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.
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.
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).
UNESCO’S WORLD HERITAGE SITES OF CONGO
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check out our previous articles on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites of:
(All photos are taken from GoogleImage.com and they all belong to their original owners)