Information about Botswana: Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana, is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens refer to themselves as Batswana (singular: Motswana). Botswana is topographically flat, with up to 70 percent of its territory being the Kalahari Desert. It is bordered by South Africa to the south and southeast, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast. Its border with Zambia to the north near Kazungula is poorly defined but at most is a few hundred metres long. Read More...

National Parks


Virunga National Park


The park was founded in 1925 by King Albert I of Belgium and originally known as Albert National Park. Virunga was the first national park on the continent of Africa. The park was founded primarily to protect the mountain gorillas living in the forests of the Virunga Massif that were controlled by the Belgian Congo. Later, Virunga was expanded north to include the Rwindi Plains, Lake Edward, and the Rwenzori Mountains.
When the Belgians granted Congo independence in 1960, the new state deteriorated rapidly, and so did Virunga. It wasn’t until 1969 when President Mobutu began to take a personal interest in conservation, that the park was revived. In the process, it was renamed Virunga National Park and the first Congolese Wildlife Authority was established. Institut Congolais pour le Conservation de la Nature or ICCN, is still in charge of Congo’s protected areas to this day.

Garamba National Park


Garamba National Park is 4,900km² of pure beauty, located in the Haut-Uélé district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The region is a biological treasure trove and as a result was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Here are nine fast facts on Garamba, Garamba is one of the oldest national parks in Africa! The DRC was colonised by Belgium and Garamba National Park was established in 1938 by Royal Decree, making it one of oldest conservation areas in Africa.
Garamba is home to a subspecies of giraffe known as the Congo giraffe. The Congo giraffe forms the symbol of the park as Garamba’s giraffes are the only known giraffe population in the DRC. In 2012 Fundación Biodiversidad sponsored the collaring of five giraffe for scientific research.

Salonga National Park


Salonga National Park is Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve. Situated at the heart of the central basin of the Congo river, the park is very isolated and accessible only by water. It is the habitat of many endemic endangered species, such as the dwarf chimpanzee, the Congo peacock, the forest elephant and the African slender-snouted or ‘false’ crocodile.
Salonga National Park, created in 1970, with an area of 3,334,600 ha, is divided into two sectors (North and South) by a corridor outside the Park of about forty km wide. The Park is one of the most extensive in the world and its area is sufficiently important to offer viable habitats to its fauna and flora. The fact that the Park is divided into two distinct sectors suggests that biological corridors must be foreseen in the unlisted portion between the two sectors, to create an ecological liaison between these two zones.
Roughly one third of the southern sector of the Park is occupied by groups of pygmies and a part of this occupied land is claimed by the local population. The boundaries of the property are intact due to the existence of major rivers that form recognized, precise and natural boundaries and this despite the presence of some villages inside the Park.

Kahuzi-Biega 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. Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP) was gazetted in 1970 to conserve and preserve the Grauer’s gorilla which is the world’s largest gorilla species.
However, the conflicts which have plagued this country since the 1990s have affected the conservation. The 2005 gorilla census in the park suggested that as many as 60% of the population of nearly 300 recorded in Kahuzi-Biega in 1990 may have perished. The fighting in the Congo has moved within the boundaries of the park causing looting, burning of the forest, and poaching of the animals. Because of the wars, the park was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger in 1997.

Maiko National Park


Maiko is Congo’s most remote and inaccessible park and it is the only National Park in DRC to contain all three of country’s most important endemic species: the Grauer’s gorilla, the Okapi, and the Congo peafowl.The park also contains significant populations of elephant, chimpanzee, bongo and leopard. Despite this significance, the park has received little national or international attention or management support since its creation in 1970. The Maiko forest also constitutes a vast carbon sink, and its protection is of global importance in preventing further climate change.

Upemba National Park


Upemba National Park was first established in 1939. As with much of the wildlife of the region, in contemporary times the park continues to be threatened by the activities of poachers, pollution, and the activities of refugees and militia.
There are also a handful of villages in the park. In recent years, the park has come under considerable attack from poachers and local militias. On 28 May 2004, for instance, the park headquarters in Lusinga came under attack by the Mai Mai militia. Several wardens and their families were killed, the headquarters were burned down, and the family of the chief warden was taken hostage.
On 1 June 2005, the protectors of the park received the Abraham Conservation Award for their role in protecting the rich biodiversity of the Congo River basin.



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