Below you can find a complete list of Congolese animals. We currently track 273 animals in the Democratic Republic of Congo and are adding more every day!
The Democratic Republic of Congo (not to be confused with the neighboring Republic of Congo) is the largest country by land area in all of sub-Saharan Africa. Situated at the center of the continent, this equatorial country is almost completely landlocked except for a sliver of coast along the Atlantic.
Geographically, the interior of the country is dominated by the central Congo basin. This flat plain is surrounded by high plateaus on almost every side, while the eastern border is separated from other countries by the massive Lake Tanganyika, Kivu, and Mweru. The Congo River, which flows directly into the Atlantic, is the most important river in the country and the second longest in all of Africa.
Another unique ecological feature of the DRC is the lush Congolian rainforest. As the second largest contiguous rainforest in the world, it contains some of the most unique wildlife found nowhere else, including gorillas and chimpanzees.
The Official National (State) Animal of the Democratic Republic of Congo
The okapi, a short-necked member of the giraffe family, is an important cultural and national symbol, while the leopard has traditionally adorned the coat of arms for the Congo.
Additionally, due to its endangered state, the Dominican Republic designated the Bayahibe rose as the nation’s official flower and assured its protection.
Rarest Animals in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Congo Basin, a mixture of rivers, forests, savannas, marshes, and flooded forests, it is bursting with life. The area is home to buffalo, elephants, and gorillas.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea are the six nations that make up the Congo Basin.
Here is a short list of some of the rarest animals found in the region:
Largest Animals in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Compared to the Amazon and Southeast Asia, the Congo Basin countries score less well for biodiversity, but they contain a higher range of large-bodied mammals, including forest elephants as the leading species. In the jungles of Central Africa, bushmeat hunting is common.
Here are some large animals you can find in the Congo:
Additionally, the leopard is one of the largest wild cat predator in the jungle of the Congo Basin.
The Flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo
In February 2006, the national flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was adopted. The flag is a sky blue flag with a yellow star in the upper left canton. The flag also has a red stripe with two thinner yellow stripes running diagonally across it.
Where to Find the Top Wild Animals in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The DRC has set aside large parts of the sparsely occupied interior for the purpose of protecting its wildlife. This is where you can find some of the most unique animals in the country.
Kahuzi-Biega National Park (yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site) is situated along the west bank of Lake Kivu. It comprises some 2,300 square miles of both mountain and lowland terrain. Visitors can expect to find some gorillas, chimpanzees, hippos, elephants, baboons, leopards, peafowls, and other unique types of monkeys and birds.
Upemba National Park is comprised of a major network of lakes, rivers, and wetlands in the southeastern part of the Congo. It is an excellent source of freshwater fish and unique birds like the shoebill and wattled crane.
The Most Dangerous Animals in the Democratic Republic of Congo Today
The interior of the DRC contains several dangerous animals that people should try to avoid at all costs.
Hippopotamus – Despite being an herbivore, the hippo can easily kill a person. It is big, aggressive, and quick, both in and out of the water. It is believed that they are responsible for hundreds of deaths every year.
Nile Crocodile – Lurking within almost every major river system of Africa, the Nile crocodile is a large and fearsome predator with the occasional penchant to attack humans who accidentally stumble into its territory. These reptiles are sometimes known to grab fishers in their boats.
Puff Adder – These dangerous snakes live around the north and eastern fringes of the Congo. Due to their camouflaged colors, wide distribution, and toxic venom, it’s estimated that the puff adder is responsible for more bites than any other snake in Africa. There is always the danger of someone accidentally stepping on them as they lie in the dirt.
Black Mamba – Named for its inky black mouth, the black mamba is one of the largest and deadliest snakes in all of Africa. The potent mixture of neurotoxins will directly attack the nervous system. The death rate is quite high in untreated cases.
Endangered Animals in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Despite being officially protected, much of Congo’s unique wildlife is now in danger of becoming extinct from illegal poaching, habitat loss, and internal warfare.
Northern White Rhinoceros – This subspecies of the threatened white rhino is on the brink of becoming extinct. With only two known members of this subspecies remaining, both of which reside in Kenya, there are no known individuals remaining in the Congo.
Eastern Gorilla – Among the largest of all primates, the majestic eastern gorilla is native to the mountains and forests of the eastern Congo. It is estimated that less than 5,000 individuals remain in the wild.
Chimpanzee – These intelligent and inquisitive primates are native to northeast Congo. Because of habitat loss, poaching, and disease, the number of chimpanzees has fallen from a high of a million in the early 20th century to only about 150,000 to 250,000 now.
Bonobo – The bonobo is a close relative of the chimpanzee. It is estimated that no more than 50,000 individuals remain in the wild.
Dryas Monkey – This poorly understood primate resides in a very small section of the Congo River. Since they’re rarely spotted, it’s believed that the species is critically endangered.
Instead of the typically banded or ‘alien head’ patterning of most ball python morphs, the Mojave morph’s patterning is characterized by lots of large, circular splotches with small, dark brown dots in their centers.
The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, likes to be in and around bodies of water. Because of this, the Catholic Church in South America decided that it was a fish, and people were allowed to eat it during Lent and First Fridays.
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Animals in Democratic Republic of Congo FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What animals live in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
The Congo is an incredibly rich source of rodents, bats, shrews, carnivores, and ungulates (hoofed mammals), and it has a higher concentration of primates than almost any other place in the world. The country is also an excellent source of flycatchers, warblers, waxbills, bulbuls, swallows, water/wading birds, and birds of prey. Plenty of reptiles, amphibians, and insects lurk in the lush interior rainforests.
Are there tigers in the DRC?
No, tigers are only endemic to Asia. Africa has no native species of tigers. But the Congo does have several species of big cats, including the lion and the leopard.