Virunga National Park, Congo
Virunga National Park, Congo

Virunga national park wildlife – The 7,900 sq km national park in the northeast of the DRC is Africa’s most biologically diverse protected area. It is famously known for the gorillas and the Nyiragongo volcano but the park has much more than this. The park has a variety of vegetation cover ranging from swamps and wetlands, woodlands, savannah grasslands, forests, the heath and alpine on the mountains. There are over 2000 plant species of which 15% are endemic.  It is also a home to over 200 mammals including forest and savannah elephants, lions, Thomas kobs, buffalo, leopard, waterbuck, hippos, blue duiker, topi, giraffes and much more. On a nature walk or birding experience, out of the 706 recorded bird species in the park, you may sight the common ones like the Angolan swallow, grey-throated barbet, barred long-tailed cuckoo, Rwenzori batis, strange weaver, double-toothed barbet, the grey crowned crane and mountain greenbul to mention but a few. Besides the mountain gorillas, the park is a natural habitat to more other 21 primate species. The presence ot mountain gorillas, the eastern lowland gorillas and the chimpanzees, this is considered as the only park in the world that hosts all the three great apes. Other primates include blue monkey, Hamyn’s mokey, De brazza’s monkey, Central African red colobus mantled guereza, red-tailed monkey, golden monkey, black and white colobus monkey, Dent’s Mona monkey and olive baboons.

Virunga national park has more than 60 species of amphibians and about 109 species of reptiles which include crocodiles commonly seen along the shores of Lake Edward and R. Semuliki, monitor lizards and more.