Unesco World Heritage Sites of Congo

Gorillas in Congo

Written by Valentina Romano

The Democratic Republic of the Congo—also known as DRC or Congo—is a country located in Central Africa. Most people are not aware that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not the same as the Republic of Congo, which is a nation located on the northern borders of the DRC.

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Congo borders the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, the Atlantic Ocean, and, as mentioned before, the Republic of Congo.


You are probably wondering how a country could border 9 states and one ocean! Well the DRC can, as it is the second largest country in Africa by area, and the eleventh largest in the world.

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The UNESCO selected five natural sites located in the DRC, to protect an safeguard under the World Heritage Sites’ List: Garamba National Park (under UNESCO since 1980), Kahuzi-Biega National Park (1980), Okapi Wildlife Reserve (1996), Salonga National Park (1984), and Virunga National Park (1979).



Garamba National Park
This park features immense savannahs, grasslands, and woodlands. It is home to elephants, giraffes, hippopotamus and white rhinoceros. Garamba National Park is located in the north-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, right in between the dense tropical forests of the Congo Basin and the Guinea-Sudano savannahs.
garamba 1garamba 2 resgaramba 3 resgaramba 4garamba 5 resgaramba 6Parc national de la Garambagaramba 9garamba 10 resgaramba 10agaramba 10bgaramba 11garamba 12garamba 13 inggaramba 14

Kahuzi-Biega National Park

Nestled in a tropical forest, Kahuzi-Biega National Park is renowned for the high density of gorilla habiting the area. The Park contains a flora and fauna of exceptional diversity, and thanks to this, it is considered one of the most important sites in the Rift Albertine Valley—where it’s located. The most important world population of eastern lowland gorillas can be found in this site.
kahuzi 1kahuzi 2 tagkahuzi 3kahuzi 4kahuzi 5kahuzi 6 ingkahuzi 7 ingkahuzi 8kahuzi 9kahuzi 10kahuzi 11kahuzi 12kahuzi 13 tagkahuzi 14kahuzi 15kahuzi 16 tagkahuzi 17kahuzi 18

Okapi Wildlife Reserve

This site is home to numerous endemic and threatened species, including the Okapi, a mammal that looks like a cross between a giraffe and a zebra. The Okapi Wildlife Reserve occupies about one-fifth of the Ituri forest, which is located in the north-east of the DRC. This area presents stunning scenery of waterfalls, rivers and greenery.
okapi 1 resokapi 2okapi 3Réserve de faune à okapisokapi 5 resokapi 6okapi 7 resokapi 8okapi 9 resokapi 10

Salonga National Park

Salonga National Park is considered Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve. It is situated in the central basin of the Congo River, and due to its remote location it can only be reached by boat. Among the animals habiting this park are dwarf chimpanzees, Congo peacocks, elephants and the African slender-snouted crocodiles.
SalongaSalonga 1aForest Aerial - Democratic Republic of the Congo DocumentationSalonga 3Salonga 5Salonga 7SONY DSCSalonga 9 ingSalonga 10 ingSalonga 11Salonga 11aSalonga 11bSalonga 12 ingSalonga 13KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASalonga 15

Virunga National Park

This park, which presents an active chain of volcanoes covering the area, features a varied wildlife. The landscape is a combination of steppes, savannahs, hills and mountains. Virunga National Park includes Rwenzori and Virunga Mountains, which are known for containing two of the most active volcanoes of Africa. The mountain areas are perfect habitat for gorillas.
virunga 1virunga 2 resvirunga 3 resA photo taken on September 15, 2012 andPatrick Karabaranga, a warden at the Virvirunga 6virunga 7 resBerggorillavirunga 9 tagvirunga 10 ingvirunga 11virunga 12virunga 13virunga 14virunga 15

Check out our previous articles on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites of:

Italy     Mexico     Spain     Australia     Germany     South Africa     Thailand     Finland     Indonesia 1 and 2     Bolivia     Ethiopia     Denmark     Guatemala      Austria     Armenia     Croatia


(All photos are taken from GoogleImage.com and they all belong to their original owners)

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