Top tourist attractions in Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Here is a list of top tourist attractions in Congo, Democratic Republic of the. Only the topmost tourist destinations are presented here. To see other destinations, please check the images from Congo, Democratic Republic of the section.
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Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, and is in the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift. Lake Kivu empties into the Ruzizi River, which flows southwards into Lake Tanganyika. The name comes from kivu which means "lake" in Bantu language, just like the words tanganyika or nyanza.
Virunga National Park
The Virunga National Park, formerly named Albert National Park, is a 7,800-square-kilometre National Park that stretches from the Virunga Mountains in the South, to the Rwenzori Mountains in the North, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, bordering Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The park was established in 1925 as Africa's first national park and is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site since 1979. In recent years poaching and the Congo Civil War have seriously damaged its wildlife population. The park is managed by the Congolese National Park Authorities, the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature and its partner the Africa Conservation Fund.
Mount Nyiragongo is an active stratovolcano with an elevation of 3470m in the Virunga Mountains associated with the Albertine Rift. It is located inside Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, about 20 km north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and just west of the border with Rwanda. The main crater is about two kilometres wide and usually contains a lava lake. The crater presently has two distinct cooled lava benches within the crater walls - one at about 3,175 metres and a lower one at about 2,975 m. Nyiragongo's lava lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. The depth of the lava lake varies considerably. A maximum elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 3,250 m prior to the January 1977 eruption - a lake depth of about 600 m. A recent very low elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 2,700 m. Nyiragongo and nearby Nyamuragira are together responsible for 40% of Africa's historical volcanic eruptions.
Garamba National Park
Garamba National Park, located in Orientale Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa, was established in 1938. One of Africa's oldest National parks, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Garamba is the home to the world's last known wild population of Northern White Rhinoceros. Due to poaching of the rhinos within the park, it was added to the list of World Heritage in Danger in 1996. The park is also well known for its African elephant domestication programme started in the 1960s, which managed to train tourist-rideable animals from the naturally wild beasts.
Salonga National Park
Salonga National Park is a national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo located in the Congo River basin. It is Africa's largest tropical rainforest reserve covering about 36,000 km². Animals in the park include bonobos, Salonga monkeys, Tshuapa red colobus, Congo Peafowl, forest elephants, and African slender-snouted crocodiles. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Due to the civil war in the eastern half of the country, it was added to the list of World Heritage in Danger in 1999. Most of the park is accessible only via river. The southern region inhabited by the Iyaelima people is accessible via the Lokoro, which flows through the center, the Lokolo in the northern part and Lula in the south. This region has been the location for studies of Bonobos in the wild. There are much higher populations of bonobos near the Iyaelima settlements than elsewhere in the park, apparently because the Iyaelima are playing a strong role in conservation.
Okapi Wildlife Reserve
World Heritage Site
The Okapi Wildlife Reserve is a World Heritage Site in the Ituri Forest in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the borders with Sudan and Uganda. At approximately 14,000 km², it covers approximately one fifth of the area of the forest.
Kahuzi-Biéga National Park
Kahuzi-Biega National Park is in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, 50 km west of the town of Bukavu in the Kivu Region, near to the western side of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border. The park is one of the last refuges of the rare Eastern Lowland Gorilla. Prior to conflicts which have plagued this part of Africa since the 1990s, only an estimated 600 gorillas remained throughout the range. As a result of the remaining gorilla population, the park was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. It is likely that recent war in the region has taken a terrible toll on their numbers. One recent estimate has suggested that as many as 60% of the population of nearly 300 recorded in Kahuzi-Biega in 1990 may have perished. The ongoing fighting in the Congo has moved within the boundaries of the park causing looting, burning of the forest, and poaching of the animals. Consequently the park was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger in 1997. The Park is named after two extinct volcanoes, Mount Kahuzi and Mount Biega. Mount Kahuzi is the highest in this part of Kivu.
Idjwi or Ijwi is an island in Lake Kivu, belonging to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At 70 km in length and with an area of 340 km², it is the second largest inland island in Africa, and the tenth largest in the world. Idjwi is roughly equidistant between the DRC and Rwanda, with 10 to 15 kilometres separating its western shore from the DRC mainland and a similar distance between its eastern shore and the coastline of Rwanda. The island's southern tip, however, lies only 1 kilometre from a promontory of the Rwandan coast. Historically a clan-based society, Idjwi island became a kingdom in the late 18th century under the influence of the neighboring Kingdom of Rwanda. Idjwi lies within the Sud-Kivu province of the DRC. In 2009 the island was estimated to have a population of 203,000. This is a massive increase from the estimated population of 50,000 in 1983. Malnutrition is common, especially among children, and almost all of the population is dependent on subsistence agriculture.
Maiko National Park
Maiko National Park is a national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It lies in one of the most remote forest areas of the country and covers 10,885 km². The park is divided into three sectors, straddling the states of Nord Kivu, Province Orientale and Maniema. Three of the country's spectacular endemic animals occur here: the Grauer's gorilla, the Okapi, and the Congo Peafowl. Maiko is also an important site for the conservation of the African forest elephant, eastern chimpanzee and the endemic aquatic genet.
The Lukaya is a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its source is located in the Crystal Mountains, from which it runs eastward through Bas-Congo, then runs into the banks of the Ndjili River. The rail line from Matadi to Kinshasa runs along the river valley for a time, passing to the south and then to the east of Kinshasa. At one point the river was the namesake of a district in the Congo Free State. Just to the south of Kinshasa, a small cascade on the river, the Petites Chutes de la Lukaya, is a gathering place for several tourist activities including the lake formed by the river valley, beaches and waterfalls, and the Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary of Kinshasa. This is located in the Mont Ngafula neighborhood, which the river runs through.