- Extends across 297 square miles (768 sq km)
- Smallest protected area in the DRC
- The DRC’s only marine protected park
Mangroves National Park
Mangroves National Park is a protected area of 768 square kilometers (297 square miles) making it the smallest protected area in all of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is also the country’s only marine park and well known for it’s massive population of mangroves spread throughout the entire area.
Also a wetland, this park is surrounded and subdivided into three different areas, which include a riverside land area, a coastal strip and numerous numbers of mangrove islands. These mangrove islands are the only parts of the park that are fully protected while all other areas are only partially protected.
The mainland consists of a diverse flora made up of lush forests and plant life. Most of this particular region is covered with leafy plants, vines and dense growth of African oak, red cedar and walnut trees. Tall grasses and reeds can be found along the coastal line as well as coconut palms scattered throughout.
The fauna of Mangroves National Park is also what makes it such a unique natural wonder to this specific area. With an abundant marine life consisting of hippos, crocodile, snake and also an area where protected and endangered manatee population reside here. On the mainland of the national park, poaching has become a serious issue but still smaller populations of monkeys, Southern reedbuck and bushbuck still exist despite the dangerous threats upon them.
Where is Mangroves National Park
The park is located in the mouth of the Congo River within the territory of Moanda inside the Democratic Republic of Congo. Close in proximity to the DR’s only true ocean town of Muanda, which is where most visitors come from before making their way to the national park.
Best Ways to See and Experience Mangroves National Park
Because of the present lack of funding and management of this national park, it is only been recently that the country has seen the potential for ecotourism within its lands. Organizations like WWF have done increasingly well in providing better understanding and awareness of the protected area of Mangroves National Park that they believe is essential to the building up of a strong ecotourism system.
Several tours and guides are available for taking guests and visitors to the lands of the national park as well as Congo River boat tours where you can get an up close and personal experience with some of the marine life such as the endangered manatees. The wet season is a popular time to visit because the plants seem to bring on a whole new meaning of lush tropical forestry.
It’s important that however and whenever you choose to visit this site, you always dress appropriately for hot and humid weather (possibly rain) and be prepared for the mosquitoes present by bringing along strong repellents. Many different organizations are currently working on keeping this area of the Democratic Republic of Congo protected, free from poachers and dangers that may cause harm to the life found within its lands. The rare privilege of being able to see even parts of this enormous national park is an experience of a lifetime and one that will surely not soon be forgotten.
Visiting this natural wonder of the world allows you to see a wide range of diverse plant and animal life and get a real feel for what makes up the Democratic Republic of Congo. With further eco awareness to this specific region, there is no doubt that Mangroves National Park will continue to be a must-see when visiting this part of the world.
Best Times to Explore Mangroves National Park
If you are a travel expert or representative from the DRC Tourism office, we invite you to provide insights and recommendations.
Mangroves National Park Park Travel Tips
If you are connected with the Democratic Republic of Congo Tourism office or an expert in travel in the DRC, please feel free to contact Seven Natural Wonders with your suggestions and insights.