DR Congo National Parks

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About DR Congo National Parks National Parks

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is blessed with a wealth of natural beauty and biodiversity, exemplified by its diverse national parks. From the lush rainforests of Virunga National Park to the pristine wilderness of Garamba National Park, each park offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience.

Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest national park, is home to a remarkable array of wildlife, including endangered mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and the elusive okapi. Garamba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts savannah landscapes teeming with elephants, buffalo, and various antelope species.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park harbors lowland gorillas and is renowned for its biodiversity, while Maiko National Park offers remote and rugged terrain ideal for adventurous exploration. These national parks are not only sanctuaries for wildlife but also play a vital role in conservation, ecotourism, and sustainable development efforts in the DRC.

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DR Congo National Parks's National Parks

Mangroves National Park hanging young chimpanzee

Mangroves National Park

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Virunga National Park baby gorilla hanging

Virunga National Park

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FAQ’s

1. How many national parks are there in the DR Congo?

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is home to a total of 10 national parks. These parks encompass a diverse range of ecosystems, including rainforests, savannahs, and mountainous regions, and are vital for the conservation of the country’s rich biodiversity.

This includes the iconic species such as mountain gorillas, bonobos, and okapis. These national parks also offer opportunities for eco-tourism, research, and sustainable development initiatives in the DRC.

2. What is the largest national park in the DR Congo?

The largest national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is Salonga National Park. It is also one of the largest tropical rainforest reserves in Africa and covers an area of approximately 36,000 square kilometers (about 13,900 square miles).

Salonga National Park is located in the central part of the DRC and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its exceptional biodiversity and conservation value. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including forest elephants, bonobos, Congo peafowls, and numerous bird species.

It serves as a critical refuge for endangered and endemic species and plays a vital role in maintaining the ecological balance of the Congo Basin rainforest ecosystem.

3. What is the smallest national park in the DR Congo?

The smallest national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is Upemba National Park. Covering an area of approximately 10,000 square kilometers (about 3,900 square miles).

Upemba National Park is located in the southeastern part of the DRC, in the province of Haut-Lomami. Despite its relatively small size compared to some other national parks in the country, Upemba National Park is significant for its diverse ecosystems, which include savannahs, woodlands, wetlands, and lakes.

The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, and numerous bird species. Upemba National Park offers opportunities for wildlife viewing, birdwatching, and outdoor recreation, making it a valuable asset for conservation and eco-tourism in the DRC.

4. What was the first national park in the DR Congo?

The first national park established in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was Virunga National Park (Parc National des Virunga). Originally designated as Albert National Park in 1925, it was Africa’s first national park. The park, located in the eastern part of the DRC, covers an area of about 7,800 square kilometers (3,000 square miles).

Virunga National Park is renowned for its diverse habitats, including rainforests, savannahs, and volcanoes, and is home to a remarkable array of wildlife, including endangered mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and various bird species.

The park has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding universal value and plays a crucial role in conservation efforts and eco-tourism in the region.