The second-largest nation in Africa is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). However, it is unparalleled in terms of natural splendor and richness. Due to the nation’s extensive tropical rain forest, safaris in the Congo show amazing species, many of which are exclusive to the area. The reticent Okapi, eastern lowland gorillas, and bonobos are a few examples. Currently, Congo’s most well-liked tourist destination is its gorillas. The only place on earth with both mountain and eastern lowland gorillas is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Unquestionably, the Nyiragongo volcano in Virunga National Park is one of Africa’s most breathtaking views.
Despite being a little off the main path, a Congo safari frequently results in a warm welcome and some heartwarming safari experiences with the locals, who are truly interested by and unused to international visitors. A safari in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is renowned for its variety and natural riches, which includes the continent’s largest primary rainforest. The Republic of Congo provides a wealth of options for exploration for pioneering explorers looking for a distinctive African experience.
WHY SHOULD YOU VISIT CONGO?
Know that the Congo is rich in mineral resources. Along with one of Africa’s largest forest reserves, major industrial diamond, cobalt, and copper reserves, it also has more than half of the continent’s hydroelectric potential. The main draw or, to put it more accurately the main reason why most visitors come to the nation is its tourism attractions. The last remaining populations of the mountain gorilla, okapi, and lowland gorilla species are all found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, making it a fortunate nation.
MAJOR ATTRACTIONS IN CONGO.
Numerous national parks in the nation have received UNESCO designations. There are raging rivers, active volcanoes, and the typical African wildlife. Africa’s real and symbolic heart lies in the DRC, therefore proceed with caution.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo comprises 11 provinces, Kinshasa being one of them. More than 10 million people call this bustling, chaotic place home. Henry Stanley established it as a trading post in the late 1800s, and it is today compared to an African New York City. The centre of the republic’s industrial and economic operations, it is also the country’s biggest consumer hub. Large public corporations as well as independently held industrial and commercial entities are based in the city.
Lola ya Bonobo.
One of the most well-known tourist destinations in Kinshasa is Lola Ya Bonobo, a sanctuary for orphaned bonobos. Bonobos are hunted for their bush meat, and when their moms are killed, the infants are frequently kidnapped and sold as pets on the black market. To ensure that they can spend their remaining days in peace, the shelter makes every attempt to recapture as many as it can. One of the four big apes, bonobos, lived in considerable seclusion up until the 20th century. You are welcome to take a tour of the sanctuary’s 30 hectares of forest and observe the feeding stations the staff uses to keep tabs on the gorillas.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park.
On the eastern side of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), close to Bukavu town, on the western bank of Lake Kivu, and not far from the Rwandan border, is where you’ll find the Kahuzi-Biega National Park. The name of the park, which was established in 1970 by Belgian photographer and naturalist Adrien Deschryver, comes from two extinct volcanoes: Mount Kahuzi (3,308 metres) and Mount Biega (2,790 metres). It is one of the largest national parks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, spanning 6,000 square kilometres of lowland and hilly terrain. Due to its rare biodiversity of rain forest habitat and the existence of lowland gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri), which are severely endangered, Kahuzi-Biega National Park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
It is one of the few places in Sub-Saharan Africa where the transition from lowland to highland vegetation zones can be clearly seen. There are six distinct primary vegetation types there: subalpine heather, high-altitude rainforest, mountain rainforest, swamp and peat bog, swamp forest, high-altitude rainforest, and bamboo forest. There is also the endemic plant Senecio kahuzicus, which can be found on the summits of Mount Kahuzi and Bi the Park is home to a large variety of native vegetation, elephants, chimpanzees, genets, antelope, and servals, as well as other primates.
The largest lava lake in the world can be found on the spectacular stratovolcano Nyiragongo. Chimpanzees, several monkey species, the three-horned chameleon, bushbuck, and a variety of bird species also call the lower jungle slopes of the volcano home, making the ascent to the summit all the more worthwhile. When it last erupted in 2011, the amazing 3,000+ meter volcano destroyed up to 15% of the surrounding area and forced over 120,000 people to flee their homes. The African tectonic plate is breaking at the location of Nyiragongo, which has erupted 34 times in the past 130 years.
Virunga National Park.
The 7,800 square kilometre Virunga National Park, formerly known as Albert National Park, is located in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and stretches from the Virunga Mountains in the south to the Rwenzori Mountains in the north. It borders the national parks of Volcanoes in Rwanda, Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda, and Queen Elizabeth in Uganda. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Virunga National Park is located on the border of Rwanda and Uganda. It is the oldest and most biologically diverse national park in the entire nation. There are lava plains, savannas, forests, valleys, active volcanoes, marshes, and even glacier peaks in the Rwenzori Mountains. There are a number of uncommon and unusual birds, as well as hippopotamuses, lions, and elephants. The park is worth visiting for its Rwenzori Mountains, Lake Edward region, and Mikeno volcanic region.
Lake Kivu, Garamba National Park, Salonga National Park, Okapi Wildlife Reserve, Maiko National Park, Falls of Zongo, Boyoma Falls, etc. are some of the other attractions in the Congo DRC.
TOURIST ACTIVITIES IN CONGO.
Mountain and eastern lowland gorilla trekking.
Boat Safaris: Explore the Lekoli River by boat or kayak in search of wildlife, including primates and birds.
Learn about primate conservation from eminent professionals who frequently visit the camp.
On a game drive, look for native species in the savannah.
Cool off in the Ngaga Stream’s natural waters by swimming there.
During night safaris and game drives, look for nocturnal creatures like leopards, spotted hyenas, and golden cats.
Rainforest Exploration: Visit the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, which is home to the densest population of western lowland gorillas in Africa.
Walking safaris: Take a walk through the forest while keeping an eye out for buffalo or forest elephants.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT CONGO?
The greatest time to travel to the DRC is during the lengthy dry season, which lasts from May to September. The driest months are July and June. Additionally, the temperature drops a little throughout these months. The dry season is shorter between January and February. However, the DRC, like much of Central Africa, is frequently gloomy and damp, so don’t anticipate sunshine and a clear sky. The higher altitudes of the Virunga and Nyiragongo volcanoes will offer a welcome respite from the searing heat.
There are some of the best lodging options for your safari in the DRC, both inside and outside the park, ranging from affordable to luxury lodges to accommodate all price ranges of tourists. The hotels in the major centers of the Kivu region are surprisingly decent; they compare favorably with other mid-range accommodations in East Africa and offer a good variety of options, particularly in Goma. Although there is little to no reliable public transportation in this city, taxis and private rental cars are a great option if you want a little bit more security during your Congo safari.