kob
  • Grey parrot
  • Greater Kudu
  • Lions
  • Monitor Lizard
  • Olive baboons
  • Oribi
  • Pangolin
  • Yellow-backed duiker
  • Topi
  • Waterbucks and so many more
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