There’s no other name of any country in the world that spurs our wildest imagination for adventure than the great country of Congo. This nation sits right at the very center of Africa and is the continent’s second-largest nation in terms of land area. With the vastness of amazing landscapes and terrain, it is no wonder the natural wonders of DR Congo are diverse and abundant.
Welcome to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), a land of awe-inspiring landscapes, vibrant culture, and extraordinary biodiversity. Situated in the heart of Africa, this vast and diverse country offers a plethora of natural attractions that beckon adventurous souls. Join us as we embark on a virtual journey to explore the seven best nature destinations that make the DR Congo an exceptional destination for nature lovers.
On the map, it can be traced along the equator thus containing the second largest, most dense tropical rainforest habitat after the Amazon rainforest. Its strategic location has given rise to many different forms of habitats and a complex river system, one of which is the Congo River where it gets its name. With lush jungles and varied terrains, a visit to the impressive country of Congo will give an exploration of a lifetime.
Quite an intense first destination in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Nyiragongo Volcano is notorious for several eruptions that have occurred in the last decade. It is located in Virunga National Park in the eastern part of Congo and stands towering over the country. What’s more daunting about this volcano is despite erupting multiple times, it is still considered one of the most active volcanoes in the world and one of the least studied as well. There’s nothing more thrilling than taking a hike to the very summit and reveling in the power and majesty of this volcano.
Recorded as the longest lake in the world, Lake Tanganyika ranks second in both size and depth after Lake Baikal. Because of its immensity, it has been considered a landlocked sea instead of a lake and contains hundreds of species of cichlid fishes, of which are native only to the lake. This body of water has become an ideal place to study biodiversity. Alongside being a valuable biological habitat, the peaceful ambiance of Lake Tanganyika has become a destination for tourists. What used to be a German warship has been used to ferry visitors who want to marvel on the grandness of the lake.
There’s no better place to go than visit the natural wonder that gives rise to the country’s name. The Congo River reflects the grandeur of this country as the deepest and 2nd largest river on earth. Along this grandeur is its ability to provide hydroelectric power during heavy outpours of rain. With its complex river tributaries, it also passes through the dense Congo rainforest and flows through as a waterfall in a series of canyons. Historically, it was said that the river holds many lurking beasts deep in its waters. Catch a glimpse of this great river and you might discover a lot more.
Popularly known as Stanley Falls, Boyoma Falls is composed of seven cataracts wherein the great Congo River flows through. It is found in north-east of Congo in the province of Orientale and has been become a popular destination, albeit well-hidden, for those who visit the country. If you wish to find the seven waterfalls, you need to hike for about a kilometer or half an hour for every checkpoint cataract. This “treasure hunt” or rather,” waterfall hunt” has become a well-known challenge to adventurous tourists as it gives a sense of fulfillment to those who complete the hunt.
Nothing else completes the picture of a complete Congo adventure than delving to one of the densest jungles in the world, the Congo rainforest. Although it is not advisable to enter the 2nd largest tropical rainforest, it is a natural wonder of Congo. This forest itself holds many endangered, diverse species of both flora and fauna. However, it is unfortunate to note that also suffers exploitation by hunters and illegal loggers. Home to a vast number of wildlife, the Congo forest is a valuable treasure of Congo.
Virunga National Park
Step into the realm of enchantment at Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Africa’s oldest and most biodiverse national parks. Encounter the awe-inspiring volcanic landscapes, dense rainforests, and diverse wildlife, including endangered mountain gorillas and the elusive okapi. This is quite possibly the most coveted natural wonder of DR Congo that draws visitors from around the world.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park
Immerse yourself in the wonders of Kahuzi-Biega National Park, a haven for gorilla conservation. Trek through the lush forests and catch a glimpse of the majestic Eastern lowland gorillas, one of the largest gorilla subspecies, in their natural habitat.
Garamba National Park
Embark on an expedition to Garamba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. Witness herds of African elephants roaming freely, spot the rare Kordofan giraffes, and marvel at the park’s diverse ecosystems, from savannahs to riverine forests.
Salonga National Park:
Delve into the untouched wilderness of Salonga National Park, Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Traverse the dense jungles teeming with wildlife, including bonobos, forest elephants, and countless bird species. Immerse yourself in the serenity of this pristine natural paradise.
Maiko National Park
Explore the untamed beauty of Maiko National Park, a haven for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. Hike through the rugged terrain, encounter elusive chimpanzees swinging through the trees, and marvel at the park’s stunning waterfalls cascading into crystal-clear pools.
Okapi Wildlife Reserve
Embark on a journey to the Okapi Wildlife Reserve, a haven for the elusive and endangered okapi. Trek through dense rainforests, observe colorful bird species, and witness the distinctive striped appearance of the okapi, a close relative of the giraffe.
Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary
Experience a heartwarming encounter at the Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary, the world’s only sanctuary for orphaned bonobos. Learn about these fascinating primates and witness the dedicated efforts to rehabilitate and protect them. Enjoy observing their playful antics and support the conservation of this endangered species.
The DR Congo, with its rich tapestry of natural wonders, beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts to discover its breathtaking landscapes and unique wildlife. From the volcanic vistas of Virunga National Park to the untouched rainforests of Salonga National Park, each destination offers a glimpse into the country’s extraordinary biodiversity and cultural heritage.
As we explore and appreciate the natural wonders of DR Congo, let us also recognize the importance of conservation efforts to preserve these fragile ecosystems for generations to come. So, pack your sense of adventure and embark on a journey to the DR Congo, where enchantment awaits at every turn.