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Lake Kivu

Lake

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. The name comes from kivu which means "lake" in Bantu
language, just like the words tanganyika or nyanza.

Virunga National Park

National park

The Virunga National Park, formerly named Albert National Park, is a
7,800-square-kilometre National Park that stretches from the Virunga
Mountains in the South, to the Rwenzori Mountains in the North, in the
eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, bordering Volcanoes National
Park in Rwanda and Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Queen
Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. The park was established in 1925 as
Africa's first national park and is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage
Site since 1979. In recent years poaching and the Congo Civil War have
seriously damaged its wildlife population. The park is managed by the
Congolese National Park Authorities, the Institut Congolais pour la
Conservation de la Nature and its partner the Africa Conservation
Fund.

Mount Nyiragongo

Volcano

Mount Nyiragongo is an active stratovolcano with an elevation of 3470m
in the Virunga Mountains associated with the Albertine Rift. It is
located inside Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of
the Congo, about 20 km north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu and
just west of the border with Rwanda. The main crater is about two
kilometres wide and usually contains a lava lake. The crater presently
has two distinct cooled lava benches within the crater walls - one at
about 3,175 metres and a lower one at about 2,975 m. Nyiragongo's lava
lake has at times been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent
history. The depth of the lava lake varies considerably. A maximum
elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 3,250 m prior to the
January 1977 eruption - a lake depth of about 600 m. A recent very low
elevation of the lava lake was recorded at about 2,700 m. Nyiragongo
and nearby Nyamuragira are together responsible for 40% of Africa's
historical volcanic eruptions.

Garamba National Park

National park

Garamba National Park, located in Orientale Province of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo in Africa, was established in 1938. One of
Africa's oldest National parks, it was designated a UNESCO World
Heritage Site in 1980. Garamba is the home to the world's last known
wild population of Northern White Rhinoceros. Due to poaching of the
rhinos within the park, it was added to the list of World Heritage in
Danger in 1996. The park is also well known for its African elephant
domestication programme started in the 1960s, which managed to train
tourist-rideable animals from the naturally wild beasts.

Salonga National Park

National park

Salonga National Park is a national park in the Democratic Republic of
the Congo located in the Congo River basin. It is Africa's largest
tropical rainforest reserve covering about 36,000 km². Animals in the
park include bonobos, Salonga monkeys, Tshuapa red colobus, Congo
Peafowl, forest elephants, and African slender-snouted crocodiles. It
was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Due to the
civil war in the eastern half of the country, it was added to the list
of World Heritage in Danger in 1999. Most of the park is accessible
only via river. The southern region inhabited by the Iyaelima people
is accessible via the Lokoro, which flows through the center, the
Lokolo in the northern part and Lula in the south. This region has
been the location for studies of Bonobos in the wild. There are much
higher populations of bonobos near the Iyaelima settlements than
elsewhere in the park, apparently because the Iyaelima are playing a
strong role in conservation.

Okapi Wildlife Reserve

World Heritage Site

The Okapi Wildlife Reserve is a World Heritage Site in the Ituri
Forest in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near
the borders with Sudan and Uganda. At approximately 14,000 km², it
covers approximately one fifth of the area of the forest.

Kahuzi-Biéga National Park

National park

Kahuzi-Biega National Park is in eastern Democratic Republic of the
Congo, 50 km west of the town of Bukavu in the Kivu Region, near to
the western side of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border. The park is one
of the last refuges of the rare Eastern Lowland Gorilla. Prior to
conflicts which have plagued this part of Africa since the 1990s, only
an estimated 600 gorillas remained throughout the range. As a result
of the remaining gorilla population, the park was inscribed as a
UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. It is likely that recent war in
the region has taken a terrible toll on their numbers. One recent
estimate has suggested that as many as 60% of the population of nearly
300 recorded in Kahuzi-Biega in 1990 may have perished. The ongoing
fighting in the Congo has moved within the boundaries of the park
causing looting, burning of the forest, and poaching of the animals.
Consequently the park was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in
Danger in 1997. The Park is named after two extinct volcanoes, Mount
Kahuzi and Mount Biega. Mount Kahuzi is the highest in this part of
Kivu.

Idjwi

Island

Idjwi or Ijwi is an island in Lake Kivu, belonging to the Democratic
Republic of the Congo. At 70 km in length and with an area of 340 km²,
it is the second largest inland island in Africa, and the tenth
largest in the world. Idjwi is roughly equidistant between the DRC and
Rwanda, with 10 to 15 kilometres separating its western shore from the
DRC mainland and a similar distance between its eastern shore and the
coastline of Rwanda. The island's southern tip, however, lies only 1
kilometre from a promontory of the Rwandan coast. Historically a
clan-based society, Idjwi island became a kingdom in the late 18th
century under the influence of the neighboring Kingdom of Rwanda.
Idjwi lies within the Sud-Kivu province of the DRC. In 2009 the island
was estimated to have a population of 203,000. This is a massive
increase from the estimated population of 50,000 in 1983. Malnutrition
is common, especially among children, and almost all of the population
is dependent on subsistence agriculture.

Maiko National Park

National park

Maiko National Park is a national park in the Democratic Republic of
the Congo. It lies in one of the most remote forest areas of the
country and covers 10,885 km². The park is divided into three sectors,
straddling the states of Nord Kivu, Province Orientale and Maniema.
Three of the country's spectacular endemic animals occur here: the
Grauer's gorilla, the Okapi, and the Congo Peafowl. Maiko is also an
important site for the conservation of the African forest elephant,
eastern chimpanzee and the endemic aquatic genet.

Lukaya River

River

The Lukaya is a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its
source is located in the Crystal Mountains, from which it runs
eastward through Bas-Congo, then runs into the banks of the Ndjili
River. The rail line from Matadi to Kinshasa runs along the river
valley for a time, passing to the south and then to the east of
Kinshasa. At one point the river was the namesake of a district in the
Congo Free State. Just to the south of Kinshasa, a small cascade on
the river, the Petites Chutes de la Lukaya, is a gathering place for
several tourist activities including the lake formed by the river
valley, beaches and waterfalls, and the Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary of
Kinshasa. This is located in the Mont Ngafula neighborhood, which the
river runs through.