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Exploring Tourism in Congo, Democratic Republic
Congo, Democratic Republic
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Congo, Democratic Republic Popular Places to Visit

Bateke Plateau National Park

A better way to refer to this park is as ‘Gorilla Land.’ One of Africa’s highlights is its wildlife population, and this national park doesn’t disappoint. Its natural and cultural significance has earned it a UNESCO National Heritage Site title, giving it recognition worldwide.

The park stretches for about 2,034 kilometers and spans from the Congolese border through the very southern part of Gabon. Visitors will find the park full of scrublands, grassy savannahs, and thick forests as well as elephants, monkeys, tigers, birds, and gorillas. Due to the laid back political system, the park is easy to visit and can be explored by boat and also by foot.

Kinshasa, Congo

Boyoma Falls

Once called Stanley Falls, Boyoma Falls is a long series of cataracts located along the Lualaba River. After an overall drop of 61 metres and at the end of the seventh cataract, the river merges with the Congo River. The Wagenya fishing tribe live in the region and after generations of living along this unique river, they’ve developed special methods to catch fish. You’ll see their wooden tripods in the rapids, resting in the natural holes formed in the rocks by the running water. The tripods hold baskets that serve as nets for the fishermen.

Kinshasa, Congo

Falls Of Zongo

Located in Bas-Congo (about 130 km from the city of Kinshasa), the Falls of Zongo represent Mother Earth at her best.  If you’re looking for a few days outside of the city, the Falls are a great option.  You can tent camp or rent a bungalow and explore the area for a couple of nights.  Enjoy hiking and taking a cool dip below the falls.

Kinshasa, Congo

Maiko

In a country of remote locations and national parks, Maiko is the DRC’s most inaccessible national park.  It is also the only park where you’ll find all three of the country’s endemic species: the Okapi, the Congo peafowl, and the Grauer gorilla.  And don’t forget chimpanzees, elephants, leopards, and bongos.  Though it’s not well known or well visited, the forest represents an enormous carbon sink and its future protection is globally important to addressing climate change.  

Within Maiko’s borders are the Simba Mai Mai people, who fled here in the 1960’s seeking a kind of political asylum. Today, the government is working to resettle the roughly 700 inhabitants in order to protect the forest.

Kinshasa, Congo

Okapi Wildlife Reserve

This UNESCO World Heritage Reserve is unique for the large variety of primates and exotic birds that call it home.  There are incredibly opportunities for trekking to some even more incredible waterfalls within the reserve.  

The landscape along the Epulu and the Ituri rivers is simply stunning. Also calling the reserve home are the pygmy nomad tribes of the Efe and Mbuti hunters.  It’s a great place to see the endangered Okapi (about one-sixth of the entire population are found here).

Kinshasa, Congo

Salonga National Park

Salonga is both the DRC and Africa’s largest tropical rainforest.  In this UNESCO World Heritage Site you’ll find several endangered species including the Congo peacock, dwarf chimpanzees, forest elephants, and the slender-snouted crocodile. The park is quiet isolated and you must take a boat to reach it.  This vital ecosystem is so large that it plays an important role in climate regulation for the entire country.

Kinshasa, Congo

Garamba National Park

This national park is filled with unending grasslands and savannahs.  And these are filled with elephants, giraffes, hippos, black rhinos, and white rhinos.  Garamba National Park is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and an amazing sanctuary for several endangered species.  It’s rare to see so many different classifications of large mammals sharing the same space and that makes a visit to the park an absolute must.

Kinshasa, Congo

Kahuzi Biega National Park

Named after the 3,000+ metre Mt. Kahuzi and the 2,700+ metre Mt. Biega this spectacular national park is located in the South Kivu Province and stretches from the Congo River basin to Bukavu. Kahuzi and Biega are extinct volcanoes that now afford some incredible hiking. 

It was created in 1970 in order to protect the Eastern Lowland Gorillas and just ten years later was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gorilla poaching has been a problem for decades but thanks to the park authority, a dedicated education effort is ongoing. Today, the gorillas are still endangered, but their quality of life has improved and conditions are improving year each year. You’ll find incredible biological diversity in the park like endemic plants, elephants, chimps, genet, antelope, and serval.

Bukavu, Congo

Lola Ya Bonobo

Lola Ya Bonobo is a sanctuary for orphaned bonobos and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Kinshasa area. The bonobos are hunted for bush meat, and when a mother is killed, the babies are often taken and sold on the black market as pets.  

The sanctuary tries to recover as many as possible so that they can live out their lives in safety.  One of the four great apes, bonobos have been relatively isolated until the 20th century.  The sanctuary covers 30 hectares of forest and you can visit the several feeding stations that the staff use to help track the apes.  The sanctuary also accepts volunteers.

Kinshasa, Congo

Mayombe Mountains

Spread over 2000 sq.km, this region is the southern-western part of the tropical rainforest in the Congo Basin. It falls into three countries of Africa, namely, Angola, the Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is still to be a protected area, and soon to be made into a biosphere reserve.

Brazzaville, Congo