World Heritage Sites in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)

Virunga National Park

(1.00 S 29.50 E)

Virunga offers a diversity of habitats: from swamps and steppes to the snowfields of Rwenzori at an altitude of over 5,000 m, and from the lava plains to the savannahs on the slopes of the volcanoes. Some 20,000 hippopotamuses live in its rivers, mountain gorillas find refuge there and birds from Siberia spend the winter there.

Garamba National Park

(3.75-4.68 N 28.80-30.00 E)

These savannahs, grasslands and forests along the river banks, protect four large mammals: the elephant, giraffe, hippopotamus and above all the white rhinoceros. Much larger than the black rhino, the white rhino is harmless, and only some thirty individuals remain.

Kahuzi-Biega National Park

(2.17-2.85 S 28.67-28.83 E)

The area is dominated by two extinct volcanoes, Kahuzi and Biega. The park is home to one of the last groups of mountain gorillas (approx. 250 individuals).

Salonga National Park

(1.0-3.5 S 20.0-23.0 E)

Salonga National Park is Africa's largest tropical rainforest reserve. Situated at the heart of the central basin of the Congo river, the park is very isolated and accessible only by water. It is the habitat of many endemic endangered species, such as the dwarf chimpanzee, the Congo peacock, the forest elephant and the African slender-snouted or "false" crocodile.

Okapi Faunal Reserve

(1.0-2.70 N 28.03-29.13 E)

The Okapi Wildlife Reserve occupies about one-fifth of the Ituri forest in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It also has some dramatic scenery, including waterfalls on the Ituri and Epulu rivers. The reserve is inhabited by traditional nomadic pygmy Mbuti and Efe hunters.

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Lynn Salmon <>{
Last updated: May 6, 2021