[well]Okapi Wildlife Reserve Quick Facts
- A UNESCO World Heritage site
- 52 different mammal species
- Extends across 5,405 square miles (14,000 sq km)
- Accounts for 16% of the entire Okapi global population
Okapi Wildlife Reserve
The Okapi Wildlife Reserve of the Democratic Republic of Congo is a World Heritage Site made up by the Ituri Forest. With a total area of nearly 14,000 square kilometers (5,405 square miles), this reserve envelops one fifth of the forest itself.
The surroundings and landscape that make up Okapi Wildlife Reserve include three rivers: Nepoko, Ituri and Epulu rivers as well as Mbiya Mountain, which overlooks the village of Epulu. As a part of the Congo River basin, it means that this specific wildlife reserve is in fact one of the largest drainage systems in all of Africa.
The flora found within Okapi Wildlife Reserve is extremely diverse and includes over 300 different species of trees, 130 species of lianas and 670 woody plant species. This wide range of plant life alongside discovered deposits of gold, cassiterite and high grade colton are just parts of what make this reserve one of the greatest rainforest wildernesses in the world.
The fauna that is found within Okapi Wildlife Reserve is also nothing short of diverse and magnificent. With a recent count of 52 different mammal species including most likely over 5,000 of the entire okapi population of 30,000 worldwide that remains in the wild. Among okapi there is also population of the African golden cat, leopards, elephants, chimpanzees, crocodiles, forest buffalo and many more. With so much plant and animal life that inhibits the lands of Okapi Wildlife Reserve, it’s no question as to why it’s considered a true natural wonder of the world.
Where is Okapi Wildlife Reserve
Okapi Wildlife Reserve is located in the northeastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the African continent. Due to its extremely large landmass, some of the reserve lies within the Zone of Mambasa while the other area is found with the Zones of Wamba and Watsa of the Huat-Uele subregion.
Best Ways to See and Experience the Okapi Wildlife Reserve
The best time to visit Okapi Wildlife Reserve is between the months of June and August, which is the time of year that sees the least amount of rainfall. Though there are certain requirements needed before visiting this natural wonder such as certain vaccinations and a trekking certificate, all of the work to get there will surely be worth the while once you step foot on it’s grounds.
It is always best to travel in groups when visiting Okapi Wildlife Reserve and to make sure you cause no harm to the plant or animal life that resides within its lands. There is basic lodging at the reserve itself, which can accommodate several groups at a time.
Head out and immerse yourself in the culture, wildlife and true nature that makes up the DR Congo while getting to explore through the forests, basins and bottoms of mountains where you will surely come across some of the magnificent creatures that make their homes within the reserve. To be able to see some of the world’s most endangered species such as the okapi population itself is sure to be nothing short of unforgettable and remarkable.
Best Times to Explore the Okapi Wildlife Reserve
If you are a travel expert or representative from the DRC Tourism office, we invite you to provide insights and recommendations.
Okapi Wildlife Reserve Park Travel Tips
Insider travel tips and recommendations are coming to help you better explore the park.