More about the Congo Basin
The Congo Basin encompasses about a quarter of the world's rainforests, and is second only to the Amazon as the world's biggest unbroken area of rainforest. Essential to global climate and conditions, it acts as an important carbon dioxide sink and an immensely huge conservation zone for a wide range of flora, fauna, people and habitats.
We've concentrated on the three countries whose territories make up parts of the Congo Tri-Basin National Park, although it covers a total of seven countries.
There are amazingly over 1010 bird species in this area, with great potential for more to be discovered, and the last count put mammals at over 400 species. Similar importance is put on the human population, resident for at least 50,000 years and intrinsically connected to the forest within which they live. Of particular interest are the pygmy Ba'Aka tribe with whom it's possible to do safaris with - see our recommended tours for the Congo
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Image courtesy of Mama Africa
Central African Republic is approximately 1.5 times the size of France with a population of around 3.3 million people. The population is made up of 11 different ethnic groups.
A large part of CAR is covered by savannah and woodland. In the south however, there remains several million hectares of rainforest, much of which is exploited by forest concessions. The main revenues for CAR are derived from wood & diamonds – approximately 70% of the state revenue.
The south section of the Central African Republic has two extensive fluvial systems that flow south towards the Congo River, namely the Oubangui River and the Sangha River. To the north, the Chari–Lagone system flows into Lake Chad. CAR is thus found on the dividing line between the waters of Lake Chad and the Congo Basin
The capital of the Republic of the Congo - Brazzaville, is well sited on the Congo River and is immediately opposite Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Surrounded by 5 countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic in the norht, Gabon to the West, the enclave of Cabinda (Angola) to the south and DRC to the east.
The country’s main wealth is derived from petroleum products, diamonds and natural gas. Most of the sparse population inhabits the south-west, leaving the tropical jungles largely uninhabited in the north. A total population of around 4 million as of July 2011 of which about 2 million live in Brazzaville and Point-Noire!The population is therefore some of the most urbanised in Africa with 85% of the population living in cities.
The weather is equatorial and therefore consistent year round. A short dry season January to February, a short rainy season March to April, a long dry season is May to September, a long rainy season from October to December. The north is equatorial, hot and humid while the south is tropical and humid with slightly less rain from Occtober to May and a dry period from June to September.
Parks and reserves include: Ile Mbamou Island; Lefini Reserve - the country's best known reserve; The Lesio Louna Gorilla Reserve - north of Brazzaville and is dedicated to the protection of gorillas in the Congo; Nouabale-Ndoki National Park - the largest and most remote of Congo's national parks and reserves, located in the far north.; Tiger Fish Congo Camp.
Cameroon is one of the most diverse countries in Africa & is often referred to as “Africa in Miniature”. Douala is not the capital of Cameroon but is the most significant due to the size of the population & its economic role.
Douala’s port handles 95% of the countries maritime traffic & is second only to Kinshasa as Central Africa’s largest city. Despite this, it is crudely dubbed the ‘armpit of Africa” as it is a noisy, sweaty place, lacking in major sights. The center of the city, called Akwa, is a lively place with some quite good African restaurants