Congo National Parks
Congo national parks are the various tourist destinations in the Democratic Republic of Congo which tourists can visit on Congo safari tours, throughout the year. The Democratic Republic of Congo, commonly known as the Congo is the second largest country in Africa after Algeria. The Congo is bordered by Uganda, Rwanda, Central African Republic, Angola, Burundi, and Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia. The Congo is an incredibly beautiful African country with so much to offer, with great biodiversity of wildlife and vegetation which attract travellers to visit on Congo safari tours.
Above all else, the Congo is the one place travellers can encounter both the endangered species of mountain gorillas and the estern lowland gorillas, as well as inhabits the western lowland gorillas; making it the only country to inhabit three taxa of gorillas. apart from inhabiting the gorillas which travellers an encounter with Congo gorilla trekking safaris, the Congo gives travellers an opportunity to hike the volcanoes in Congo, explore quite unique cultures and communities, see more wild game in Congo, among so much more that the Congo has to offer. Some of the wildlife in Congo that travellers can encounter while on Congo safaris include the Congo peafowl, okapi, bongo, bonobos, among so many others, spread through various Congo national parks including Virunga National Park, Kahuzi Biega National Park, Salonga National Park, Mangroves National Park, Lomami National Park, Garamba National Park, Upemba National Park, Kundelungu National Park and Maiko National Park.
Virunga National Park
Virunga National Park is the most visited Congo national park located in the eastern part of the Congo. Virunga National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site with great biodiversity and is one of the only four mountain gorilla destinations in the world. It is the mountain gorillas that attract travellers to visit the Congo, to take part in Congo gorilla trekking safaris.
Virunga National Park is also home to three volcanoes on Nyamulagira and Nyiragongo which are active volcanoes, and Mount Mikeno. Mountain climbing especially hiking the Nyiragongo Mountain to see the boiling lava lake at the crater. Apart from the endangered mountain gorillas, other animals or wildlife in Virunga National Park include the rare okapi, chimpanzees, forest elephants, hippos, African buffaloes, waterbucks, warthogs, topi, duikers, colobus monkeys, and others. Virunga National Park also has over 706 bird species, 65 amphibians and about 109 reptiles. Activities in Virunga National Park that travellers can enjoy include gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, hiking Mount Nyiragongo, mountain climbing, bird watching, and others.
Kahuzi Biega National Park
Kahuzi Biega National Park is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites in the Congo. Kahuzi Biega National Park is located in the south eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, just near the town of Bukavu on the banks of Lake Kivu. Established in 1970, Kahuzi Biega National Park covers about 6000 square kilometres comprising of mostly lowland rain-forest, bamboo forests, swamps, bogs and marshland. Kahuzi Biega National Park derives her name from the two mountains in the park say Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega. Kahuzi Biega National Park is home to the eastern lowland gorillas which travellers can encounter on eastern lowland gorilla trekking safaris. Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega are also great for hiking and mountain climbing for those travellers after some challenge and adventure.
Salonga National Park
Salonga National Park is the biggest forest national park in Africa covering about 36000 square kilometres. Located between Kisangani and Kinshasa, Salonga National Park was established in 1956 and designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984. Salonga National Park is made up of mostly wetlands, woodlands, grassland and dense rainforest with wildlife species like the rare Salonga monkey, bonobos, Angolan slender mongoose, African golden cats, leopards, African slender-snouted crocodiles, the elusive okapi, among other wildlife in Salonga National Park.
Maiko National Park
Maiko National Park is one of the Congo national parks covering 10885 square kilometres, gazetted in 1949 by the Belgian colonial government. Maiko National Park is one of the destinations in the Congo to inhabit a number of eastern lowland gorillas. Maiko National Park is a great place to visit to see wildlife like the Congo peafowl, aquatic genet, okapi, African forest elephants, chimpanzees among others.
Mangroves National Park
Mangroves National Park is the smallest of all Congo national parks located along the shores of the great Congo River. Mangroves National Park also known as Muanda Marine Reserve is only 768 square kilometres and was gazetted in 1992. Mangroves National Park is a Ramsar wetland of great biodiversity as well as mangrove forests. Mangroves National Park is the only marine park in the Congo, and has wildlife like snakes, crocodiles, bushbucks, hippos, southern reedbuck, among others.
Lomami National Park
Lomami National Park was established in 1992 but it was until 2016 that the park was formerly opened, covering 8879 square kilometres. Lomami National Park consists of several hills and rainforest, and is home to a number of wildlife like the Salonga monkeys, lesula monkeys which are endemic to the park, grey parrots, okapi, bonobos, African forest elephants, among other wildlife in the park.
Garamba National Park
Garamba National Park is one of the largest Congo national parks established in 1938 and a recognised UNESCO world heritage site. Garamba National Park is located in the eastern part of the Congo just at the border with South Sudan, covering a distance of 5200 square kilometres. Garamba National Park has woodlands, extensive savannah grasslands, forests and rivers. Garamba National Park inhabits wildlife like lions, leopards, forest hogs, forest elephants, and buffaloes, endemic Congolese giraffes, spotted hyenas, chimpanzees, hippos, and a number of several antelopes among others.
Upemba National Park
Upemba National Park is located in the south eastern part of the Congo just near the Kundelungu National Park. Established in 1939, Upemba National Park is one of the oldest Congo national parks covering about 13000 square kilometres. Upemba National Park inhabits wildlife like elephants, zebras, leopards, buffaloes, lions, Katanga impala, bird species like Wattled crane and shoebills, among others.
Kundelungu National Park
Kundelungu National Park is also located in the south eastern part of the Congo, covering about 7600 square kilometres of space with wildlife like jackals, porcupines, crocodiles, hippos, leopards, lions, zebras, and snakes among others calling the park home. Apart from the wildlife in Kundelungu National Park, the Lofoi falls is another key attraction that shall leave you the traveller amazed by the beauty of the park, with the waterfall rising to about 1120 feet.
The above are the Congo national parks there are. It is however Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park which see tourists visiting the most, especially for gorilla trekking safaris to encounter the endangered mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas. interested in visiting the Congo for Congo safari tours, get in touch with a reputable tour operator for amazing Congo safari tour packages to see the various Congo national parks, especially the Virunga National Park and Kahuzi Biega National Park for amazing Congo gorilla safaris and more.