Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Kinshasa, Zaire or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It was formerly called Zaire. Best destinations include:
Virunga National Park is Africa’s most bio-diverse protected area, exists to protect 1/3 of the world’s wild mountain gorillas, over one thousand species of mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian, and provide a brighter future to more than four million people affected by conflict.
The park has three sectors -The northern, southern and central sectors. The northern sector covers parts of Semliki River basin and is dominated by Savannah vegetation and sections of montane forests. Because of the high altitude and presence of Mount Stanley, Alpine vegetation can be found in this sector and it is the largest glacial region in Africa.
The southern Sector of the Park contains seven volcanoes hence the name “Virunga Massif”. These volcanoes where brought about by tectonic movements in the earth’s crust leading to great volcanic activities. The two most prominent of the seven volcanoes are Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamulagira.
The climate in the park and the general Albertine Rift is greatly influenced by Inter tropical Convergence Zone movements and southern El Nino oscillation. The park experiences both rainy and dry seasons.
The rainy season occurs between March and mid-May and between September and November. Because of the abundant vegetation and climate, the Virunga National Park is blessed with great variety of fauna.
Kahuzi – Biega National Park
A vast area of primary tropical forest dominated by two spectacular extinct volcanoes, Kahuzi and Biega, the park has a diverse and abundant fauna. One of the last groups of eastern lowland (graueri) gorillas (consisting of only some 250 individuals) lives at between 2,100 and 2,400 m above sea-level.
The Park contains a flora and fauna of exceptional diversity, making it one of the most important sites in the Rift Albertine Valley, it is also one of the ecologically richest regions of Africa and worldwide. In particular, the most important world population of eastern lowland gorillas (or de Grauer), sub-species endemic to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and uses the mosaic of habitats found in the property.
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. Lake Kivu is a natural drinking water reservoir for people in Goma town and some surrounding villages in Kabare and Kalehe territories in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.