Democratic Republic of Congo is located in the Central part of the African continent positionally bordering Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi in the East, Central African Republic and South Sudan in the North, Congo Brazzaville in the West, Zambia and Angola in the South.
It’s one of the popular destinations to visit in Africa with different touristic features to encounter. Democratic Republic of Congo is characterized with thick tropical rain forests, Savannah grasslands & Woodlands, and Swampy areas, some of the primates found in the forests of Democratic Republic of Congo include Chimpanzees, Black & White Colobus Monkeys, Red tailed Monkeys, Vervets, Blue Monkeys, Baboons and apes like Mountain and Eastern Lowland Gorillas, Wild animals like Okapi, insects like Butterflies, tsetse flies, bees and more, Reptiles include Snakes like African Cobra, Gabon Viper, black python and more.
Looking forward to doing some adventure gorilla tours in Democratic Republic of Congo, mountain Nyiragongo Volcano is right there for you to do the hiking which usually takes a period of two consecutive days. Below are the top major and popular national parks to visit in Democratic Republic of Congo for your lifetime vacation in the Central part of Africa.
Virunga National Park
This is Democratic Republic of Congo’s giant as far as tourism in the Central part of Africa basing on its face presented picture, it is ranked to be the oldest national park in Africa formerly called Albert national park, it is located in the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo bordering Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and Mgahinga National Park of Uganda inclusive of the Virunga Massif.
It is characterized with tropical rain forests, Savannah grasslands, bamboo forest and some areas covered with Swamps, Virunga National Park is popularly known for the shy endangered Mountain Gorillas in the mist but also Chimpanzees are residents in Tongo forest, other primates in this park include Black & White Colobus Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Red tailed Monkeys, Vervets, and baboons. Not only Mountain Gorillas but it’s also characterized with different bird species.
Kahuzi Biega National Park
This is the second option if not Virunga National Park, it was established in 1970 and occupying an area of 6000km2. This protected area is near Bukavu town in the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo near the Western bank of Lake Kivu and Rwanda border.
A small part of the park is in Mitumba mountain range of the Albertine rift in the great rift valley and the larger part is in lowland terrain, its eastern part of the park is a smaller mountainous region measuring 600km2, the larger part measures 5400km2 and consists mainly of lowland stretching from Bukavu to Kisangani drained by the Luka and Lugulu rivers which flow into the Lualaba river.
Two dormant volcanoes are set with in the park’s limits and lend their names to it, Kahuzi and Biega. The park’s swamps, bogs, marshland and riparian forests on hydromorphic ground at all altitudes are rare worldwide.
The western lowland sector of the park is dominated by dense Guineo – Congolian wet equatorial rain forest with an area of transition forest, the eastern mountainous sector includes continuous forest vegetation and is one of the rare sites in Sub Saharan Africa which demonstrates all stages of low to highland transition including six distinguishable primary vegetation types which include swamps, peat bog, swamp forest, high altitude rain forest, mountain rain forest, bamboo forest and subalpine heather.
This Park is commonly known for the rare Eastern Lowland gorillas and according to 2008 status report of Democratic Republic of Congo, the park had 125 lowland gorillas.
Other Primates in this park include Eastern Chimpanzee and several cercopithecinae, Colobinae and owl faced monkey, some of the mammals include Bush elephant, bush buffalo, hylochere and bongo, aquatic civet, eastern needle clawed galago, Maclaud’s horseshoe bat, Ruwenzori least otter shrew and Alexander’s bush squirrel.
It is also good site for bird watching with different bird species which include yellow crested helmet shrike, Congo peafowl, African green broad bill and Rockefeller’s sun bird. For all Congo gorilla trekking safaris and Chimpanzee Habituation Walk listed above are the right places to go and explore different touristic features in Democratic Republic of Congo.