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Democratic Republic of Congo
With tropical rainforests, glacial mountains and open savannahs, the Democratic Republic of Congo is a secretive wilderness sheltering a number of rare and endemic species including the rare bonobo chimpanzee. The forest bais play host to the great numbers of forest elephant and lowland gorillas which populate the rainforests.
The Democratic Republic of Congo includes part of the large and fertile Congo Basin. This is the second largest tropical rainforest in the world. Here you’ll find species of mammal, birds and plants that are scarce or non-existent elsewhere in Africa.
With some incredibly rare species, as well as plenty of endemic ones, the Democratic Republic of Congo is the naturalist’s dream.
- This is the only place in the world to see the rare bonobo chimpanze (they’re also sometimes called Pygmy Chimpanzees)
- both species of chimpanzee can be found here, as well as mountain gorillas, okapi and rhino
- the okapi is an animal endemic to this region of Africa, and it looks like a zebra, although it is most closely related to the giraffe
- other native animals include the buffalo, forest elephant and manatee, all can all be found in the forests
- 86% of the worlds remaining eastern lowland gorillas are found in the Kahuzi-Biega National Park
- a high percentage of the the world’s remaining mountain gorilla are found in three of the national parks – including Virunga National Park on the eastern border with Uganda
- the DRC has a great reputation for birding. Species include the black-collared lovebird, blue-headed dove and handsome francolin.
Most ecologically diverse region on the planet
It’s known world-wide for its links to the great apes and other important primates, as well as the classically “deep and dark” African jungles of legend and myth. Beautiful and protective of her secrets, the DRC still guards many mysteries by a mixture of physically challenging access and a discouraging political situation – it is thought that many, many species of flora and fauna are yet to be discovered in her borders.
More background information (link to More about DRC)
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Kahuzi-Biega in eastern DRC is essentially two impressive extinct volcanoes designated as a national park primarily to preserve the habitat of the gorillas
Virunga National Park was Africa's first national park and classified a world heritage site in 1979; it protects several families of mountain gorillas